The 23-year-old was helpless as Croatia defeated Wales 2-0 on Tuesday night, but the former Derby County and West Ham United defender was impressed with Bale's contribution and went as far as saying that he is a better player than Ryan Giggs.
Stimac told the Daily Post: "Bale is one of the top five players in the world, a fantastic wonderful player. I like him very much, very good.
"When I was playing in England, I played against Ryan Giggs and of course he was a good player too - world class.
"But I think Bale is better than Giggs. He has all the skill of Giggs but he is stronger and much more difficult for a team to deal with because of that."
Bale has scored nine goals in 38 appearances for Wales.