Chelsea's Matić honoured as Serbia's best
Friday, December 19, 2014
"From today, I have to get even better," said Chelsea FC's Nemanja Matić after being named Player of the Year in his native Serbia, Radovan Ćurčić taking the best coach prize.
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Chelsea FC's Nemanja Matić has been named Player of the Year in his native Serbia, with national-team boss Radovan Ćurčić taking the best coach prize.
The 26-year-old holding midfielder Matić received the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) Golden Ball at the tenth annual ceremony to honour the nation's top player and coach, succeeding his Stamford Bridge team-mate Branislav Ivanović who picked up the honour in 2012 and 2013.
"It is an individual award, but both of my teams – national team and club – helped me," said Matić. "This award is really something special. From today I have to get even better and cannot trade on past achievements. In football, there is no yesterday. I believe that even better and more glorious days lie ahead."
The 42-year-old Ćurčić, meanwhile, guided Serbia past a Spain side unbeaten in four years during October's UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs to reach the finals in the Czech Republic next summer. Following Dick Advocaat's resignation in November, he then took charge of the senior national team.
"This is recognition for our success in reaching the Czech Republic," said Ćurčić. "I am proud and happy. From today the pressure is on to be better. I will do that and hope that our mission of getting Serbia to France [for UEFA EURO 2016] will have a happy ending."