29 Apr 2013

Tottenham's Bale named English PFA player of the year

11:22 am on 29 April 2013

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gareth Bale's become only the third person to be named the English Professional Footballers' Association player of the year and young player of the year in the same season.

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's 23.

Bale 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 Thursday 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.

PFA Premier League team of the year: 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 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, who plays as a winger at Blackpool.

The All Whites striker Chris Wood missed out on the second division XI.