Ferdinand plays down Bale hype
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Gareth Bale must keep producing top-class displays to be considered the world's best.
The Tottenham winger has been in sensational form of late, scoring 15 English Premier League goals this season to alert the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City.
Bale surged past Ferdinand to score in a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford earlier this season, but the former England defender says the 23-year-old must show this form for far longer to become one of the world's best.
Ferdinand tweeted: "People mentioning Bale in the same breath as @Cristiano + Messi really don't know football! Bale been 1 of best 2 in PL this year but...He is not on CR7 + Messi's level yet...he carries on doing what he is doing for 2/3yrs then there can be a debate.
"Bale showed me a clean pair of heals once this year so I'm in good position to judge! CR7 + Messi have been on another planet for 4-5yrs #consistent."
Tottenham sit in third place in Andre Villas-Boas' debut season at White Hart Lane, with Bale's brace in a 3-2 win over West Ham on Monday leaving them four points clear of rivals Arsenal.
Arsenal travel to Tottenham on Sunday, when a win for the home side would leave them seven points clear of Arsene Wenger's side in the race for Champions League qualification.