Saturday, December 30, 2017

Slovakia Greatest All-Time Team

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.
Karol Dobias 
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.

CB: Anton Ondrus 
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 
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. Capped over 90 times.  He went to both World Cup Finals in 2010 and Euro 2016. 

CB: Ladislav Jurkemik  
Ladislav Jurkemik  was a part of the team that won the 1976 European Championship. 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 in Switzerland between 1984 and 1989.

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.

LB: Marek Čech 
Čech has previously played for Inter Bratislava, Sparta Prague and Porto, West Bromwich Albion, Trabzonspor, Bologna, Boavista and Como. While at Sparta, Čech was part of a no-nonsense defence.  He has 52 caps for Slovakia fromm 2004 to 2013.  He went to the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa.

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. 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 in1980 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 won  the 1976 UEFA European Championship with Czechoslovakia. 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.

AM: Ľubomír Moravčík
Ľubomír Moravčík played for Nitra at home before playing for Saint-Étienne, Bastia and MSV Duisburg. 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.

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
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
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.

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, Marek Mintál, Ladislav Pavlovič, Ladislav Petráš, Titus Buberník, Szilárd Németh, Róbert Vittek, Jozef Barmoš, Vladimír Kinder.

Squad Explanation
-- For players who were capped by Czechoslovakia, I only selected ethnic Slovakian players, but I made a special case for Koloman Gögh.  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 is a mixture of all of those great teams. 
-- 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 on the Final.
-- Many of them won the 1976 UEFA European Championship.  Six of my defenders (Karol Dobias, Ján Pivarník, Anton Ondrus, Ladislav Jurkemik, Koloman Gögh) and Marian Masny were on the team.  
-- The World Cup Finals in 2010 is Slovakia's greatest achievement since the breakup of Czechoslovakia. However, Martin Škrtel, Marek Čech and Marek Hamsik are 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.
-- I almost took Theodor Reimann as the third keeper. I don't know much aboit him.
-- CB: Ladislav Jurkemik was known for his power shot.  He scored over 50 league goals in his career.
-- Koloman Gögh was born in modern day Czech Republic. According to various source, he was identified as a Hungarian minority in Slovakia or a Slovakian. He began playing football in Kolárovo (Slovakia), where it is 80% Hungarian.  His career was associated with ŠK Slovan Bratislava in Slovakia. So I put him on this team rather than the all-time team for the Czech Republic.
-- László Kubala was one of the greatest footballer who played for Barcelona FC.  Both of his parents had Slovakian blood and he himself played for Czechoslovakia. He was capped first with them before laying for Hungry and Spain.  He fit the criteria of this all-time team.
-- Slovakia has many similar players.  I do not have space for Marek Mintál. 
-- Marek Hamšík is underrated.  He took Slovakia to major tournaments, but his exposure is still limited due to playing club football with Napoli.  



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