France legend Zinedine Zidane has lauded Tottenham star Gareth Bale as the most impressive player in Europe this season.

The former World Cup winner has been impressed with the Welsh winger who has been in superb form for club and country this term netting 27 goals in the process.

Zidane has described the 23-year-old as a 'unique' talent after watching Spurs in their Europa League tie against Lyon in February.

'Zizou' believes the attacker's blistering pace and wonderful technical ability is a deadly combination that has impressed the Frenchman, who is tipped to join Real Madrid's coaching staff next season.

"This year the player who's impressed me most is not actually playing in the Champions League. He's playing in 'the other cup' and that's Bale," he told Sky Sports.

"He's unique. He makes things look easy, his pace is frightening, his acceleration is unbelievable because of his ability to go through the gears in very little space.

"Plus, he's very good technically which is also important. We mustn't forget that he plays football very well!

"And he's really impressed me. I've seen him two or three times live, including recently at Lyon, which wasn't necessarily his best game, but where every time he got the ball he can surprise you."

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has described his starlet as 'world class' after another superb performance against Swansea and the former Madrid and Juventus legend does not disagree with Portuguese. 

However, Zidane, who got sent off in the 2006 World Cup final for headbutting Marco Materazzi, doesn't feel that Bale should be compared to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi yet. 

"He's perhaps not quite at the level of the other two, but he's different," Zidane added.

"So personally I don't think he's far off."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Football
Gareth Bale