Tottenham's Michael Dawson says Gareth Bale is up there with the best
Tottenham captain Michael Dawson believes team-mate Gareth Bale is the best player in the world right now.
Last Updated: 04/03/13 5:05pm
Bale scored his 49th goal for Tottenham on Sunday to help his team to a morale-boosting 2-1 North London derby win over Arsenal at White Hart Lane.
The strike against the Gunners was his 20th of a fine season, which has seen him compared to global superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Some critics, including Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, claim Bale is not in the same class as Ronaldo, who has scored 33 goals for Madrid this season, and three-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi, but Dawson disagrees.
"Gaz is up there with Ronaldo and Messi in terms of ability - he's one of the best players in the world at the moment, and probably the best in the world for me right now," Dawson said in a promotional interview for Topman.
"Some of the things he does would have made Ronaldo blush. His goal this season against Norwich where he picked the ball up in his own half and dribbled past all those players before having the calm and composure to put in the bottom corner... He's been brilliant and credit to him."
Bale has played a huge part in lifting Tottenham up in to third place recently, scoring nine times in his last eight matches.
Although he took his goal superbly on Sunday, Tottenham's victory owed more to some lion-hearted defending from Dawson and his partner at the back Jan Vertonghen.
While Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker resembled statues at the other end of the pitch, Dawson and Vertonghen were at the top of their game, nullifying the threat posed by Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud with some superb last-ditch tackling.
"He has been brilliant from day one," Dawson said of Vertonghen, who snubbed Arsenal to move to Spurs last summer for £10milllion.
"He's a great centre-half and a top guy.
"He has everything in his game. He wants to play, his feet are unbelievable, he can score goals and you saw the kind of tackles he can make.
"We have a good squad of centre backs here. Younes (Kaboul) is coming back in to training, and we have William (Gallas), myself, Caulks (Steven Caulker), and Jan, so the manager has some big decisions (to make), but I'm sure he will enjoy (making them). Competition and quality is high. It makes everyone want to do well."