Gareth Bale is "nowhere near on the same level" as Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen.
Tottenham star Bale is set to become the latest 'Galactico' to join the ranks at Real Madrid, where Ronaldo has starred since his world-record move from Manchester United in 2009, but Meulensteen is convinced that the Portuguese superstar will remain the club's most important player.
“I don’t think it will affect him [Ronaldo] that much,” Meulensteen, who spent 16 days as the head coach of Anzhi Makhachkala this summer, revealed in an in-depth interview with the Telegraph. “In my opinion, Bale is nowhere near on the same level, absolutely not. Ronaldo is a far more complete player.
"Bale will still be important. He has time to settle in. It will make Real Madrid stronger, even more powerful. But if for whatever reason Bale came and Ronaldo would leave it would make Real Madrid weaker.”
Meulensteen detailed the lengthy process of transforming Ronaldo from a talented yet often frustrating winger into the world-class Ballon d'Or winner that he is today.
With the help and guidance of the highly-rated Dutch coach, Ronaldo went on to become a goalscoring machine - and eventually the most expensive footballer of all time.
Bale, though, could cost Real Madrid even more than the £80m that Real Madrid paid to Manchester United four years ago.
However, Meulensteen has no doubts that Ronaldo will continue to rule the roost at the Bernabeu.