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Apr 29, 2013

AVB: Bale up there with Ronaldo

Gareth Bale has been voted the PFA player of the year and young player of the year for the 2012-13 season

Andre Villas-Boas has likened PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year Gareth Bale to Cristiano Ronaldo.

• Brewin: First among equals
• Blog: Bale deserves awards

Bale became just the third player in history to pick up both awards on the same night on Sunday – following in the footsteps of Andy Gray and Ronaldo himself.

The Tottenham forward has had a fine season which has often drawn comparisons with the Real Madrid player, due to both his playing style and the way in which he has developed his game in recent months.

"There are similarities," Spurs manager Villas-Boas said. "Both are extremely technical, powerful and pacy.

"They grew up as strikers, but became wingers. Gareth is now playing a more advanced role. Ronaldo is also able to play that role up front."

Bale's heroics have also drawn praise from Tottenham legends Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles, who are both desperate to see the Wales international commit his future to the club.

Bale's impressive displays this season have led to renewed speculation that he is set for a big-money move away from White Hart Lane this summer, with Real Madrid and Barcelona both believed to be interested.

But Villa, who made 168 appearances for Spurs, hopes Bale sticks around for a few years before seeking pastures new.

"He really is a great player, a top player,'' Villa told Press Association Sport. "He is one of these players who can do different things. I expect that he will stay at the club - they have a chance to qualify for Europe and this is a good point for him. I expect him to play for the club for two or three more years.

"Everyone wants to play for these big, big clubs, but he has a lot of things to do for Tottenham. Maybe in the next few years he will need to move, but at the moment I believe he is expecting to win something important with this club. This is very important for him, I think."

Ardiles, who moved to Spurs 35 years ago with compatriot Villa, is also hopeful that the former Southampton player will stay at the club.

"As Andre Villas-Boas has said we need to be in Europe to keep him and I think this is what is going to happen," Ardiles said. "He is very happy playing at Spurs - he is a big idol there and a big hero. At the moment he is very happy indeed. From the point of view of a Tottenham supporter, I hope he stays for as long as possible at the club."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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