Gareth Bale: Real Madrid star can become the best - Kevin Keegan
Ex-England boss Kevin Keegan says Gareth Bale could become better than Real Madrid team-mate and World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bale, 25, joined Real for a fee of £85.3m in 2013 from Tottenham, helping the Spanish club claim their 10th European title in his first season.
But he was unfairly criticised by fans and media in his second season and used as a "whipping boy", says Keegan.
"People think he's got to be better than Ronaldo. He could be one day."
Keegan added: "He's also going to be in the shadow of someone like Ronaldo at least until Ronaldo retires."
The Welshman scored 22 goals in his debut campaign followed by 17 in his second at the Bernabeu, although Real failed to win La Liga and the Champions League last season.
Keegan, who took England to Euro 2000, also says Bale has a great chance of playing at the European Championship finals in France with Wales.
Bale scored the winner in Wales' 1-0 win over Belgium in a Euro 2016 qualifier in Cardiff on 12 June.
Chris Coleman's unbeaten team top Group B as they bid to qualify for next summer's tournament in France with four games to go.
"Wales on paper have got a team, you would honestly say, is as good as any," former double European Footballer of the Year Keegan said.
"Beating Belgium for example. Belgium is probably everyone's strongest squad all round.
"Wales have still got some work to do but it would be a great thing for Wales as well because it's been a long long time [since they qualified for a major finals]."