Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen insists Gareth Bale “could play for every team in the world”.
The in-form Welshman is a long-term transfer target of Real Madrid, with a bid from the Bernabeu expected when the transfer window re-opens in the summer.
Bale has also attracted interest from Barcelona and Vertonghen believes that Clasico rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the only two players that trump the Wales star at the moment.
“Of course you have Messi and Ronaldo,” Vertonghen told Sky Sports.
“And then you’ve got a lot of players who are very close to each other and I think Gareth Bale is one of them, like at the level of the best teams in the world.
“He could play for every team in the world. For me he’s a world class player.”
The 25-year-old also defended Goran Popov, after the Macedonaian was sent off while playing against Spurs on Sunday for spitting towards Kyle Walker.
“I think he knows,” said Vertonghen. “It’s an emotional reaction and I think he knows he’s wrong.
“I played a few times against him in Holland as well. He’s a very fair player, so I think it’s just an emotional reaction.”