Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale once again took home the title of Welsh Player of the Year thanks to his exploits at club and national level during the 2015-16 season.

Gareth Bale has been a prominent marker of Wales’ growth as a footballing powerhouse in Europe and Tuesday night’s FAW Awards night once again reiterated that stance. The Real Madrid forward took home the title of Player of the Year for the 4th year running and 6th time overall as the Welsh footballing fraternity recognized the 27-year-old’s contribution to Real Madrid’s Champions League victory and Wales’ dream run up to the semi-finals of European Championships.

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 23: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF protests to the referee during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Athletic Club de Bilbao at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 23, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

MADRID, SPAIN – OCTOBER 23: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF protests to the referee during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Athletic Club de Bilbao at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 23, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Bale was the first player since 2004 to have scored in all of the group games and was instrumental in his team enjoying a memorable foray into the international footballing scene. The Welshman, scored 19 goals and assisted 15 others as he helped Madrid to a 11th Champions League title while finishing 2nd in the La Liga behind FC Barcelona. The Real Madrid star was joined by ex-Liverpool man Joe Allen on the honours roll, with the latter taking home the players’ player and fans’ player of the year.

Joe Allen featured in the Euro 2016 team of the tournament for his solid work in the centre of the park for the Welsh. The Stoke midfielder has been in good nick for the Potters in the Premier League, scoring 4 goals and assisting three others in 11 games since making the move from Liverpool in the summer.

Ballon d’Or next target for Bale?

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 27: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Celta de Vigo at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 27, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

MADRID, SPAIN – AUGUST 27: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Celta de Vigo at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 27, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The Ballon d’Or has been a battle between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for nearly a decade now and it’s about time that changed. That said, few people will look beyond the likes of Gareth Bale, Neymar and Luis Suarez to stand up and step into the spot-light to compete for the coveted honour. Having won several individual honours in England and back home in Wales, the 27-year-old will look to emerge out of Ronaldo’s shadow at the club and establish himself as one among the best at club level and the world at the moment.

And given the way he has performed this season for Real Madrid at the back of a new contract extension, it’s only a matter of time before the Welshman begins knocking on the doors of the Ballon d’Or committee.