Martin Škrtel has been named Slovakia's player of the year for the third time.
In the annual poll organised by daily newspaper Pravda in cooperation with the Slovak Football Association (SFZ), the centre-back pipped SSC Napoli playmaker Marek Hamšík to the honour. Only three points separated the two players, the tightest result in the 19-year history of the award.
The accolade came the day after Škrtel helped Liverpool FC win their first trophy for six years. He scored in the League Cup success against Cardiff City FC at Wembley, where the Reds prevailed on penalties after a 2-2 draw. "What can I say? Three points is just one vote," said the 27-year-old at the gala evening in Trnava. "I won two trophies in two days. It's fantastic."
Škrtel is the second man to claim the prize three times after Dušan Tittel. The defender, who has been capped 52 times by Slovakia, put his consistent performances down to a lack of injuries. "Also my first son was born in October," Škrtel added. "I still believe my best year is yet to come."
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