'Real Madrid-bound Bale is like Messi' – Ricky Villa

The Tottenham legend believes that the time is right for the Wales international to leave White Hart Lane, though the amounts being spent by clubs seem “aggressive”

By Alfredo Merlo | Goal Argentina

Tottenham legend Ricky Villa believes Real Madrid-bound Gareth Bale is at a level where he can prove the difference in any match, much like Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

The Welshman failed to report in for training with Spurs on Tuesday as he waits for his £86 million move to the Santiago Bernabeu to be completed and the Argentine hero feels that he is worthy of a move to an elite club.

“Bale is a very fast player. Last season, he didn’t create or participate a lot in the team play but he did score a lot of goals,” Villa told Goal.

“I think that he has even got to be compared with Messi, differences aside. Like Messi, Bale is lethal in the last 30 metres of the pitch. He’s a difference-maker.”

The former White Hart Lane favourite feels that the time is right for all parties for the former Southampton player to make the move to Spain, with a chance for Spurs to secure and develop starlets such as Erik Lamela, for whom they have had a £30m bid accepted by Roma.

“If you ask me, I think Gareth had to leave Tottenham,” Villa added. “It’s not good to keep a player when a club come looking for him and offer so much money.

“For Tottenham, it’s a good thing that Gareth leaves, that there is a lot of money coming in and that they can start developing young players like Lamela. It’s a more-than-interesting transition. Bale’s time at Spurs was up.”

With Madrid set to pay a world-record fee for the forward, Villa says that he is uncomfortable with the amounts of money being exchanged in the modern transfer market.

“I do agree with some comments I heard and I think it’s aggressive for a club to pay so much money for a footballer,” he remarked.

“To pay so many millions of dollars for a football player when there are a lot of workers that won’t even earn $100,000 (£63,000) in their lifetimes, I think shows that there is something wrong. The money spent on Bale is money that society is missing somewhere else.”

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