Tottenham's Bale named England's Footballer of the Year

LONDON Thu May 2, 2013 4:46pm IST

Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium in Wigan, northern England, April 27, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium in Wigan, northern England, April 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gareth Bale was named England's Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association on Thursday.

The Wales international, 23, topped the poll of journalists with a narrow victory over Manchester United's Dutch international forward Robin van Persie, who won it last year when he was at Arsenal. Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata came third.

Bale is the first Spurs player to win the world's oldest individual award since David Ginola in 1999 and the first Wales international to claim it since Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall in 1985.

"I've been very fortunate to play in such a fantastic team and I owe a lot to my team-mates and obviously the manager who has shown such faith in me," Bale told the FWA

FWA chairman Andy Dunn told Reuters: "In a contest for votes that took so many late twists and turns, Gareth's penchant for the spectacular captured the imagination.

"He is a player who is rising inexorably towards the rarefied levels of world stars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Lets hope he lights up the Premier League for many seasons to come."

Bale has scored 24 goals in all competitions for Spurs and five for Wales, many of them spectacular strikes from outside the penalty area.

His performances helped Tottenham reach the Europa League quarter-finals and have kept them in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League and a possible return to the Champions League.

He will receive the prestigious FWA trophy at a gala dinner in London next Thursday.

The award completed a personal treble for Bale who on Sunday was also named Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year by his peers in the Professional Footballers' Association. He also won the Player of the Year Award in 2011.

The Footballer of the Year award is the oldest of its kind in world football and was first given to Stanley Matthews in 1948.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Asian Games

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Indian Super League

Indian Super League

New league will lift Indian soccer, says Del Piero.  Full Article 

Bidding Adieu

Bidding Adieu

China's Li Na announces her retirement from tennis.  Full Article 

Selangor Masters

Selangor Masters

Anirban Lahiri stays ahead in Malaysia.  Full Article 

Euro 2020

Euro 2020

London's Wembley stadium to host climax of Euro 2020.  Full Article 

Generous Platini

Generous Platini

Platini plans to keep luxury gift, make charity donation.  Full Article 

F1 Radio Ban

F1 Radio Ban

Formula One revises radio ban after team talks  Full Article 

Defending Ozil

Defending Ozil

Don't make Ozil a scapegoat, warns Arsenal boss.  Full Article 

FIFA Probe

FIFA Probe

FIFA ethics judge promises secrecy in World Cup probe.  Full Article 

Singapore GP

Singapore GP

Alonso lifts Ferrari gloom in Singapore F1 practice.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage