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Bale hopes to emulate Ronaldo

Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale has described Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as "the best all-round player in the world" and said the Portuguese was an inspiration for him to improve his own game.

• Blog: Holtby and Bale provide hope

Bale, 23, joined Tottenham Hotspur from Southampton in 2007 as a left-back by trade, but he has since flourished to become one of the most highly regarded wingers in world football.

The Wales international has been regularly linked with both Barcelona and Ronaldo's Real Madrid over the past two years, and Bale is a huge admirer of the former Manchester United superstar.

"You put your targets high," Bale told the Evening Standard. "The way Ronaldo plays, he's the best all-round player in the world. People have said things in the past and the stuff he does is similar to what I do.

"He is a benchmark for every player who wants to be that good and it's useful to look at other players, watch how they do things and take my game to another level.

"Look at the way he takes free-kicks - he scores a lot of goals from them. He is obviously doing something right and he is on another level. Can I get there? One day. He's one of the players who we all try to match. Apart from Lionel Messi, Ronaldo is on a different planet and I'd love to be half as good as him."

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