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Gareth Bale Voted English Soccer Player of the Year by Peers

Gareth Bale was voted England’s player of the year by his peers after helping Tottenham reach the Champions League soccer quarterfinals and challenge for another top-four finish in the Premier League.

Bale, who’s scored 11 goals in 36 games for Spurs this season, becomes the fourth Welshman to win the Professional Footballers’ Association award after Ian Rush, Mark Hughes and Ryan Giggs. The young player of the year accolade went to Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere.

Bale, 21, beat fellow nominees Charlie Adam, Samir Nasri, Scott Parker, Rafael Van der Vaart, Carlos Tevez and Nemanja Vidic to claim the prize at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London last night.

“It’s the most coveted individual award in football,” Bale said in comments on the PFA’s website. “It is the award players want to win the most.”

Bale’s performances this season, including a hat trick against Inter Milan in the Champions League, have led to the left-sided attacker being linked with a move to clubs including Inter, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He signed a new 4 1/2-year contract with Tottenham last month.

Bale also was nominated for the young player of the year award, which went to Wilshere after the 19-year-old midfielder secured a place in Arsenal’s first team and made his full international debut for England.

“It is my first full season and it’s a massive award, especially as it’s been voted for by my fellow professionals,” Wilshere said. “Arsenal have got a great reputation for bringing young players through, and they keep proving it.”

Bale and Wilshere made the Premier League team of the year, which also featured four players from Manchester United, two more from Arsenal, two from Manchester City and Chelsea’s Ashley Cole.

PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE YEAR: Edwin Van Der Sar (Manchester United), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Nani (Manchester United), Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United).

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