Friday, 15th February, 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has played down talk that Gareth Bale is just behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the best player in the world stakes.

Bale has been in superb form for Arsenal’s rivals Tottenham Hotspur this year and scored both goals for Andre Villas-Boas’ men last night in their 2-1 Europa League victory over Lyon.

The Welshman has had praise showered on him from all angles, but Wenger thinks he needs to achieve much, much more if he is to be ranked in the same bracket as Ronaldo and Messi.

"I wouldn’t go as far as that", he said on his club’s official site, when asked whether Bale is just behind Ronaldo and Messi.

"He has the potential to develop and become like the players that you compare him to.


"But Ronaldo and Messi, Messi has won two or three Champions League, a few championships, scored 95 goals in a year.

"Let’s not go too quick. You are always very quick [to build someone up], but let’s slow down a little bit."

Spurs are currently occupying the all-important fourth place in the Premier League, which Wenger would dearly love his Arsenal side to grab before the end of the season.

And a key game in that quest comes on 3rd March, when Arsenal meet Spurs; Wenger will hope to keep Bale quiet for 90 minutes at White Hart Lane.

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