Ledley King praises Gareth Bale's work ethic on Soccer AM

Last Updated: 20/08/13 2:17pm

Ledley King compared Spurs ace Gareth Bale to Cristiano Ronaldo on Soccer AM and says he was 'amazed' by the attacker's match-winning performances last season.

Wales international Bale has been a big-money target of Real Madrid this summer after his 21-goal haul in 2012/13 and his future at White Hart Lane is still uncertain.

"As soon as he joined the club you could see he had amazing talent."

Ledley King

A foot injury means Bale won't feature in Spurs' new campaign opener against Crystal Palace on Sunday but King applauded his performances which, last term, helped steer the club to top five Premier League finish.

"He amazed me last season with the amount of times he won games with amazing goals for the club," said former Tottenham defender King.

"They just kept on coming."

Hard work

Things weren't always rosy for Bale at Spurs - it's well publicised that the club failed to win any of his first 24 matches for the side - but King credited the former Southampton star's hard work, dedication and talent for his transformation into one of the leading lights of world of football.

And King even suggested Bale's switch from the wing to playing behind Tottenham's frontman reminded him of Cristiano Ronaldo's hugely successful role at Manchester United.

"He had a record that for the first 20-odd games where he couldn't win but that wasn't down to him and once he got that off his back you started to see him flourish," said the former Spurs and England defender.

"As soon as he joined the club you could see he had amazing talent; the left foot he had on him, the size of him, the way he got up and down the left...

"I also think what has surprised a few people is the way he has adapted his game and is now able to play through the middle a little bit more, similar to Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at Manchester United.

"You could see he had talent as soon as he joined but he's worked hard and he just needed his confidence to grow."

Retirement

King, meanwhile, was forced into retirement in July 2012 due to his long-standing knee problems.

However, the cultured centre-half says his unusual training regime - which involved him swimming and working out in the gym while his team-mates trained outside - helped him adapt to life after his football playing days.

"It wasn't as hard as I thought," King said on retirement.

"I'd had five years of not training so I had been isolated and in a way that probably helped coming away from the game. I wasn't around the lads on a daily basis so when I did come away from the game it wasn't as hard.

"But obviously I still miss playing."

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