Bale: I am my own player
Tottenham star Gareth Bale admits he is flattered at being compared to Cristiano Ronaldo but insists he has his own style and does not listen to media hype.
Bale, 23, has become one of the hottest properties in European football following a series of scintillating displays for club and country this season. He has bagged 23 goals this team, leading to comparisons with Ronaldo in his breakthrough season and speculation he could be joining the Portuguese at Real Madrid in the summer.
"I think anybody would love to be mentioned alongside the best in the world," Bale told Sport Magazine. "It is flattering but I don't really look too much into it.
"I don't model my game on Ronaldo's. I have my own way of playing and it is not exactly the same but we do have similar attributes. I just like watching the best players. I've watched Ronaldo in the past and you do take things from other peoples games to try and improve as a player, which I have - hopefully."
Bale grabbed the world's attention with a thrilling hat-trick in the Champions League against Inter Milan at the San Siro in 2010 before embarrassing Maicon time after time in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane.
Some doubted Bale could improve from these performances but this season has seen the Welshman emerge as one of the world's best attacking players and he says Spurs' manager Andre Villas-Boas must take most of the credit.
"Harry [Redknapp] was more 'go out there and play how you feel and express yourself. With Andre there is a certain shape and a style we play," added Bale. "There is a lot more tactical work. I think it is something that is good to learn. We've done well this year and I think that is down to our defending as well as attacking."
Villas-Boas has converted Bale from an orthodox left-winger (and occasional left-back) into a marauding central player and the results have been devastating with a return of 13 goals in 12 games since the start of the New Year.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report