Bale beat Robin van Persie for both the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards this week.
"We were disappointed in Southampton because we were first there but they never came back to us," said Ferguson.
"He was a left back when we tried to sign him from Southampton.
"He reminds me a bit of when we signed Lee Sharpe. He was a six foot, gangly slim boy but all of a sudden he was built like a light-heavyweight American boxer.
"Bale is the same given the way he has developed physically in the last two years. He has matured very well."
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