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Gareth Bale is following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo

Gareth Bale 3

Only Cristiano Ronaldo has won all three major individual awards in one season. Now Gareth Bale joins the list.

Gareth Bale has done it; the clean sweep; after being named the Football Writers Player of the Year. The Tottenham Hotspur forward earned 53% of the vote compared to Robin Van Persie of Manchester United and Holland in second place with 43%; and Juan Mata of Chelsea and Spain in third.

Other players to receive nods from the Football Writers Association included the likes of Santi Cazorla, Christian Benteke, Pablo Zabaleta and the ever divisive Southampton striker Rickie Lambert (some guy called Luis Suarez got a couple of notches under his belt as well apparently).

But none of the other names could usurp the Spurs player who has adopted a more central role under the guidance of the excellent Andre Villas Boas this year with devastating effect; for other teams at least.

The clean sweep in question then refers to the winning of a trio of individual awards for the 23-year-old; after picking up the PFA Young Player of the Year and PFA Player of the Year awards at the weekend he is now a triple winner this season.

Before picking up the FWA this week he was already in illustrious company in regards to winning both the PFA Player and Young player awards. Previously only two other men had completed that feat; Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United and Portugal in 2006-07 and Andy Gray of Aston Villa and Scotland in 1976-77.

Now however he is in even more illustrious company with just Ronaldo joining him as a winner of all three awards in one year; as the late Emlyn Hughes of Liverpool picked up the Football Writers gong in 1977.

Gareth Bale is in esteemed company therefore with Ronaldo, now considered potentially one of the greatest ever to play the game, the only other man to have held all three accolades at one given time.

For Tottenham Hotspur fans it is a moment to be proud but also fretful that he may follow in the footsteps of the Portuguese winger and join Real Madrid; where the envious eyes of Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane continue to court the Cardiff-born wizard.

But if Spurs can keep him, and it is a big if, they may just have the future worlds best in their ranks already.

What do you make of Bale being on par with Ronaldo?

image: © James Boyes

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