Rio Ferdinand has dismissed the view that Gareth Bale is a talent to rank alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Manchester United defender stating the Welshman has to do more to be compared to the two best players in the world.

In a series of tweets, Ferdinand admitted he had "been shown a clean pair of heels" already this season by Bale, who is enjoying a superb season for Tottenham Hotspur.

Bale has now scored 15 Premier League goals, including a breathtaking last-minute winner from 25 yards in Monday night's 3-2 win over West Ham.

But Ferdinand wrote: "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."