Saturday, December 30, 2017

Slovakia 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

World Cup 2010
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Czech Republic

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.  Found in 1993, Slovakia qualified for the World Cup Finals in 2010 and the European Championship in 2016.  They reached the round of 16 on both occasions. In South Africa 2014, they knocked out Italy in a famous win.

This is the all-time team for Slovakia. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.

GK: Viliam Schrojf
At the international level, Viliam Schrojf went to three consecutive World Cup Finals: 1954, 1958 and 1962.  His performance helped his country to reach the final in 1962.  However, with Czechoslovakia leading 1-0 in the Final, Schrojf's two mistakes led to two Brazilian goals.  Brazil won with scoreline of 2-1.  At the club level, Schrojf played mostly for Slovan Bratislava and then for Lokomotiva Košice. From 1969 to 1973, he played in Austria with First Vienna.
Viliam Schrojf
GK: Imrich Stacho
Imrich Stacho played mostly for Spartak Trnava. During his military service in Prague, he played for ATK Praha.  H had 23 caps and went to the World Cup Finals in 1954 and 1958. He was also a participant at the European Championship of 1960. He scored one goal from a penalty in a match against Ireland

GK: Alexander Vencel 
Alexander Vencel played mostly for Slovan Bratislava.  He was considered as one of Czechoslovakia's greatest goalkeepers.  He only had 25 caps, largely because of playing in the same era as Ivo Viktor.  He went to  the 1970 World Cup Finals and the 1976 European Championship, where Czechoslovakia won the gold medal.

RB:  Karol Dobias 
Karol Dobias was capped 67 times for Czechoslovakia, scoring 6 goals between 1967 and 1980. He was a participant at the 1970 FIFA World Cup.  He was also a member of Czechoslovak winning team at 1976 European Championship.  In the 1976 Final game, Dobiaš scored a goal that gave Czechoslovakia a 2-0 lead against West Germany.  In 1970 and 1971, he was named Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year.  He played for Spartak Trnava, KSC Lokeren and Racing Gand.

RB: Ján Pivarník 
Ján Pivarník was in 1947.  He played for many clubs, but played mostly for Slovan Bratislava.  Late in his career, he played in Austria and Spain. For Czechoslovakia, he was a part of the team that won the European Championship in 1976. He also went to the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico. He was capped 39 times between 1968 and 1977.

Anton Ondrus played 58 matches for Czechoslovakia and scored 9 goals. He was the captain of the national team that won the UEFA European Championship in 1976, beating West Germany in the Final.  At the club level, he played for Slovan Bratislava from 1970 to 1980, and he served as the captain.  In the West, he played for Club Brugge K.V. in Belgium, CS Thonon-les-Bains in France and FC Biel-Bienne in Switzerland. 
Anton Ondrus 
Alexander Horváth was the captain of Slovan Bratislava when they defeated FC Barcelona in the 1969 European Cup Winners' Cup Final.  He played mostly for Slovan Bratislava and also briefly for R. Daring Club Molenbeek in Belgium.  For Czechoslovakia, he earned 26 caps scoring 3 goals.  His first match was in 1964 against Hungary. He was a participant at the 1970 FIFA World Cup. He wore the captain's armband and played two matches: against Brazil and Romania 

CB: Martin Škrtel
Martin Škrtel was probably most famous Slovak defender after the breakup of Czechoslovakia.  He was named Slovak Footballer of the Year four times. He played for Trenčín and Zenit Saint Petersburg, before joining Liverpool in 2008 where he spent 8 and half years.  He joined Fenerbahçe in 2016. He was capped over 90 times.  He went to both World Cup Finals in 2010 and Euro 2016. 

CB: Jan Popluhar 
Jan Popluhar was one of the greatest defender from the Warsaw Pact countries. He was best remembered for taking Czechoslovakia to the Final of the World Cup in 1962.  He earned 62 caps.  He played 15 seasons for ŠK Slovan Bratislava. In 1968, he moved to French league side Olympique Lyonnais. Two seasons there were enough, but subsequently he spent five years with Austrian amateur club SK Slovan Vienna as player/coach.
Jan Popluhar
LB: Koloman Gogh
Koloman Gogh played  Dukla Holešov during his military service. After his military service, Gögh played for Š.K. Slovan Bratislava between 1970 and 1980. He was capped 55 times at the international level.  He was a part that Golden Generation that won the 1976 European Championship and finished 3rd at the 1980 European Championship four years later. He is believed to be an Hungarian minority.

DM/CB: Ladislav Jurkemik  
Ladislav Jurkemik was a part of the team that won the 1976 European Championship. He was a highly rated sweeper of his generation. He also went to the European Championship 1980 in Italy, where Czechoslovakia won the bronze medal, and at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain.  At the club level, he played for FK Inter Bratislava at home and St Gallen and Chur 97 in Switzerland between 1984 and 1989.

DM: Miroslav Karhan
Karhan made 107 appearances for Slovakia and is the most capped Slovak footballer of all time. He was a key player side during the country's qualification for the 2010 World Cup for the first time in its history, but missed the Finals through an injury. He began his career with local club Spartak Trnava. Via Betis and Beşiktaş he moved to VfL Wolfsburg in 2001. He joined relegated Mainz 05 on a free transfer from VfL Wolfsburg in the middle of 2007. He returned to Spartak Trnava in the middle of 2011 from Mainz 05.
Miroslav Karhan
CM: Ladislav Kuna
In 1969, Ladislav Kuna was named Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year. He went to the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico. He had 47 caps. For club football, he played for FC Spartak Trnava and Admira Wacker in Austria. His number of appearances in the Czechoslovak First League was previously the record. With Spartak Trnava, he reached the semifinal of the European Cup in 1969, before losing to Johan Cruyff's Ajax.

CM: Ján Kozák 
Ján Kozák had 55 caps for Czechoslovakia between 1976 and 1984. He participated at European Championship in 1980 and the World Cup Finals in 1982.  He was the Footballer of the Year in Czechoslovakia in 1981.  He played 254 matches in Czechoslovak First League and scored 57 goals, mainly for Lokomotíva Košice. He also played in Belgium and France.

RW: Marian Masny 
Marian Masny played 75 times for the nation team, in which he was the team that won  the 1976 UEFA European Championship. He also played at the 1980 UEFA European Championship where they came third and at the 1982 FIFA World Cup Finals.  He played most of his career for Slovan Bratislava from 1968 to 1989. His brother Vojtech was also capped by Czechoslovakia. Kevin keegan considered him one of the best wingers of his time.
Marian Masny
AM: Ľubomír Moravčík
Ľubomír Moravčík played for Nitra at home before playing for Saint-Étienne, Bastia and MSV Duisburg. He had a long career with Saint Etienne. In 1998, he moved to Celtic.  He was known for his partnership with Henrik Larsson there. Later, he played for JEF United in Japan.  He had 42 caps for Czechoslovakia and another 38 for Slovakia. He played in World Cup Finals in 1990. He was Czechoslovakia Player of the Year in 1992 and Slovakia Player of the Year in 2001.

AM: Marek Hamšík 
At the time of writing, Marek Hamšík earned over 100 caps for Slovakia.  He made a name at the World Cup in 2010, where Slovakia qualified for their first ever Finals and beat Italy in the First Round.   He also helped Slovakia to qualify for their first ever European Championship in 2016. At the club level, he played for Slovan Bratislava and Brescia before joining Napoli in 2007.  At Napoli, he established as one of the best midfielders in Serie A.
Marek Hamšík 

AM/FW: Karol Jokl
Karol Jokl was best remembered with his career at ŠK Slovan Bratislava. He won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1969, which was a big achievement for club football in Czechoslovakia.  He spent a season with Prievidza before his retirement. He had 27 caps for Czechoslovakia and went to the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico.

AM/FW: Andrej Kvašňák
Andrej Kvašňák played for Sparta Prague between 1959 and 1969.  In 1969, he moved to play in Belgium with Racing Mechelen.  He had 47 caps between 1960 and 1970.  He was known for his partnership with Josef Masopust at the international level.  He helped Czechoslovakia to finish 2nd the 1962 World Cup Finals.

FW: Jozef Adamec 
Jozef Adamec played mostly for Spartak Trnava (1959–61, 1963–64, 1966–76). During his military service, he was member of Dukla Prague (1961–63), he spent one year with Slovan Bratislava (1964–65) and at the end of career played for lower-division Austrian club Slovan Wien (1977–80).  He was capped 44 times for Czechoslovakia, scoring 14 goals. He was a participant at the 1962 FIFA World Cup and 1970 FIFA World Cup. He was remembered for his hat trick against Brazil in 1968.

FW: Laszlo Kubala 
Born in Hungary of a multi-cultural background, Laszlo Kubala  was known as one of the greatest Barcelona players ever.  He still managed to win 4 Li Liga titles in the 1950's in an era dominated by Real Madrid.  In 1961, Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid from the European Cup, the first ever loss by Real Madrid at the tournament. He was capped by Hungry, Spain and Czechoslovakia. He was a guest player for Catalonia national football team.
Laszlo Kubala

ST: Adolf Scherer
Adolf Scherer represented Czechoslovakia at the 1960 European Nations' Cup and 1958 FIFA World Cup, where he did not play any match. In the 1962 FIFA World Cup Scherer scored 3 goals, Czechoslovakia finished second.  In 1973 Scherer defected from communist Czechoslovakia to France, where he finished his club career.  He played for various clubs including Nîmes Olympique. 

ST: Peter Dubovský
Peter Dubovský started his career with Slovan Bratislava.  He was named Slovak Footballer of the Year: 1993 after leading the league in scoring.  In 1993, he moved to Real Madrid, but stayed for 2 seasons.  His second season was limited by the emerge of Raul. Then, he played for Real Oviedo from 1995 to 2000.  He died of an accident in 2000. He was capped 14 times for Czechoslovakia and then, another 33 times for Slovakia. 
Peter Dubovský

Honorable Mention
Theodor Reimann, Leopold Šťastný, Jozef Barmoš, Marek Čech, Peter Pekarík, Vladimír Kinder, Ferdinand Daučík, Štefan Čambal, Jaroslav Pollák, Ján Ďurica, Ján Kocian, Dušan Tittel, Jozef Čapkovič, Jan Čapkovič, Ladislav Pavlovič, Milan Škriniar, Jaroslav Pollák, Július Korostelev, Róbert Vittek, Szilárd Németh, Jozef Móder, Ján Švehlík, Marek Mintál, Ladislav Petráš, Titus Buberník, Jan Košek, Emil Pažický, Juraj Kucka, Július Schubert.

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 Slovakia and 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 Slovakia.  I did in depth review of the team in July, 2022. I completely re-started my research from zero.
-- For players who were capped by Czechoslovakia, I only selected ethnic Slovakian players, but I made a special case for Koloman Gögh who was a Hungarian born in modern day Slovakia.  This team is opened to all players who were capped by modern day Slovakia. 
-- The majority of the squad is still from the days of Czechoslovakia. They have won a European Championship in 1976, and the 1934 and 1962 World Cup Finals. They have a record that is much better than most countries in the world.  My squad was a mixture of all of those great teams.   
-- Czechoslovakia finished 2nd at the World Cup 1934.  Ferdinand Daučík and Štefan Čambal were the only players from Slovakia on that team.  Daučík was better known as the manager of several La Liga clubs, most notably Barcelona, Atlético Bilbao, Atlético Madrid and Real Zaragoza. 
-- Adolf Scherer, Viliam Schrojf, Jan Popluhar, Jozef Adamec and Andrej Kvašňák were on the 1962 World Cup team that finished 2nd.  They lost to Brazil in the Final. 
-- Czechoslovakia won the 1976 UEFA European Championship. After the breakup of Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic inherited the title, but actually fifteen members of the team were Slovaks. Eight of the 13 players who played on the Final were from this region. The six defensive players excluding the goalkeeper were Slovaks.  Karol Dobias, Ján Pivarník, Anton Ondrus, Ladislav Jurkemik and Koloman Gögh made this team while Jozef Čapkovič made honorable mention. I also selected winger Marián Masný for this team.
-- The World Cup Finals in 2010 was Slovakia's greatest achievement since the breakup of Czechoslovakia. They qualified for the second round by beating holder Italy. However, Martin Škrtel and Marek Hamsik were the only players selected from that team.  Miroslav Karhan would have been a key player at the World Cup Finals in 2010, but he missed the Finals through an injury.  I still rewarded him with a spot on the squad. He was the most capped Slovak footballer of all time until Marek Hamšík broke it. 
Martin Škrtel 
-- At the end of 2000, Pravda experts and fans voted for the Slovakia footballer of the century.  Ján Popluhár and Jozef Adamec received by far the most votes. Karol Dobias, Peter Dubovsky, Karol Jokl, Anton Ondruš, Andrej Kvasňák, Marian Masny, Ladislav Kuna and Ladislav Petraš were in the top 10.
-- Pravda conducted another poll for the Slovakia Player of footballer of the quarter century (1993 - 2017).  Marek Hamšík had received the most votes, but Petr Dubovský was close behind. Ľubomír Moravčík was in third.
-- Viliam Schrojf was voted the best goalkeeper at the 1962 World Cup Finals, but his performance in the Final against Brazil was disappointing.  He gave up two easy goals.  Before I selected him, I also looked at several goalkeepers. Alexander Vencel was considered as one of Czechoslovakia's greatest goalkeepers.  He helped Slovan Bratislava to win the 1969 Cup Winners' Cup. He only had 25 caps for Czechoslovakia, largely because of playing in the same era as Ivo Viktor.  
-- Theodor Reimann set a record of not conceding a goal in the Czechoslovak First League for 769 minutes, a record that he held until Sparta Prague goalkeeper Petr Čech surpassed this mark in November 2001. However, I selected Imrich Stacho, who had more international experience.
-- Alexander Vencel Jr also got 19 caps for the Slovak national team between 1994 and 1998, plus 2 caps for Czechoslovakia from 1991 to 1992.  He is the son of Alexander Vencel senior
-- Jan Popluhar was one of the greatest defenders from the Warsaw Pact countries. In 1967, he received a special World Fair Play Award, for which he was nominated by Pelé.  He earned it for his gentlemanly approach to the injured Pelé in the World Cup match in Chile in an era when substitutions were not allowed in football. "Popluhár approached me very sensitively. It's like we agreed with our eyes, he won't touch me, I'll pass the ball, I won't dig through him," said Pele about his encounter with Popluhar. He was also selected by Slovakia as their Player of the Century. As the captain, Anton Ondrus led the national team in the 1976 UEFA European Championship.  Martin Škrtel was probably most famous Slovak defender after the breakup of Czechoslovakia.  His career in Liverpool was the best Slovakian footballer playing in the West since Laszlo Kubala. He was their most capped player.  They took three of the central defensive positions. 
-- Ladislav Jurkemik would have been the fourth central defender, but I gave him a spot as a defensive midfielder.  He was a great sweeper.  For the last spot, I put Ján Kocian, Dušan Tittel, Alexander Horváth, Jozef Čapkovič and Milan Škriniar on the short list.   
-- Ján Kocian was Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year in 1990 after helping the national team to the World Cup quarterfinal.  Dušan Tittel was Slovakia Player of the Year three times. Alexander Horváth was the captain of Slovan Bratislava when they defeated FC Barcelona in the 1969 European Cup Winners' Cup Final. Jozef Čapkovič also played on the game, but as a midfielder.  He was known for his partnership with Anton Ondrus for both club and country.  He was the starting central defender at Euro 1976. His twin brother Jan was a winger/forward.  Milan Škriniar was also good candidate, but he had not done enough as compared the old-timers who played in the World Cup Finals and the European Championship.
-- Karol Dobiaš was Czechoslovakia's greatest rightback. Jan Pivarnik was selected to the Team of Tournament in the Euro 1976 Finals.  He was considered one of the best in the Europe at the time.  Both Dobiaš and Pivarnik were among the first batch of players selected into the Slovak Football Hall of Fame (SSSF).  Peter Pekarík is the second most capped for Slovakia, but Dobiaš and Pivarnik were ahead of him.  I also came across Jozef Barmoš. 
Karol Dobias 
-- Koloman Gögh was born in modern day Czech Republic. According to various source, he was identified as a Hungarian minority in Slovakia. He began playing football in Kolárovo (Slovakia), where it is 80% Hungarian.  His career was associated with ŠK Slovan Bratislava in Slovakia.  He holds a record streak of 48 consecutive games in which he was in the starting lineup. So I put him on this team rather than the all-time team for the Czech Republic. I came across Marek Čech and Vladimír Kinder.  Ladislav Jurkemik was selected as the starting leftback on IFFHS's All-Time team for Slovakia.  I found no information on him playing as a leftback.
--In 1929, while playing for 1. ČsŠK Bratislava (now Slovan Bratislava), Štefan Čambal scored 3 goals against Newcastle United in a 8-1 victory.  The victory was considered a shocker at the time.  Newcastle United was the English league champion in 1927 and FA Cup winner in 1924.  He was a participant in the 1934 World Cup Finals becoming to the first Slovak to play in a World Cup Finals.  He seemed to be a solid candidate for this team, but I did not have a spot for him.  The other midfielders were mentioned more frequently. 
-- In 1946 , Hungary-born Július Schubert transferred to ŠK Bratislava, as a part of the resettlement campaign between Czechoslovakia and Hungary.  He was listed as a Slovak. He played twice for Czechoslovakia.  Then, in 1949, he moved to Torino, where he was projected to be Valentino Mazzola's heir apparent in a few years' time.  He only played for Torino less than a year (5 games) and was Mazzola's backup.  He was killed in the Superga Air Disaster.   Both of his parents were killed the World War Two, and his body was never claimed by any relative.  I never saw his name associated as a Slovakia's all-timer.  He was probably very good, but no one could say how good.  I honored him with a place in the Honorable Mentions.
-- Ladislav Kuna held the number of matches played in the Czechoslovak First League.  He was probably the most famous Slovak midfielder during Czechoslovakia's era.  Miroslav Karhan would have been a key player at the World Cup Finals in 2010, but he missed the Finals through an injury.  I still rewarded him with a spot on the squad. He was the most capped Slovak footballer of all time until Marek Hamšík broke it.  Ladislav Jurkemik was best remembered for his goal against Italy in the third place match of Euro 1980 Finals.  He sent a powerful shot past Dino Zoff.  The three of them would be the defensive presence on the midfield.
Ladislav Jurkemik
-- Andrej Kvašňák was a part of that midfield at the 1962 World Cup.  He also helped the national team to qualify for the 1970 World Cup Finals.  In his career, he also played as a forward. His goal ratio was one goal for every 3 to 4 matches. The fans of his club Sparta Prague also voted him as their Player of the Century.
-- Marek Hamšík was underrated.  He took Slovakia to major tournaments, but his exposure was still limited due to playing club football with Napoli.  He became the club's all-time top goalscorer in 2017 (surpassed by Dries Mertens in 2020), and the club's all-time appearance holder in 2018.  At the time of writing, he is the all-time leading scorer as well as cap leader for Slovakia.  Miroslav Karhan is second in cap leadership. 
-- Ľubomír Moravčík's and Ján Kozák were also mentioned frequently.  Both players did well in club football.  So I took them over Marek Mintál.  Mintál was named Slovak Footballer of the Decade (2000–2009), but it was not enough to grain a spot on the team.
-- Kevin Keegan considered Marian Masny to be one of the best wingers in the world.  He played a brilliant game against England in 1975.  He was one of the best wingers ever from Czechoslovakia.  On the left, I did not have a natural winger.  Ján Čapkovič was also a winger, but I was unsure which side he played on.  His twin brother Josef the defender seemed to be more famous.  Both contributed to Slovan Bratislava winning the 1969 European Cup Winners' Cup.  Ján Čapkovič played on the left side on the Final and scored one of the goals.  I suggested that he could be my solution on the left. The brothers never played together for the national team.  Ladislav Pavlovič was a legendary winger. He was the second highest scorer in the Czechoslovakia league, but I did not know much more about him. So both Ján Čapkovič and Ladislav Pavlovič only made honorable mention.  
-- After a great performance against Derby County in 1946, Július Korostelev earned interests from the English club, but he moved to Juventus where he played with Silvio Piola and a young Giampiero Boniperti.  He had one great season in Turin before being sold to Udinese.  His latter career in Italy was uneventful until he played for Parma between 1951 and 1956.  He was on my Parma All-Time team.  This team needed a left-side midfielder or winger, and he seemed to fit the bill.  However, Parma in the 1950's was playing in the lower division.  So his greatest successes came at a level below the standard of the other players considered. Korostelev only played one match for Czechoslovakia in 1946.   So he did not contribute much to the national team.  He was of Russian origin, but being born in Slovakia qualified him for this team.  His Russian background was a non-factor, but I decided not to select him.
-- László Kubala was one of the greatest footballer who played for Barcelona FC.  Most people ignored the fact that he was a Slovak. Both of his parents had Slovakian blood and he himself played for Czechoslovakia, which made him eligible for this team.  He was capped first with Czechoslovakia before playing for Hungry and Spain.  He fit the criteria of this all-time team. 
-- For Slovan Bratislava, Peter Dubovský scored 59 goals in 94 appearances only at league level. He also became Czechoslovak First League top scorer in two consecutive seasons of 1991-92 and 1992-93 and was named Slovakian Footballer of the Year in 1993.  After 1993, Peter Dubovský's career went downhill.  His stint with Real Madrid was not well-received. Basically, I rewarded him for performance before 1993.  His selection might be controversial.  However, he did well in the two polls conducted by Pravda.  He was fondly remembered by Slovak football fans.
-- Jozef Adamec was voted by Pravda as the second for Slovakia's Player of the Century.  Both Adamec and Ján Popluhár received much more votes than anyone else.  He was almost an automatic selection.
Jozef Adamec
-- The last attack spot was between Adolf Scherer and Ladislav Petráš.  I could not decide between the pair.  In the end, I took Scherer because he scored 22 goals for Czechoslovakia while Petráš only got 6.