FAKE SURPRISE FACE - David Ramos
Fifth in a row and sixth overall win for Cech, who now has become the most awarded player in Czech football history.
People love awards. Or at least the award-givers seem to think that people love awards. It's why we have an Academy Awards thing and a Golden Globes thing. It's why we have a Ballon d'Or thing (with its token shout-out to the rest of the world) and a UEFA Best Player in Europe Award thing; or why there are two player of the year awards in England or even at Chelsea (Fans' vs. Players')*. Perhaps it's simply against the laws of the universe to hand out just one award; who knows.
* Maybe we should have the two winners duel in a best-of-three series at the next dawn for ultimate winner? Discipline 1: dodge-soccer-ball; Discipline 2: skills/tricks; Discipline 3: handbags. I'd watch.
We probably should find out if that law of the universe thing is the true reason though, and if it is, we probably should start thinking about building Petr Cech a Pandorica for protection (or just steal him into the one at the British Museum). I can't even begin to imagine what the punishments may be for breaking such a law, but I can't imagine it would be too pleasant. Not one bit.
I certainly don't want Saint Peter to be the one finding that all out, yet he keeps playing with fire by habitually winning both major awards given in the Czech Republic. On Monday night, he was voted the Czech Footballer of the Year - which is the award given by the football association - just like he has been each February since 2008. Combined with his award in 2005, his six total wins are a new Czech record.
More worrying than that however is that in the same span, he has also won six Golden Balls (no seriously, golden) and, as the last remaining great Czech footballer, is pretty much a shoe-in for a seventh later this year. Which would make 2012 the fifth "Cech Czech Double" year and the 13th win out of a possible 16 total since 2005. So as you can see, cosmic danger may be nigh.
Whovian or non-whovian, Chelsea are Petr's only hope. As a nation, the Czechs themselves certainly haven't done much to help their goalkeeping super-talent, producing an additional grand total of zero great footballers since the wane of the Golden Generation (and a half?) of Nedved, Poborsky, Koller, Berger, Jankulovski, Galasek, et al. They have produced injuries (see: Tomas Rosicky) and hilariously failed expectations (see: Milan Baros) aplenty though.
The bright blond hope on the horizon is Chelsea loanee Tomas Kalas who collected the young player version of Cech's award. The 19-year-old defender has been ever-present for Vitesse Arnhem the last two seasons, earning his first international cap along the way as well. His new contract, signed last summer, ties him to Chelsea until 2017 and at the moment there seems to be little reason to think that given the chance, he wouldn't be able to establish himself at Stamford Bridge.
Another hope, with a somewhat more tenuous Chelsea connection, is Matěj Vydra who collected the junior version of the golden balls award (Undescended Golden Balls?) in 2011. Vydra of course plays for the Udinese-Watford-Granada footballing conglomerate and is currently stationed at the English office, where he's been in fine form for manager Gianfranco Zola and for teammate (and future Chelsea captain) Nathaniel Chalobah.
If all else fails, Emergency Protocol Courtois can be activated. To lessen Atletico's pain and to hide Cech from the awards, he could go the other way on loan because goalkeepers in Spain only count if they play for Real Madrid or Barcelona. Right, FIFA?