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Bale scoops PFA Player of the Year awards

ESPN staff
April 28, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Gareth Bale becomes the first player since 2007 to win both awards © PA Photos
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Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has won the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award and also been named Young Player of the Year for the 2012/13 season.

Bale, 23, beat off stiff competition from Luis Suarez, Robin van Persie, Michael Carrick, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard to claim the accolade, voted for by his fellow professionals.

The Welshman also picked up the young player gong, awarded to those players aged 23 or under at the start of the season, pipping Hazard, Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere to the prize.

Bale becomes the first person to be crowned both Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007, with the Portuguese also picking up an award from the Football Writers' Association that same year.

He also joins Ronaldo in an prestigious group of two-time winners of the Player of the Year award alongside Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer, who both claimed the award twice while playing for Arsenal and Newcastle respectively.

Bale has enjoyed a fine season with Spurs, scoring 19 goals in 30 Premier League games to help Andre Villas-Boas' side push towards Champions League qualification.

"It's a massive honour," Bale said at the PFA awards ceremony in London. "To be voted by your peers is one of the biggest things in the game. It's great to win it and I am delighted.

"When you look at the list, there are some massive names on it but I couldn't have done it without the team. They have been fantastic this year and so has the manager.

"The other nominees have been unbelievable, they have been outstanding for their clubs and it's a massive moment to win, especially as it's both awards and it's something that I'm extremely proud of."

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