Czech football goalkeeper Petr Cech won the 20th annual Golden Ball poll for the best Czech footballers on Friday, and this is the tenth time for him to win the award, said the organisers.
Czech footballers midfielder Vladimir Darida and striker David Lafata took the second and third places in the poll.
The 34-year-old Cech played 124 matches with the national team, which is more than any other Czech player. He has won all the polls since 2005 except two – in 2009 playmaker Pavel Nedved was the winner and in 2015 it was Lafata.
After won the award, Cech announced that he has ended his career in Czech national football team after 14 years. Cech said the qualification for the world championship will start in two years and he might not be fit enough to play it.
He said that it would be unfair to tell the coach halfway through the qualification that it is too much for him and he feel tired. It is better to make the decision now. “One beautiful chapter will end,” Cech was quoted as saying.
Cech played his first match for Czech national team in February 2002 in a friendly with Hungary as the team’s goalkeeper, and he was the number one goalkeeper from then.
He said he made the decision before the European championship, and the possibility that something would change his mind seemed very unlikely.
Cech is likely to be replaced by Tomas Vaclik and Tomas Koubek in the national team. Cech said they are excellent goalkeepers. They played with national youth teams and have enough experience.