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Čech recognised as Czech Republic's finest

Monday 4 February 2013 23.24 CET
Chelsea No1 Petr Čech

Chelsea FC goalkeeper Petr Čech has been voted Czech footballer of the year for a record sixth time.

The 30-year-old won the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in 2012, saving three penalties –  two in the shoot-out – in the final of the latter competition against FC Bayern München. Čech had been level with another goalkeeper, Ivo Viktor, in having received the prestigious award on five occasions.

"It is a great honour for me," said Čech, also a recipient of the accolade in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. "I need to take a deep breath because I saw Mr Viktor enter the [Czech] Hall of Fame tonight and I've exceeded his record."

Čech will not add to his 98 Czech Republic caps – a tally second only to Karel Poborský – in Wednesday's friendly against Turkey. The former Stade Rennais FC No1 reported to Prague for international duty with an injured finger and, following a scan, will return to Chelsea's training ground for further treatment.

SV Werder Bremen defender Theodor Gebre Selassie finished second in the voting, with Hamburger SV midfielder Petr Jiráček completing the top three. Vitesse defender Tomáš Kalas was selected as young player of the year.

The other awards were dominated by UEFA Europa League contenders FC Viktoria Plzeň, with Pavel Vrba (coach of the year), captain Pavel Horváth (personality of the domestic league) and the club itself (Lukáš Přibyl Prize for best communication with fans) all being recognised.

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