The Barclays Premier League announced its top award winners for the 2012-13 season. Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson was named Manager of the Season, while Tottenham's Gareth Bale was honored as Player of the Season.
Ferguson led Manchester United to the club's 20th league title, the last 13 of which have come under his watch. What fans didn't know until last week, when his decision to retire was made public, was the season also marked the end of his managerial career.
The top manager honor is a perfect way to celebrate Ferguson on his way out. He led a United squad that was expected to go through another fierce battle with rival Manchester City to a dominant championship campaign. They are 10 points clear with one match to play.
Adding Robin van Persie last summer really turned the tide back in United's favor. Ferguson continued to pull the right strings throughout the season. The well-deserved award marks the 11th time he was named Manager of the Season.
Bale wins the Player of the Year award after a season which saw him emerge as one of the most complete offensive talents in the league. He becomes the first Welsh player and also the first Tottenham player to win the league's top individual honor.
The latest award adds to his growing trophy case, which also includes the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year honors from the Professional Footballers' Association.
He's tallied 20 goals and eight assists to lead the Tottenham attack. Spurs are still fighting for a Champions League spot, and the rising star can cap off a terrific season by helping them earn it on the season's final matchday.
Both Ferguson and Bale had memorable seasons, albeit for different reasons, and now they have the awards to prove it.