Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Czech Republic Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Czech Republic Euro 1996

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Austria-Hungary World Cup 1954

Historically, the team participated in FIFA and UEFA competitions as Bohemia, Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia had two runner-up finishes in World Cups, in 1934 and 1962, and won the European Championship in the 1976 tournament before breaking into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. 

The independent Czech Republic played their first friendly match away to Turkey on 23 February 1994. The newly formed team played their first home game in Ostrava, against Lithuania, in which they registered their first home win.Czech Republic immediately found successes by finishing second at Euro 1996.  It was the nation's first ever tournament. In the 2000's, the Czech Republic qualified several big tournaments.  They reached the semifinal in Euro 2004 and 2020.

This is the all-time team for the Czech Republic. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.
Euro 2004
GK: Petr Cech  
Petr Cech is best remembered for being Chelsea's undisputred starting keeper from 2004 to 2014.  He won almost everything in club football.  He is considered among the greatest of his era.  He also played for Sparta Prague, Rennes and Arsenal. For Czech Republic, he is the most capped player in the history of the Czech team, with 124 caps, and represented the country at the 2006 World Cup, as well as the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 European Championships.
Petr Cech 
GK: Frantisek Planicka 
Frantisek Planicka was considered one of the greatest keepers of his generation.  He was known for his sportsmanship. He went to play in two World Cup Finals in 1934 and 1938, where he finished second in 1934.  He was voted as the best goalkeeper for the 1938 World Cup Finals. He was their captain. He played all his career for Slavia Prague, during which time the club won the Czech league eight times and the Mitropa Cup once.

GK: Ivo Viktor 
Ivo Viktor placed third in the 1976 Ballon d'Or, and was a five-time winner of the Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year award, and a two-time winner of the European Goalkeeper of the Year award.  He was the hero of European Championship in 1976, where Czechoslovakia beat West Germany in the Final. He played for Czechoslovakia for 63 times between 1966 and 1977. The majority of his senior club career was with Dukla Prague.

RB/RW/CB/LB: Zdeněk Grygera
Known for his all round abilities, Zdeněk Grygera played with Petra Drnovice and Sparta Prague at home before heading to play in Netherlands with Ajax in 2003. In 2007, he moved to Juventus. After highly successful years in Turin, he moved to play for Fulham in 2011.  At the international level, Grygera played for the Czech Republic at UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008.  He was capped 65 times between 2001 and 2009.
Zdeněk Grygera
RB/CB: Jaroslav Burgr 
Jaroslav Burgr was a participant in two World Cup Finals, in 1934 and 1938. He played 57 matches for the national team between 1929 and 1938, while captaining the national team on several occasions.  He also played for Bohemia under the German occupation. He played domestic club football mostly for AC Sparta Prague, where he collected 7 league titles. He played for SK Most.

RB/CB: Tomáš Ujfaluši
Tomas Ujfalusi played 78 times for the Czech Republic, representing the nation at the 2006 World Cup and two European Championships.  He was a key player for the 2000s Golden Generation.  Other than in his country he played professionally in Germany (four years), Italy (four), Spain (three) and Turkey (two), winning six major titles between Hamburger SV, Atlético Madrid and Galatasaray. He started his career in 1996 with Sigma Olomouc.He won the Europa League in 2010 with Atletico Madrid. He was named on Fiorentina All-time XI.

As a player, Chovanec spent almost his whole career at Sparta Prague.  He first played for them for a season, and then, he joined RH Cheb. Between 1981 and 1988, he again played for Sparta Prague.  In 1988, he moved to the Netherlands to play briefly for PSV Eindhoven, but he moved back to Sparta in 1991. His last stint lasted until 1995. He played 52 times for Czechoslovakia and was a participant in the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

CB: Miroslav Kadlec
During his career, Miroslav Kadlec played for four Czech clubs, and also had an eight-year stint with Bundesliga's 1. FC Kaiserslautern, where he was crowned league champion in 1991 and 1998. At the international level, he was capped 38 times for Czechoslovakia and later another 26 times the Czech Republic. He took part in the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the 1996 European Championship, where his team finished second behind Germany.  
Miroslav Kadlec 
LB:  Marek Jankulovski 
Marek Jankulovski's most notable achievements include winning the UEFA Champions League with A.C. Milan, where he spent 6 seasons,  and being voted the 2007 Czech Footballer of the Year. He also played for Baník Ostrava and 5 other seasons in Italy with Napoli and Udinese.  He earned 77 caps for the Czech Republic between 2000 and 2009. He represented them at three European Championships, the 2000 Olympics and the 2006 World Cup.

LB: Ladislav Novak 
Ladislav Novak was born in 1931.  Between 1952 and 1966, he played 75 matches for Czechoslovakia, 71 of them as its team captain.  He was one of the best fullback form his country. He went to three World Cup Finals: 1954, 1958 and 1962, where Czechoslovakia finished second in 1962.  In his country, Novák played mainly for Dukla Prague and won 8 championship titles with them. 

CM:  Josef Masopust 
Josef Masopust  is regarded as the greatest player coming from Czechoslovakia. He led the Czechoslovakia team that reached the 1962 FIFA World Cup final, losing to Brazil.   In Europe, he took Czechoslovakia to third place at the 1960 UEFA European Football Championship.  He was capped 63 times. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1962. For domestic football, Masopust won eight league championships and three national cups with Dukla.
Josef Masopust
DM/CM: Karel Pesek
Karel Pešek played as midfielder for Sparta Prague and the Czechoslovak football national team. He played from 1913 to 1933 (interrupted only by military service during World War I), scoring 149 goals in his club career. He was voted by IFFHS as the 81st greatest European footballer of the 20th century, and the third greatest Czechoslovakian player of the 20th century. He was a participant in the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games. At the 1920 Olympic Games he also participated in ice hockey, winning the bronze medal with the Czechoslovak team.

DM/CM: Svatopluk Pluskal 
Svatopluk Pluskal was capped 58 times.  He played in three World Cup Finals from 1954, 1958 and 1962.  In 1962, he formed a partnership in the midfield with Josef Masopust and led his country to second place at the World Cup Finaks behind Garrincha's  Brazil. The best years of his club career were spent at Dukla Prague, the army club, where he played for almost 16 years. He invented the "slide" tackle.

RW: Zdeněk Nehoda
Zdenek Nehoda played 91 times for Czechoslovakia between 1971 and 1987.  He was the most capped player for the national team. He was the Golden Generation that won the European Championship in 1976 as well as a third place four years later in Italy.  He also went to the World Cup in 1982. He was named the Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979.  For domestic football, he played for Dukla Prague between 1971 and 1983.  After 1983, he played in the West with stints in Germany and Belgium. 
Zdeněk Nehoda
RW: Karel Poborský 
Karel Poborský is the all-time leader in appearances for the Czech national team, with 118 between 1994 and 2006. He also played in three European Championships, being named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 96 after helping the Czechs to reach the final.  His most famous career in club football were spent with Manchester United and Benfica.  He also played with Lazio, České Budějovice, FK Viktoria Žižkov and SK Slavia Prague.

Antonin Puc played 61 matches for Czechoslovakia, scoring 35 goals. He played for Czechoslovakia in the 1934 FIFA World Cup scoring two goals, including one in the final, a 2-1 loss against Italy, and also played in the 1938 edition. He spent most of his club career with Slavia Prague. He is the all-time leading scorer for the Czechoslovak national team.  He was a left wing forward.

LW/AM: Pavel Nedved 
Pavel Nedved was probably the best player from the region after the breakup of Czechoslovakia.  He was a key player as the Czech Republic finished second at Euro 1996, and reached the semi-final at Euro 2004.  At Lazio, he won the Scudetti in 1999-2000, only the second league title in Lazio's history.  With Juventus, he led the team to the Final of the Champions' League final in 2013, but he sat out ofthe game due to suspension.  He won the European Footballer of the that year.
Pavel Nedved 
AM: Tomas Rosicky 
Tomas Rosicky was the star playmaker for the Czech Republic throughout the 2000s.  He has taken part in four UEFA European Championships as well as the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He was Czech Footballer of the Year in 2001, 2002 and 2006.  He started his career with Sparta Prague, and he had notable stints with Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal.  His move to Borussia Dortmond was a record transfer in Bundesliga.

AM: Antonin Panenka 
Antonin Panenka played most of his career for Bohemians Prague. Panenka won the 1976 European Championship with Czechoslovakia. In the final against West Germany he scored the winning penalty in the shootout with a softly chipped ball up the middle as the goalie dived away; this style of penalty is called the "Panenka penalty". In 1980, he won Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year and his team finished third at Euro 1980.
 Antonin Panenka's famous penalty 
AM/SS/FW: Vaclav Pilat 
Vaclav Pilat played four games for the Czechoslovakia between 1920 and 1922 , but it was is only due to the fact that the national team did not start until 1920.  He played in the historic first official national team match -at the Olympic Games in Antwerp.  He was a member of the so-called "Iron Sparta",  he famous Sparta team from the first half of the 20s of the 20th century . He played 443 matches for Sparta and scored 323 goals in them.  He seriously wounded in the First World War. He still managed to return to football. 

AM/FW: Oldrich Nejedly 
Oldrich Nejedly spent his entire career at Sparta Prague as an inside-forward and he is considered one of Czechoslovakia's greatest players. He was top goalscorer of the 1934 World Cup.  His fifth goal of the tournament was not awarded until 2006 when his award was finally given to him. He was also awarded the Bronze Ball in the 1934 World Cup as the third most outstanding player of the tournament and was voted into the All Star Team of the tournament. 
Oldrich Nejedly 
ST: Josef Bican 
Josef Bican was a member of the Austrian Wunderteam of the 1930s. He is one of the most prolific scorers in history. He was, in the leagues that he played, the top-scorer 12 times during his 27 years career and Europe's top scorer in five consecutive season.  He played for Rapid Wien before moving to play in Czechoslovakia.  He was also played for Czechoslovakia, but missed out on the World Cup Finals in 1938.

ST: Jan Koller 
Jan Koller is best remembered for being the huge striker playing for the Czech Republic and Borussia Dortmund in the 2000s.  He began his career at Sparta Prague, then moved to Belgium with Lokeren and Anderlecht.  Between 2001 and 2006, he played for Borussia Dortmund. He also played for Monaco.  At the international level, he is the all-time leading goal scorer for the Czech Republic, with 55 goals in 91 appearances. He played in 2006 World Cup Finals and two other European Championship.
Jan Koller 
Honorable Mention
Luděk Mikloško, Petr Kouba, Tomáš Vaclík, Jan Fiala, Antonín Hojer  Josef Čtyřoký Frantisek Kolenaty, Radek Bejbl, Ladislav Ženíšek,Radoslav Látal, Patrik Berger, Jan Berger, Jiří Němec, Jaroslav Plašil, Vladimír Šmicer, Tomáš Skuhravý,  Jan Suchopárek, Tomáš Galásek. František Svoboda, Jozef Ludl, Ladislav Vízek, Jan Košek, Tomas Skuhravy, Jan Vanik, Josef Kostalek, Radoslav Látal, Jan Lála, Antonín Perner, Jan Říha, Josef Silný. 

Squad Explanation
-- The blog team started as Czechoslovakia.  In 2014, I did not know if I know enough information to do an individual team for the Czech Republic.  So that team consisted of players from before and after the breakup of the country.  In 2017, I decided to create this All-Time for Czech Republic.  I did in depth review of the team in July, 2022. I completely re-started my research from zero.
-- This team included players who played under Czechoslovakia. For players who were capped by Czechoslovakia, I only selected ethnic Czech players.  I am opened to all players who were capped by Czech Republic.
-- Czechoslovakia had many Golden teams.  They have won a European Championship in 1976 and finished second at Euro 1996 and 1980 and the 1934 and 1962 World Cup Finals. They have a record that is much better than most countries in the world.  My squad is a mixture of all of those great teams. 
-- Oldřich Nejedlý, Frantisek Planicka, Antonin Puc and Jaroslav Burgr also played in the 1934 World Cup Finals, where Czechoslovakia placed second.  Josef Bican represented Austria in that World Cup Finals.
-- Czechoslovakia finished second at the 1962 World Cup team. Only Svatopluk Pluskal and Josef Masopust made this all-time team.
--  The 1976 European Championship team had a slightly better representation. Three players -- Ivo Viktor, Zdeněk Nehoda and Antonin Panenka -- made the team.
--  The modern generation has more exposure outside their own country than the previous generation.  They played in the bigger European leagues. They earned better name recognition. Pavel Nedved, Petr Cech, Tomas Ujfalus, Marek Jankulovski, Jan Koller, Karel Poborský, Tomas Rosicky and Zdeněk Grygera were all household names.  However, I only selected three members of the Czech Republic's team that finished second at Euro 1996.  I was surprised by it.  They were Miroslav Kadlec, Pavel Nedved and Karel Poborský.  By the 2000s, more Czech players were established in the bigger European leagues.  They became household names.  I had more players from the 2004 European Championship and the 2006 World Cup team. I had the same 8 players from both teams.  Both Nedved and Poborský were on those two teams.
-- Sixteen of the players represented Czechoslovakia.  Nine players played for Czech Republic, but two of them also played for Czechoslovakia.  Pavel Nedved was capped by Czechoslovakia at the youth level.
-- The three keepers are almost automatic selection.  Petr Cech was probably the greatest ever from the region.  He was one of the greatest ever goalkeepers playing in the Premiership.
-- Ivo Viktor was placed third in the 1976 Ballon d'Or after Czechoslovakia's victory in Euro 1976.  However, Vitor made a mistake in the final match that helped the Germans to equalize and sent the game to overtime.  He often joked that his error gave the chance for Antonín Panenka to score his famous penalty in the shootout.
Ivo Viktor 
-- The IFFHS elected František Plánička the best Czech goalkeeper – as well as the sixth best in Europe and the ninth best overall – of the twentieth century. All three goalkeepers were undisputed selections.
-- I did study a few more candidates. Luděk Mikloško had a long career with West Ham United, but the three goalkeepers ahead of him were too strong.   I did not really consider Petr Kouba, but he helped the Czech Republic to a 2nd place at Euro 1996.  I rewarded him with a spot on Honorable Mention alongside Tomáš Vaclík.
-- Miroslav Kadlec and Jozef Chovanec were the first two central defenders selected.  Then, I looked into Tomáš Ujfaluši, Jaroslav Burgr and Antonín Hojer.
-- Jozef Chovanec was a midfielder and sweeper.  In 1988, he joined PSV Eindhoven as a replacement for Ronald Koeman, but he did not play much there.  Nevertheless, he was rated highly by many websites around the world. And I was using Chovanec to evaluate Tomáš Ujfaluši.  He established himself playing in Serie A ands La Liga, the highest level in European club football while Chovanec struggled in the Netherlands.  But I did contemplate the fact that Chovanec was on the book of a very good team. PSV Eindhoven won the European Cup the year before he joined them. Furthermore, he did not stand out in international football. He was also an active player between the two Golden Generation of Czech football.  From that angle, Ujfaluši was a very "attractive" and deserved a spot.  Then, what should I do with Jaroslav Burgr and Antonín Hojer whom I rated very high?
Jozef Chovanec
-- Antonín Hojer was the best-scoring defender in the history of Sparta Prague. Sparta Prague credited him for inventing the "Panenko" penalty.  In 1930, he scored a similar penalty kick in a match between Czechoslovakia and Spain. The Spanish goalkeeper that day was Ricardo Zamora. Czechoslovakia won 2-1.  He was Jaroslav Burgr's understudy and teammate.  For my Czechoslovakia all-time team, I took Burgr as my rightback/central defender.  I decided to be consistent and selected Burgr.  My decision was influenced by a single article in Czech that placed Burgr ahead of Hojer, but it could have been wrong. So many uncertainties remained.  Hojer probably was as good as Ujfaluši or Chovanec. In 1982, central defender Jan Fiala was also voted the Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year.  I did not even consider him.  So my central defensive corps were inconclusive.
-- Zdeněk Grygera had played football in the highest European club level.  The second backup rightback position was very difficult to choose. Radoslav Látal was mainly a right midfielder, but at Euro 1996, the Czech Republic used a 3-5-2 formation where his duty was more or less a rightback as well as being a midfielder.  He was named on the Team of Tournament.  Jan Lála successfully helped Czechoslovakia to reach the 1962 World Cup Final, but he missed the final match against Brazil due to an injury.  However, two of my central defenders also played as a rightback. Jaroslav Burgr was a right side central defender in a 2-3-5 formation.  I selected him as a rightback for my Czechoslovakia team. And Tomáš Ujfaluši also played as a rightback.  So this team did not need a backup rightback. 
-- The leftback position was much more distinct.  Ladislav Novak was probably the greatest fullback from the region, and Marek Jankulovski had done more in club football than any other leftback in question.  Josef Čtyřoký and Frantisek Kolenaty made honorable mentions. Koloman Gögh was born in modern day Czech Republic, but was of Hungarian descent in an area with a large Hungarian population. His entire club career was spent in Slovakian club.   I put him on the Slovakia All-Time Team pool.
-- Antonin Panenka, Pavel Nedved, Karel Pešek, Svatopluk Pluskal and Josef Masopust took five midfielder spots.  Then, I added Tomas Rosicky and Vaclav Pilat to the team. 
-- Vaclav Pilat played for Sparta Prague roughy 20 years before Josef Bican.  And in Bican's prime, the fans of the club considered him a better player than Bican.  That said a lot about him.  Tomas Rosicky was 3rd in appearance for the Czech Republic and their 4th all-time leading scorer.  
-- In 1962,  Svatopluk Pluskal and Josef Masopust formed a midfield that led his country to second place in the World Cup Finals.  They also finished third at Euro 1960. Pluskal was credited as the first player to use the slide tackle.  Massopust won the Ballon D'or that year. 
-- Karel Pešek was voted by IFFHS as the 81st greatest European footballer of the 20th century, and the third greatest Czechoslovakian player of the 20th century behind Josef Bican and Josef Masopust. He was a center-half.  He was also listed as a defensive midfielder.  "In my life, I have only seen three really great footballers. One was Di Stéfano. Second, Pele. And the third Káďa (Pešek)," Santiago Bernabeu said about him.
-- Antonin Panenka had a type of penalty named after him after he scored one of the greatest penalty in the Final of Euro 1976.  
-- Pavel Nedved is probably the greatest player from the region.  He won the European Footballer of the in 2003.   If he won the Champions' League that year, he would become a bigger name in the history of the game. Unfortunately, he did not play in the Final. He could also have been a bigger name if he played in a World Cup Finals during his prime.
-- The Czech Republic had great wingers. Zdenek Nehoda is Czechoslovakia's most capped player.  Antonin Puc was a left wing forward.  He remains the all-time leading scorer for Czechoslovakia. It took 67 years for Jan Koller to break his 31 international goal tally (if his record carried over to the Czech Republic).  Karel Poborský's career with Manchester United was limited by the emerge of David Beckham.  Patrik Berger actually had a better club career with Liverpool at the same time, but this team already had Neved playing on the left.  Berger only managed to be on honourable mention while I needed Poborský on the right.  Radoslav Látal also played on the right.  Radoslav Látal made the Team of Tournament in Euro 1996.  He made Honorable Mention.
Karel Poborský 
-- Vladimír Šmicer seldom got mention on any all-time list for Czech Republic.  Svatopluk Pluskal, Josef Masopust Antonin Panenka and Tomas Rosicky were ahead of him.
-- Josef Bican was born in Vienna under Austria-Hungary.  He represented Austria at the 1934 World Cup Finals, but he also was capped by Czechoslovakia when he played for Slavia Prague, a club located in the Czech Republic.  In fact, the highlight of his career was spent over there.  In 2022, when Cristiano Ronaldo broke his all-time scoring record, the Czech Republic FA came out and defend Bican.  He should be included here. However, he is also on my all-time teams for Austria and Czechoslovakia
-- Oldřich Nejedlý was the top goalscorer of the 1934 World Cup, where Czechoslovakia finished second behind Italy. He won the bronze ball as the third best player of the Finals, but he is largely forgotten outside of Czechoslovakia.  
-- Jan Koller's size stood out on the field.  His partnership with the smaller Rosicky at both club and country was also interesting, I found.
-- Tomáš Skuhravý was a star in the World Cup Finals in 1990, but his career was relatively quiet after the World Cup Finals. Pavel Kuka also made the Team of Tournament at Euro 1996. I chose other players who had a better career with the national team and club teams.  Milan Baros, Jan Koller, Antonin Puc and Oldřich Nejedlý were ahead of him.
-- Patrick Schick scored 5 goals and finished as joint top scorer at Euro 2020 in 2021. I have yet to consider him on honorable mention.
-- The last spot was for the best player left in the pool.  It turned out that I did not have any space left.   Milan Baros, Jan Lála and Antonín Hojer were in the final pool.   Milan Baros won the Gold Boot at Euro 2004, in which the Czech Republic reached the semifinal.  He is the second highest leading scorer for the national team.  He carried the best merits.  He would have been the 24th footballer selected.

4-3-3 Diamond
Cech can start as the goalkeeper.  I easily start any of the back four.


  1. Viktor
    Ujfaluši Burgr Novák
    Karel-Pešek Masopust
    Nehoda Nejedlý Nedved Puc
    Bican or Josef-Silný

    Bican spent most of his life in Prague but Silný can hold the line just fine. Slavia actually won the Mitropa Cup when Plánička was injured. So Viktor seems more indispensable.

  2. 1.Cech
    3.Frantisek Kolenaty
    6.Masopust (c)
    11.Vaclav Pilat