Football - Tottenham's Bale named English PFA player of the year

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gareth Bale became only the third person to be named the English Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) player of the year and young player of the year in the same season on Sunday.

Reuters

The 23-year-old Wales international, who also won the main award in 2011, has scored 19 Premier League goals this season - a tally bettered only by Manchester United striker Robin van Persie with 25 and controversial Liverpool forward Luis Suarez (23).

He took the main award ahead of Van Persie, Suarez, Manchester United's Michael Carrick and Chelsea pair Eden Hazard and Juan Mata.

The winger joins Cristian Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Mark Hughes in earning the main award twice. Ronaldo in 2007 and Andy Gray in 1977 won both awards in the same year.

Flying Bale's form has made him one of the most feared players in the Premier League and Europe and manager Andre Villas-Boas has said the Welshman's ability to take free kicks compared favourably with the likes of Real Madrid's Ronaldo.

Liverpool contender Suarez was given a 10-match ban on Wednesday for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic when the sides met at Anfield last weekend and served an eight-game suspension last season for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

The PFA Premier League team of the year was David de Gea (Manchester United), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur), Leighton Baines (Everton), Mata, Carrick, Hazard, Bale, Suarez and Van Persie.

The Championship (second division) team of the year included two blasts from the past with Schmeichel and Ince named. However, they were Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel, son of former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter and his old team mate Paul Ince's son Tom (Blackpool).

View Comments