Gareth Bale’s agent has risked upsetting Cristiano Ronaldo after claiming his client is now at “the same level” as the Real Madrid superstar.
Jonathan Barnett, who accused Real Madrid players - per Sky Sports - of not passing enough to Bale last season, believes the Wales international has already achieved as much with the ten-time European champions as Ronaldo.
However, Bale is yet to win a La Liga title with Real Madrid - Ronaldo lifted the trophy in 2012 - and the 26-year-old has scored 272 fewer goals for Los Blancos than the three-time Ballon d’Or winner.
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"In terms of achievements with the team, [they’re] now at the same level,” Barnett was quoted as saying at Soccerex by the Mirror. "Cristiano is Cristiano. It’s not a question of competing against him. Nobody can take away what he has done.
"I don’t know about what tournaments he has won but Gareth isn’t too far behind.
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“What matters most is that the team wins trophies; But he could win the Ballon d’Or."
Bale is world-class - but not at Ronaldo's level
Bale enjoyed a hugely successful first season at the Bernabeu, following his record-breaking move from Tottenham in the summer of 2013, winning both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.
Last season he also helped Real Madrid add the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup to their trophy cabinet - but it proved to be a frustrating campaign for both Bale and his club.
Rumours were rife earlier this summer that Bale could be tempted to leave Real Madrid after being targeted by sections of the Bernabeu faithful last season, but the powerful forward wanted to stay in the Spanish capital.
Bale has been moved to a central position, behind Karim Benzema, by Rafael Benitez after telling Real Madrid staff he no longer wanted to play on the right flank.
Before the international break he scored twice in a 5-0 win over Real Betis and will be looking to continue his impressive start to the 2015-16 campaign by getting on the scoresheet against Espanyol on Saturday.
Although Bale is undoubtedly a world-class player, his agent’s suggestion that he is at the same level as Ronaldo is fanciful to say the least.
Is Gareth Bale now at the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!