Wales caretaker boss Brian Flynn insists that Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale can be as good as Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
The 21-year-old's performances in the recent past - including his two showings in the Champions League clashes with Inter - have made the youngster one of the hottest properties in Europe.
Only recently, the young Welshman scored the first goal for his side in what turned out to be a second-half revival, as Spurs beat Arsenal in a league game at the Emirates for the first time in 17 years.
"I have known Gareth's ability from such a young age in many ways it doesn't surprise me the level he is reaching now," Flynn said, according to The Mirror.
"If you look at all the ingredients needed to be a top player, he is up there in a lot of the brackets.
"I judge players in three key areas: attitude, intelligence and ability where he excels in them all.
"There are a lot of players who are quick but his left-foot is as good as anyone.
"Comparisons with Messi wouldn't faze him a little bit.
"He wouldn't be worried by that sort of adulation because of his intelligence as he can handle being a big star.
"Time will show. He is 21 years old. Messi is 23 and in two years time we could be saying yes Gareth is at that level."
Bale had initially endured a difficult time at Spurs following his £5 million move from Southampton, and was thought to have been in line to be offloaded after failing to break into the first-team at the time.
However, now Flynn believes that Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp will be braced against several offers for his prised asses.
"It will be a bombardment I should imagine," added Flynn. "I certainly know Harry is getting ready for a bombardment in January.
"But Gareth loves the club and really enjoys his football at Tottenham. He is playing in the Champions League competing at the highest level.
"He genuinely loves playing for Tottenham and working with Harry.
"At the moment Gareth's is the first name on the team sheet at Tottenham."