Clubs: Southampton FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year: 2011
• Bale was born in the Welsh capital of Cardiff but began his career in England at Southampton, making his debut on 17 April 2006, aged 16.
• Became Wales's youngest senior international, aged 16 years and 315 days, when he made his bow on 27 May 2006 in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in the Austrian city of Graz; also became his country's youngest goalscorer in a UEFA EURO 2008 qualifier against Slovakia on 7 October 2006.
• Joined Tottenham on a four-year contract in May 2007 but his progress was restricted by injury and, remarkably, he had to wait until January 2010 to make his first winning start for the club in the Premier League − at the 23rd attempt.
• Moved from left-back to left wing − in front of Benoît Assou-Ekotto − and played a prominent role as Tottenham qualified for the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League.
• Provided two glittering performances against holders FC Internazionale Milan in the group stage, scoring a hat-trick in the 4-3 defeat at San Siro and setting up two goals in their 3-1 home win.
• Continued to shine in 2011/12 with some buccaneering performances, scoring a career-best eighth league goal of the season in a 3-2 defeat by title rivals Manchester City FC in January.
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