Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has named the Czech Republic Player of the Year for the 11 time in the last 13 seasons.
The former international footballer bagged his fifth FA Cup title, and his first at the Emirates during the recently concluded season.
Cech has had a huge influence at whichever club he has plyed his trade over the years, and his dominance between the sticks guided the Gunners to a fifth-place finish in the league standings. The lack of Champions League football could have a negative effect on the Gunners transfer business for the summer, this does not diminish the importance of the experienced shot-stopper.
The Czech Golden Ball is similar to England’s FWA Player of the Year accolade, which is often decided through a voting system with the country’s top journalists. Following his award, Cech revealed his delight via his official Twitter account, he tweeted: “So proud to win this beautiful trophy for already eleventh time! Golden Ball for footballer of the year in the Czech Republic.”
The 35-year-old was the first-choice goalkeeper under Arsene Wenger over the course of the previous season, although he was criticised in between for his blunders against Watford and Chelsea after the turn of the year. He finished ahead of Hoffenheim’s Paavel Kaderabech and Sampdoria’s Patrik Schick for the Golden Ball, which he has only missed twice since his Premier League-winning feat with Chelsea back in 2004-05.
The former Czech Republic international amassed 13 clean sheets in 37 outings for the Gunners last season, but he will still hold a disappoint of being benched for the FA Cup final where Wenger preferred a more agile David Ospina in goal. Cech had seen multiple changes in the backline owing to injuries last season, and he will hope that the Gunners are in a better shape next term in order to end their 13-year wait for the English crown.