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Former Fulham boss Kit Symons believes Gareth Bale is now ahead of even Cristiano Ronaldo in the pecking order for world’s number one player - and second only to Lionel Messi.

The Wales international has a chance to endorse the praise in the European Championships 2016 when his country take on Slovakia in Bordeaux on Saturday evening.

Note his 2015-16 achievements in the video above.

One might expect the ex-Whites coach, set to rejoin buddy Chris Coleman in the national set-up, to big up one of his own, but Symons says there are solid reasons why Bale is the world’s second best.

“The scary thing is Gareth will get better,” Symons said.

“He was always a great player in the team- and now he’s a great player for the team, because he’s playing with a lot of mates.

“People talk about the goals, but his actual work is fantastic for Wales on the defensive side.

“He does the dirty side, as we call it.

Verdict: Chris Coleman (R) with Kit Symons during training

RELATED: Former Fulham boss Chris Coleman pokes fun at gaffe by another ex-Whites boss

If you’ve got a superstar willing to do that, and be on his hands and knees by the end, that give so much confidence to the others.”

Bale played his part in getting Real their 11th Champions League win against city rivals Atletico a couple of weeks ago.

His was the back header to Sergio Ramos for the opening goal, and Bale converted his penalty to send Real on to a 5-3 win by spot kicks in Milan.

The one true Welsh superstar earns a minimum £250k-a-week. But Symons insists the money’s nice, but not essential.

“When he was younger those things were more important to him, Now he’s matured that’s important to him,” Symons added.

“He doesn’t run his socks off for the money - trust me.”

Even so, here are a couple of hilarious links on what Bale's weekly wage can buy, including a sausage roll each for the entire population of the Channel Isles!

http://whatbaleearns.co.uk

http://www.whatfootballersearn.com/player/gareth-bale