Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand recently claimed that Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is above legendary Ronaldinho, purely in the Champions League. However, he admitted there is a difference in the levels of both players in their overall careers and skills.
Ferdinand was part of the panel that picked the Greatest XI in the Champions League era on BT Sport. When Ronaldinho and Bale's names came up in the conversation, the former England international promptly said:
“Hold up, you can’t mention Ronaldinho and Gareth Bale in the same sentence."
However, when mentioned that it was based purely on their respective Champions League careers, Ferdinand said:
“Gareth Bale, he’s above Ronaldinho in that sense."
“Gareth Bale, don’t get me wrong, he has had a ridiculous career. What he has won. The moments he has had. But the moments Ronaldinho has had (in his career), the moments will live with generations of people forever.”
Ronaldinho is arguably the most skillful football the world has ever seen. The former Barcelona forward beat defenders with ease while displaying immense skill and trickery on the ball. He has won many team and individual trophies with Brazil and multiple clubs, including the 2005 Ballon d'Or. However, he won only one Champions League trophy with Barcelona in the 2005-06 season.
Bale, meanwhile, now has five Champions League titles after Real Madrid's triumph this season over Liverpool in the final on May 28. He is also the second highest scorer in the finals of the competition with three goals, just one behind Cristiano Ronaldo (4).
He has produced some iconic moments in the competition, with the most iconic being his performance in the 2018 final against Liverpool. He scored from a ridiculous overhead kick before dishing out a fierce shot from 40 yards out.
Gareth Bale set to depart Real Madrid after nine roller-coaster years
The Welshman joined Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for a then-world-record fee of €100 million. He lit up Spanish football in his first year itself with his iconic goal in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona. He ran half the pitch as defender Marc Bartra tried to push him off the touchline to score the winner in their 2-1 win.
He also helped Real Madrid win their 10th Champions League title by scoring in their 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the final.
That set the tone as the Welshman won five Champions League titles, three La Liga titles, three UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups. He scored 106 goals and made 67 assists in 258 appearances for the club in all competitions.
However, it wasn't all glory as his injury issues kept flaring up in the seasons post his debut. His relationship with some of the Spanish Madrid fans and the Spanish media declined as well.
As per Marca, his agent Jonathan Barnett has shared that the Welshman will now leave Real Madrid with his contract expiring this summer. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup coming up, it will be interesting to see where the Welshman moves next.
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