Arsenal shot-stopper Petr Cech has been voted 2016 Czech Republic player of the year and since first getting his sturdy fingertips on the prize in 2005 he has now won it for a record eighth time.
It seems the only time that Cech hasn’t been handed the coveted award of late was following the 2014-15 season where he was largely used as a substitute under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. But since moving to the Gunners prior to the 2015-16 season the expert ball-handler has reminded the football stratosphere exactly how good a number one he still is.
The Czech Football Association agreed. 2014 winner, Sparta Prague’s David Lafata (who ended Cech’s previous run of six consecutive titles) finished second behind the towering keeper this year as normal service was resumed.
Cech’s domination got us thinking about other footballers who have consecutively picked up their national football of the year awards like clockwork and it turns out the Czech Republic goalkeeper isn’t alone. Some of these football stars’ ability is clearly on a different planet to their fellow countryman wheres others have fought off some tough opposition with some exceptionally consistent form.
Current club: Arsenal
Individual awards: 30
Eight Czech footballer of the year awards for Petr Cech including six in a row between 2008-2013. The goalkeeper has been remarkably consistent since his latter days at Rennes and signing for Chelsea in 2004. He went on to win four Premier League trophies with the Blues as well as the 2011-12 Champions League.
After an 11 year spell at Stamford Bridge the shot-stopper found himself boxed out of the first team by Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and signed for Arsenal in the 2015 summer. Cech has made 178 clean sheets in 361 Premier League games has is estabalished as one of the best number ones to have ever played in the English top flight.
Current club: Arsenal
Individual awards: 13
Arsenal’s assist-master and midfielder creator Mesut Ozil has won the German player of the year award four out of the last five years. The German World Cup winner finished ahead of Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller to grab the award for the fourth time.
He has been exceptional for the Gunners during the 2015-16 season and is once again the holder of the prize after losing it to Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos in 2014.
Current club: Paris Saint-Germain
Individual awards: 45
Even if Zlatan Ibrahimovic had some competition he would be probably still win a lot of awards but given he is head and shoulders above the rest of the Swedish talent pool this one is kind of automatic.
The towering striker who recently became Paris Saint-Germain’s all time leading goalscorer has been crowned the Swedish player of the year since 2007, meaning he has now won it a remarkable nine times in a row.
Current club: Retired
Individual awards: 41
One of the best Spanish strikers of all time, Raul scored 382 goals in 912 club appearances during his colourful career. His time at Real Madrid saw him win six La Liga titles and three European Champions League medals.
After during establishing himself as one of Los Blancos finest players in 1996 he went on to win the Spanish national player of the year award five times in six years between 1997-2002.
Current club: Genclerbirligi
Individual awards: 8
Alexander Hleb kind of lacked competition but nevertheless he still dominated the Belorussian national game for a number of years. He first won the national footballer of the year prize in 2002 while playing for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. Since then he went on to win the coveted prize six times in seven years.
He spent three years at Arsenal between 2005-2008 before moving to Barcelona in what turned out to be a very disappointing move. The midfielder only made 36 appearances during his four years at the Camp Nou and soon the Belorussian Football Association stated dishing the award out elsewhere.
Current club: Retired
Individual awards: 16
A towering central defender, Sami Hyppia (alongside striker and fellow teammate Jari Litmanen) have dominated the Finish football scene. Hyppia first won the award in 1999 during his first season at Liverpool after moving from Willem II and his consistent form earned him a further nine national player of the year awards between then and 2010. After a successful time at Anfield he left in 2009 after winning nine trophies and the 2004-05 Champions League.
Current club: Barcelona
Individual awards: 76
Unlike some of the previous entries Lionel Messi’s domination as Argentinian player of the year is made even more impressive by the vast array of talent he is competing against. Previous winners such as Gabriel Batistuta, Roman Riquelme and Carlos Tevez were suddenly forgotten as Messi burst onto the scene in 2005.
The magical frontman went on to win the award eight more times with Angel Di Maria beating him to the prize in 2014 and Juan Sebastian Veron winning it in 2006. Messi finished as a runner up in the 2014 World Cup final as Argentina were beaten by Germany in the final. He has now scored a staggering 449 in 520 games for Barcelona.
Current club: Bayern Munich
Individual awards: 12
David Alaba is currently one of the finest versatile defenders in world football and has been perfectly developed by current Bayern Munich boss, Pep Guardiola. He first won the Austrian national footballer of the year award in 2011 and has won it every year since taking his tally to five.
There is no sign of Alaba slowing down either and having already won four Bundesliga titles and the 2012-13 Champions League the Austrian full-back will no doubt continue to win the prize.