Bale just behind Messi and Ronaldo, Giggs claims
Only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are superior to Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, Wales boss Ryan Giggs has said.
Wales coach Ryan Giggs considers Gareth Bale to be among the elite players just below the level of superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bale has struggled for form and fitness at Real Madrid this season, prompting suggestions he could leave the Santiago Bernabeu.
The forward remains the undisputed main man for Wales, though, and would likely be very much in demand across Europe should he become available in the off-season.
"He's at a fantastic club, he's won three Champions League [titles], so he's happy where he is," Giggs wrote in an article for Sky Sports.
"As a player, you're always battling for your place, no more so than at a big club where it isn't just about 11 players. But without a shadow of a doubt, when Gareth is flying he can get into any team in the world.
"He's among the top players in the world. There's Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and then there's the next tier of players and he's up there with the best of the rest."
Of Bale's fitness, Giggs said: "I think he's coming to a stage where you really know your body, where you know when you can train and when you have to take a down day. It isn't easy but you just have to manage yourself.
"I was 28 or 29 when I started to get to that stage in terms of having to listen to your body and Gareth has to do the same."