World Player of the Week: Petr Jiracek - Czech Republic

World Player of the Week
Petr Jiracek
AGE 26
POSITION Midfielder
FOR Czech Republic
 1-2 Czech Republic   Czech Republic 1-0 Poland  

Czech Republic started their Euro 2012 campaign on a disappointing note as they were crushed 4-1 by Russia in their opening game of the competition.

However, the Czechs recovered in style after that setback and progressed to the quarter-finals of the European Championship by winning Group A with six points from three games.

Petr Jiracek turned out to be the hero in the Czechs’ final two group matches when he scored twice. The Wolfsburg midfielder was the star of the show against Greece in their 2-1 victory, easily outplaying the opposition and netting the first goal of the game with a wonderful finish.

Jiracek was also the difference between Czech Republic and Poland, as he scored the only goal of the game to lead Michal Bilek’s side to a 1-0 triumph that secured them top spot in Group A.

Congratulations to Petr Jiracek,'s 161st World Player of the Week winner!

Honourable Mentions

Kim Bo-Kyung - South Korea

Bo-Kyung netted a fantastic double in South Korea’s 3-0 win against Lebanon to continue their perfect start to final round World Cup qualifying.

Kei Kamara - Sierra Leone

The Leone Stars beat Sao Tome e Principe 4-2 on Saturday, as Sierra Leone move onto the final round of Afcon qualifiers with a 5-4 aggregate victory. Kamara scored two goals in his team’s triumph.

Juan Riquelme - Boca Juniors

The Argentine playmaker provided a virtuoso display against Universidad de Chile to inspire Boca Juniors to a 2-0 win in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final tie at home.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal

The Real Madrid forward finally came alive at Euro 2012 as he scored both goals in Portugal’s 2-1 defeat of Netherlands in their final Group B game to qualify for the quarter-finals of the competition.

Andriy Shevchenko - Ukraine

The forward netted both goals with headers against Sweden in Ukraine’s first-ever game at the European Championship, inspiring his country to a historic 2-1 win in Kiev in Group D.

On Sunday, we encouraged our readers to nominate their choices for the best player of the week. Here are some of the comments we received:

Jeewan Panta in Argentina backed Ronaldo for the award.

"The World Player of the Week should be Cristiano Ronaldo for his outstanding performance against Netherlands as he led Portugal to the last eight of the European Championship."

Rob in Australia, too, voted in favour of the Real Madrid forward.

"Ronaldo stepped up when he was needed most. He tore apart Netherlands, a team supposedly favourites for the title before the tournament began!"

A reader who simply described himself as Dja3 Austin cast his vote for Germany forward Mario Gomez for his double against Netherlands.

"Mario Gomez should win the award. He is clearly a very important player for Germany as he scored against Portugal and Netherlands."

Tabshir in London also went for the Bayern Munich striker.

"There's only one winner, and that is Mario Gomez. When you face a strong team like Netherlands, chances come at a premium and Gomez took his two chances expertly. The World Player of the Week award has to be given to the most prolific striker around."

Melle in Belgium pointed out Fernando Torres' contribution in Spain's European Championship campaign thus far.

"Fernando Torres has been under a lot of pressure, but yet again he found a way to prove the critics wrong. He was unlucky against Italy with a lob that went just over the bar but he was brilliant against Republic of Ireland where he was at the right place at the right time all the time. He did everything you would expect from a striker and did so with class too."

Each week our worldwide team of editors will put forward a selected candidate, as chosen by International, who deserves recognition for achieving something special that matchday.

You can also help us choose a worthy recipient of the weekly accolade by leaving your nominations and comments here. Your suggestions will be taken into consideration.

It won't necessarily be the best player in the world - at least not usually - but whoever we crown will have accomplished something amazing. It might be for a particularly awesome performance or for something praiseworthy off the pitch - either way, the person in question deserves special attention...