Gareth Bale is Tottenham Hotspur’s super shy superstar.
The Welsh firebrand is having yet another storming season at White Hart Lane, and week after week is compared to Real Madrid sensation, Cristiano Ronaldo.
It is Bale’s fearless, relentless forward motion that has led to his assignation as the Premier League’s new CR7, and has reportedly made him a transfer priority for Madrid.
It is that same drive that has made the softly spoken 23-year-old from Cardiff the symbol of Spurs’ ambitions.
And Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas says Bale- who enhanced his reputation with yet another brace against Newcastle over the weekend- has become Tottenham’s talisman and inspiration.
AVB says that while Bale may not be the most vocal or in-your-face of leaders, he guides Tottenham by way of example.
"You don't have to express yourself with words to become a leader, you can do so through actions and performances. Gareth is so driven by the team's objective he leads by example,” Villas-Boas said after Bale’s weekend goal exploits.
AVB also insists that the comparisons with Ronaldo are justified, and that like CR7 is to his team-mates, Bale is indeed and “inspiration” to his fellow Spurs.
"He is on a par with the best players in the world. His hunger has increased. His goals are helping the team. He is having a great individual season. Ronaldo plays on the left side, coming in on to his right foot. We have tried Gareth on the right a couple of times. He is so effective through the middle,” AVB said.
"He is such a good player he is able to play in different roles. How can we keep him? If we improve as the season goes on, as he gets more enjoyment because things go well individually and collectively, he will be able to feel better about himself.
"He is an inspiration to anybody. With him around, other players are able to promote their own potential."
Meanwhile, vanquished Magpies boss, Alan Pardew, admits that thoughts of Bale consumed his pre-match preparations at the weeked.
But even so, the devastating Welshman came up trumps.
"We did a lot of work, setting up to try and stop him [Bale], but there are still going to be those moments in a game when he takes over," Pardew said.
"His technique, the way he hits that ball, is the problem. He is a great example of a player who keeps working hard, and gets his opportunity."