Dani Carvajal believes Gareth Bale has what it takes to replace Cristiano Ronaldo as the main man at Real Madrid once the Portugal international’s level drops.
Ronaldo has been below his best in this campaign after missing the start of the season due to a knee injury, whereas Bale has been in sublime form for Madrid.
Both men have recently signed lucrative contract extensions, Ronaldo until 2021 and Bale for a further 12 months beyond that.
Carvajal feels Ronaldo still has a few good years in him, backing him to win the Ballon d’Or this time around, but has little doubt Bale will step up when the time is right.
“I believe Bale is Cristiano’s heir,” Carvajal told AS.
“Time passes and there will be a day when Cristiano is no longer on the same level, just like has happened with Raul and [Luis] Figo in the past. We do not know when it will be, but I think Bale is the right man for the job once that happens.
“I can imagine Cristiano being here until he is 36, but it is not easy because the demands at Madrid are very high. He will be in a great mood right now, because he won an award this week and renewed with Madrid and Nike.
“He always demands the best from himself and he can therefore sometimes look angry with himself. But that ambition has been key to all his goals and the Ballons d’Or he won.
“I think Cristiano deserves to win the Ballon d’Or again for what he has achieved this year. He won the Champions League and captained Portugal to Euro 2016 glory. Plus he has scored loads of goals. He deserves it.”