Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale was named the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year on Sunday.
Bale finished ahead of Carlos Tevez of Manchester City and Arsenal’s Samir Nasri, who came third, capping a remarkable season for the 21-year-old Welsh wizard.
Also nominated as the Young Player of the Year award, Bale scooped the main prize as reward for his season with Tottenham, as he played a major part in the club’s Champions League campaign, in which they made the quarter-finals at the first attempt.
”I am more than delighted really,” Bale said after becoming just the fourth Welshman to win the award, after Ian Rush, Mark Hughes and Ryan Giggs.
”It is a massive award and it is a great honour to receive, especially from other fellow professionals. It is an honour really when you look at the names that have won it before and it just makes you go ‘wow’ really.”
”There haven’t been too many Welshmen to have won the trophy but it is great and it is great for me personally.
“And it is not just for me, it is for all my team-mates that have helped me through the season and it is kind of for everyone really.”
Bale joined Tottenham from Southampton in 2007 but struggled initially to have a big impact at White Hart Lane.
Injuries played a part in Bale’s slow start to his Spurs career, and he credits playing regularly as the reason for his improvement, as well as his team-mates.
”At the beginning I wasn’t really playing much and I always believed in myself that if I did get a run in the team – which I eventually did – that I would be able to prove what I can do,” he said.
”That did happen and I kind of never really looked back from there. Playing in a good team with good players definitely helped me a lot and all the boys have been fantastic, the manager has been fantastic, giving me my chance, and it is something I want to improve on.”
Bale’s club manager, Harry Redknapp, believes that the 21-year-old’s award is fully deserved.
“It is great for him, he deserves it,” Redknapp said.
“It is a great award for him to win and I could not be more pleased. There were plenty of people that could have won it.”
“Listen, you look at the people that have won it, for Gareth to have won it at such a young age it must be the proudest moment of his life. It is incredible.”
“He has been brilliant, I am really pleased for him and he is a nice lad, which is the most important thing.”
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