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Profile: Gareth Bale

Winner announcement: Monday evening, 6 December on BBC Wales radio, online and television, with review of the sporting year at later date.

Gareth Bale has emerged this year as one of the most exciting young footballers in Europe.

Gareth Bale
Bale did not score that night but dismantled one of the best right-backs in the world

The 21-year-old has gone from strength-to-strength at club Tottenham Hotspur, released from his left-back spot by manager Harry Redknapp to a more attacking role on the left wing.

Bale scored a fantastic Champions League hat-trick against Inter Milan in October, almost single-handedly dragging Spurs back into the game after they had gone 4-0 behind at the San Siro.

Having lost that game in Italy 4-3, Bale produced a man-of-the-match display in the return fixture at White Hart lane in early November as Spurs gained their revenge 3-1.

The young Welshman did not score that night but dismantled one of the best right-backs in the world - Brazilian Maicon - and set up two of Spurs' three goals.

Bale has won 27 caps for Wales and has been a shining light for the struggling international team this year, being named the Wales Footballer of the Year at a ceremony in Cardiff in October 2009.

He was raised in Cardiff and attended Eglwys Newydd primary school before going to Whitchurch High School, and was then taken on as a scholar by Southampton Football Club, before signing for Spurs in May 2007 in a £5m deal.

Bale made his Wales debut in a 2-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago in May 2006, aged just 16 years and 315 days to make him Wales' youngest international, and became Wales' youngest goal-scorer the following October when he curled home a free-kick in a 5-1 loss against Slovakia in Cardiff.

see also
BBC Wales Sports Personality 2010
04 Dec 10 |  Wales
Profile: Jazz Carlin
29 Nov 10 |  Wales
Profile: Nathan Cleverly
29 Nov 10 |  Wales
Profile: Dai Greene
29 Nov 10 |  Wales
Profile: Becky James
29 Nov 10 |  Wales
Profile: Robert Weale
29 Nov 10 |  Wales
England 'jealous' Bale is Welsh
03 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Bale named Wales' player of year
04 Oct 10 |  Welsh


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