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Tottenham’s Bale Sweeps English Soccer Player of the Year Awards

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale became the third person to be named by his peers as English soccer’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year in the same season.

Bale, 23, joins Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo in winning the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Year accolade twice. The only other players to have won both awards in the same season were Andy Gray in 1977 and Ronaldo 30 years later.

“When you look at the list there are some massive names on it and the other nominees have been unbelievable this year,” Bale said after last night’s ceremony.

Bale this season has scored 24 goals for Spurs, which is chasing a top-four Premier League place that would bring Champions League qualification.

The Welsh winger’s latest goal was in the 2-2 draw at Wigan two days ago, which leaves Tottenham in fifth spot.

Bale previously won the Player of the Year award in 2011. Robin van Persie won it last year, before leaving Arsenal for Manchester United.

Bale beat Luis Suarez of Liverpool and Van Persie to win the Player of the Year award. In the young player category, Bale finished ahead of Eden Hazard of Chelsea, Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke, West Brom striker Romelu Lukaku, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck.

PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE YEAR =============================== David de Gea (Manchester United), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Leighton Baines (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

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