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Capello: Bale the best on the planet

The 21-year-old shot to prominence with several scintillating performances for Spurs in the Champions League this season, including a memorable hat-trick in a losing cause against defending champions Inter Milan.

With Harry Redknapp’s side preparing to face Inter's cross-city rivals AC Milan in the last-16 second leg in North London on Wednesday evening, Capello was quick to identify the Welsh wideman as the Rosseneri's main threat.

"Gareth Bale is today the number one player in the world," the Italian said in The Sun.

"He is the only one who can make a difference in the role he plays as he has pace, technique and strength. Those are three qualities it is hard to find in a player who is not a striker.

"Bale doesn't set out from defence like a full-back. He drives forward and when gets nearer to goal he moves infield and shoots with amazing accuracy.

"Bale reminds me of Roberto Carlos, who was born a left-back and who matured physically and in terms of tactical awareness.

"Carlos was an explosive player and the only one who came even close to Bale."

The former Southampton raider missed Tottenham's 1-0 win at the San Siro three weeks ago with a back complaint and was restricted to a substitute role on Wednesday.

His chances of making Redknapp’s starting line-up had been improved by his reappearance as a second-half substitute in Spurs' 3-3 draw at Wolves in the Premier League over the weekend.

By James Martini