Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale is aiming to be as good as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Welshman, whose team play Real Madrid next week in the Champions League quarter-final first-leg at the Bernabeu, has risen to prominence after some startling performances in Europe this season.

And Bale believes he's playing the best football of his career.

"This is probably the best I have played in my career," Bale said.

"I believe that there is a lot more to come, I have a lot more to learn and I keep working hard in training and games.


"I am still young. If you look at the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, those are the levels that you want to be getting to.

"If you play every week, there is no better way to learn than that [and] I have learned new things every week."

After missing his country's Euro 2012 qualifier with England, Bale is facing a race against time to be fit for the last-eight clash against Jose Mourinho's men with a hamstring injury.

The 21-year-old scored a hat-trick against Mourinho's former side, Inter Milan, in the group stage and if he were absent, his loss would be a huge boost to Madrid, who have a 100% win record at home in La Liga.

Without Bale for much of their last-16 tie with AC Milan, Tottenham overcame the Italian side to book their place in the quarter-finals, while Real beat French side Lyon.

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