(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale was named the English Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) player of the year on Sunday after a number of fine performances this season.
The speedy Welshman, who scored a stunning hat-trick at holders Inter Milan in the Champions League group stages, beat off competition from the likes of Arsenal’s Samir Nasri and Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez.
“It is an honour really when you look at the names that have won it before and it just makes you go ‘wow’ really,” said Bale, the fourth Welsh player to win the award after Ian Rush, Mark Hughes and Ryan Giggs.
Bale, who can also play at left back and has been lauded by Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and several clubs in Italy, was barely a Tottenham regular until this season.
The 21-year-old has scored 11 goals for Spurs in all competitions in the current campaign as they push for fourth spot in the league and was also on the shortlist for young player of the year, with that award going to Jack Wilshere.
Midfielder Wilshere has forced his way into Arsenal and England’s first team this term thanks to his fantastic close control and mature passing ability for a 19-year-old.