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The centre-back claims the award for a third time after Liverpool's League Cup victory on Sunday, pipping Napoli attacker Marek Hamsik to the post by just one vote

Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel has been named Slovakia's Player of the Year.

It is the third time the defender has won the award, which is decided in an annual poll run by daily newspaper Pravada in co-operation with the Slovak Football Association (SFZ).

Immediately coming off the back of Sunday’s League Cup penalty shoot-out triumph over Cardiff City, the final standings for the award were just as narrow with only three points separating the 27-year-old and Napoli’s Marek Hamsik for the award.

The result, the closest in its 19-year history, brought double-delight for Skrtel.

Speaking at the awards ceremony in Trnava, Skrtel said: "What can I say? Three points is just one vote. I won two trophies in two days. It's fantastic."

Despite being the third time he has claimed the award – 2007, 2008 and now 2011 - Skrtel, who has been capped 52 times by Slovakia, has vowed to continue to improve in the future.

“I still believe my best year is yet to come,” he added.

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