Tottenham wingerGareth Bale received his third major individual honor in less than a week on Thursday when England’s Football Writers’ Association named him Footballer of the Year. Last weekend, the Welshman also scooped up the Professional Footballers’ Association Player and Young Player of the Year awards. Bale becomes the 14th player to win both the PFA and FWA awards in the same season.
In the end, Bale received 53 percent of the vote, with runner-up Robin van Persie receiving 43 percent. Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata was a distant third, while Liverpool striker Luis Suarez picked up just two votes, despite scoring 30 goals in all competitions. FWA Chairman Andy Dunn pointed out that behavior is one of the voting parameters, which could explain why Suarez, who is currently serving a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea’sBranislav Ivanovic, received so few votes.
Regarding the close race between Bale and van Persie, Dunn said: "I think it would have been more conclusive had [Bale] not been booked for simulation on occasions, but I think there's a feeling among the writers that he has addressed that issue.”
Bale is Spurs' first winner of the FWA award since David Ginola in 1999, and the first Welshman to receive it since Everton's Neville Southall in 1985.