Paper News and Gossip: Gareth Bale Lauds Cristiano Ronaldo as World's Best

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterNovember 24, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Gareth Bale Lauds Cristiano Ronaldo as World's Best

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    After what will be one of the best weeks of his life, it will come as no surprise to see Cristiano Ronaldo as a focus for the Sunday newspapers.

    And Gareth Bale believes his Real Madrid team-mate has now eclipsed Lionel Messi as the best in the world.

    Elsewhere in the Sunday newspapers, Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata have been linked with moves away from the Premier League.

    But who else is making the headlines in the papers on Sunday? Read on to find out more.

Cristiano Ronaldo Has Eclipsed Lionel Messi as World's Best, Says Gareth Bale

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    Real Madrid star Ronaldo has enjoyed a dream week after almost single-handedly guiding Portugal to the World Cup finals.

    The former Manchester United star's display against Sweden has also seen him installed as favourite to win the Ballon d'Or in January, and he was on the scoresheet again on Saturday as Real defeated Almeria.

    But Bernabeu team-mate Bale insists such performances come as no surprise and that Ronaldo is the best in the world, reports Carl Eldridge of the Daily Star Sunday:

    Ronaldo is nothing short of ­unbelievable. I think he has shown that consistently.

    It seems he hasn’t scored fewer than two goals every game since I have been here and at the moment, for me, he’s the world’s best player.

    I think he has proved that week in, week out and the number of goals he has scored this season is just mind-blowing. He’d be the ideal winner of the Ballon D’or.

    I don’t think anyone is near him right now. Look at his goals and performance for Portugal the ­other day – they prove he is ­undoubtedly the best in the world.

    Rob Shepherd of the Mail On Sunday claims that a United move for Ronaldo after the World Cup next year remains a possibility.

Lionel Messi Hails Robin van Persie as "Complete Striker"

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    Barcelona star Messi might not have enjoyed such a good time recently after injury and seeing Ronaldo edge ahead of him in the betting for the Ballon d'Or (per Sky Sports), but he still found time to praise Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.

    The Argentina international has been hugely impressed by the Netherlands forward and has declared him as "the complete player," as Jim Hughes of the Sunday Mirror reported.

    Messi also applauded Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil as the best player Germany have, according to the report:

    Ozil is such a brilliant and creative player.

    Germany has produced a lot of excellent players, the great thing for them is that they are all very young and have a long future with the national team.

    But in my opinion Ozil is by far the best.

    Meanwhile, Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola has ruled out ever making a move for Messi, reports Richard Arrowsmith of the Mail On Sunday.

Patrice Evra Linked with Manchester United Exit and Return to France

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    Manchester United defender Evra is the subject of interest from Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, reports Phil Thomas of The Sun (subscription required).

    According to the report, the 32-year-old France international left-back is keen to finish his career in his home nation, and a lucrative move could be on the cards.

    United boss David Moyes has been persistently linked with a move for Everton full-back Leighton Baines after missing out on the Everton star in the summer, as David Wright of the Daily Star reported this week.

    And the potential departure of Evra, whose contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the season, could free up funds.

    Meanwhile, United striker Wayne Rooney has hit back at claims made by former manager Sir Alex Ferguson about his fitness, reports Matt Law of the Sunday Mirror.

Chelsea Midfielder Juan Mata Linked with Juventus and Atletico Loan Move

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    Chelsea midfielder Mata wants clarification over his future as he attempts to seal a place in the Spain World Cup squad for Brazil 2014, reports Tom Hopkinson of the Sunday People.

    And according to the report, Juventus and Atletico Madrid are now preparing loan moves for the midfielder in January.

    Meanwhile, Rob Shepherd of the Mail On Sunday says that a move by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho for AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli should not be ruled out.

    Chelsea defender Ashley Cole is among a number of players, along with Jack Wilshere and Joe Hart, who could be frozen out of England's World Cup plans, reports Dean Jones of the Sunday People.

Bits and Pieces: Brendan Rodgers, Gus Poyet, Gary Neville, Leyton Orient

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    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was left furious by Everton midfielder Kevin Mirallas' tackle on Luis Suarez during the frantic Merseyside derby on Saturday, reports Joe Bernstein of the Mail On Sunday.

    The Anfield boss believes the response would have been "interesting" if the Uruguay international had made the same challenge, while Mirallas was shown only a yellow card.

    Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has demanded an apology from referees' chief Mike Riley after defender Wes Brown was dismissed during the defeat at Stoke City on Saturday, reports Ralph Ellis of the Sunday Mirror.

    Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has used his Mail On Sunday column to admit he was wrong to harass match officials during his playing days.

    Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade has called for the Swindon fan who punched Os goalkeeper Jamie Jones during their League One match on Saturday to be banned for life, reports The Observer.

    Pressure is growing on the football authorities to re-introduce standing areas to football grounds, reports Nick Harris of the Mail On Sunday.