Birmingham - Gareth Bale was hailed as one of the world's best players on Wednesday after a quickfire hat-trick steered Tottenham to a 4-0 win over Aston Villa.
The Welsh international scored in the 61st, 73rd and 84th minutes at Villa Park as Tottenham went into fourth place in the Premier League.
"He is up there with the best," said Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas.
"He is showing tremendous skills and talent, I think he is improving every day - he is such a young player - and he is helping the team. He is one of our major assets.
"The team changes so much from one year to another, and as he keeps learning, he will feel even better and probably his performances will improve. His finishing is very accurate. He has been prolific in front of goal this season and I think he is enjoying getting into those positions."