Cole thought he had won the game last night when he put his team 2-1 up in the second half, but Bale's second strike left the Londoner in awe of the flying Welshman.
"Our goalkeeper was fantastic and we looked strong at times, but you can't help the goal from Bale - it's world-class," Cole told West Ham's website.
"He could be up there with the best players in the Premier League's history. He has still got some work to do, but he has certainly got the potential to be up there with the (Cristiano) Ronaldos and the (Thierry) Henrys that this country has seen. He is great to watch, but he's a nightmare to play against, unfortunately."