Tottenham Hotspur’s jet-heeled midfielder Gareth Bale was on Sunday honored by his fellow players, winning the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year at a London ceremony.
The former Southampton player becomes only the third player to win both awards in the same season and the fifth to claim the main prize twice.
“It’s a massive honor,” the 23-year-old said. “To be voted by your peers is one of the biggest things in the game. When you look at the list there are some massive names on it and the other nominees have been unbelievable this year, but I couldn’t have done it without the team. They have been fantastic this year and so has the manager [Andre Villas-Boas]. I couldn’t have won it without them, so I would like to give them all a big thank you as well.”
PFA chairman Gordon Taylor said: “Gareth has had a tremendous season. He has had the same impact on Welsh football as [Manchester United’s] Ryan Giggs did.”
Bale, who has scored 19 Premier League goals this season, faced stiff competition from Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Manchester United’s Robin van Persie.
Suarez is currently serving a 10-match ban after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, but he managed to make the team of the year.
The PFA team also included Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and midfielder Michael Carrick, along with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Juan Mata.