Tottenham forward Gareth Bale was crowned PFA Player of the Year for the second time in his career on Sunday.

He became only the third player in history to win the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards in the same season, equaling the records of Cristiano Ronaldo and Andy Gray set in 2007 and 1977, respectively.

The Wales international has been sensational for his team this season with numerous man-of-the-match performances for the north London side, including that brilliant goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford to help his side to three points against the champions earlier in the season.

Bale fought off competition for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and title-winner Robin van Persie to seal the individual award - and few can disagree with the choice.

So, can Bale challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d’or in the near future?

Yes. Bale has been sensational in front of goal this season, with an unbelievable 24 goals - although he is 27 goals behind Ronaldo and a further 34 goals behind Messi, there is no hiding the fact that his tally this season has been exceptional especially since he doesn’t play for two of the best clubs in the world.

Perhaps what has been most impressive is the way he has carried his team this season. The 23-year-old has single-handedly led the north London side to fifth in the table, and that could easily have been higher if he were surrounded by world-class players.

Former French international Zidane said of Bale: "He’s perhaps not quite at the level of the other two, but he’s different. So personally I don’t think he’s far off.” The former Champions League winner has summed up everyone's opinion of the Tottenham player.

Bale is not far behind the La Liga two, but to challenge for football's most prestigious individual award, the Tottenham man will have to play regular Champions League football.

And with links to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, we might eventually get to see him feature in football’s elite competition. But based on ability, Bale is up there with Messi and Ronaldo.


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