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The Most Famous Czech Footballers of All Time

Wed 02 June 2021 | 4:30

Or best Czech soccer players in history; who are they really? Well, as soon as we speak of top Czech footballers of all time names like Pavel Nedved and Petr Cech may come to your mind, but there are still more to this list.

Before anything else we should tell you that the list of

top Czech footballers of all time

we have prepared for you also contains players from the former Czechoslovakia like Josef Masopust and Oldrich Nejedly.

Although not among the top European nations in football history, Czech Republic has produced some great footballers to this date. Footballers who have actually played for top European clubs like Juventus, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

The List of Most Famous Czech Soccer Players of All Time

Here comes a list of most famous Czech soccer players of all time starting with the top Czech goalkeeper, Petr Cech.

Petr Cech

One of the really best footballers Czech Republic has ever produced and actually the best footballer on our list of

most famous Czech footballers of all time

, Petr Cech is a recently-retired top goalkeeper - he actually retired in 2019, who is best known for being Chelsea’s goalkeeper, though he also served Arsenal for four years at the end of his career making a total of 139 appearances for them in the process.

Alongside

Gianluigi Buffon

, Petr Cech is one of those top European goalkeepers with a host of records to his name, if not actually the second or third European goalkeeper with the most number of records - the first is Gianluigi Buffon. Some of the most interesting records Petr Cech has to his name are most Premier League Golden Glove awards (4, shared with Joe Hart), most Premier League clean sheets with 202 clean sheets in total, first Premier League goalkeeper to not concede a goal for 1000 minutes, and the only goalkeeper to have won the Premier League Golden Glove with more than one club.

Although not at the top of the list of most expensive goalkeepers of all time, Petr Cech is still considered as one of those expensive goalkeepers whose transfer fee to Chelsea (£7 million) was a record one in Chelsea’s history at the time. Cech is also the most capped Czech footballer ever - to this date in fact - with the 124 appearances that he made for his country’s national team between 2002 and 2016. He also made a total of 56 appearances for all under-aged Czech national teams (from U15 to U21).

Having been named Best European Goalkeeper for four years, namely 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2012, and UEFA Best Goalkeeper for three years (2005, 2007, and 2008), Petr Cech is actually argued to be the best goalkeeper ever in the history of Premier League alongside the top former Danish goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel. Brave, strong (physically and mentally), agile, athletic, and consistent are actually the adjectives that could partially describe this big shot-stopper and phenomenon of Czech Republic. No doubt that he should be branded number one on the list of top Czech footballers of all time.

Frantisek Planicka

Another goalkeeper on our list of most famous Czech footballers of all time, Frantisek Planicka is actually a passed Czech footballer who belongs to the old generation of Czech football. The passed goalkeeper served only one Czech club, namely

SK Slavia Praha

, during his career which lasted from 1923 to 1938 making a total of 196 appearances for them and winning eight Czech First League titles with them in the process.

Planicka is one of those footballers on our list of most famous Czech football players ever who is not purely Czech; he was actually from the former country of Czechoslovakia and also served the same country’s national team for 12 years between 1926 and 1938 during which he made 73 appearances for them. If there were no Petr Cech, then Frantisek Planicka could be considered as the best Czech goalkeeper ever; in fact, he was honored with the same title by IFFHS in 1999 and also was named the sixth best footballer in Europe and ninth in the world by the same organization.

Ladislav Novak

The second footballer on our list of most famous Czech footballers of all time from the former Czechoslovakia, Ladislav Novak is also the second passed footballer on the list who played for the Czech club,

Dukla Prague

, for a major part of his career; actually for 14 years between 1952 and 1966 where he made 365 appearances for the Czech club only at league level, and being a defender, scored 23 goals for them. He also won 8 Czechoslovakian league titles with them.

Novak also served the Czechoslovakian national team between 1952 and 1966 making 75 appearances and scoring 1 goal for them in the process. Novak took part in three world cups, namely 1954, 1958, and 1962 editions of the competition, with Czechoslovakia national team and in the last one, he actually finished runner-up winning the silver medal of the competition. He also managed his country’s national team for a short period and also 7 Belgian and Czechoslovakian teams after his retirement as a player. And with Dukla Prague - one of the clubs he served as a manager - he won one Czechoslovakian league title in 1982.

Antonin Puc

A passed footballer from the former Czechoslovakia on our list of most famous Czech footballers of all time just like his fellowman, Ladislav Novak, Antonin Puc played but as a winger and striker during his career which lasted from 1925 to 1941. Puc served the top Czech club, Slavia Prague, for a major part of his career; actually for 13 years between 1925 and 1938. This is as he played for the two other clubs he served during his career, namely

Viktoria Žižkov

and SK Smíchov, only for a year or two.

Actually the third most prolific goalscorer on our list of

most famous Czech soccer players of all time

after Oldrich Nejedly and Josef Bican, Antonin Puc scored a total of 123 goals in the 166 league appearances that he made which gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.74 meaning that the passed Czech footballer scored almost 1.5 goals in every 2 appearances he made. Puc was also a prolific goalscorer with the Czechoslovakian national team for whom he scored 34 goals in 60 appearances between 1926 and 1938 - actually a little bit more than goal in every two appearances. And one thing to remember about Antonin Puc is that he’s Czechoslovakia’s top scorer of all time with the 34 goals he scored for them.

Karel Pesek

Yet another passed footballer from the former Czechoslovakia, Karel Pesek actually played as a midfielder during his career which lasted from 1913 to 1934 and for the Czechoslovakian clubs, ČAFC Královské Vinohrady,

Sparta Prague

, and SK Židenice. He scored 149 club goals during his career but we actually don’t know in how many appearances since he is one of those very old-time footballers. Just consider that his career ended 10 years before the start of World War II.

However, fortunately, we know how many appearances Pesek made for the Czechoslovakian national team and how many goals he scored for them: 1 goal in 44 appearances from 1920 to 1931. One interesting fact about Pesek is that he also practiced another sport than football and even professionally. He was actually part of the Czechoslovakian Ice Hockey national team who won Olympics bronze medal in 1920 Olympic Games.

Jan Koller

Another striker on our list of

most famous Czech footballers of all time

, Jan Koller is a 48-year-old retired footballer who was born in former Czechoslovakia but played for the Czech Republic national team since there was no Czechoslovakia any more at the time - actually in 1999. Koller served 8 European clubs during his career among them are the top clubs, Borussia Dortmund and

Anderlecht

. He also served the top Czech club, Sparta Prague, at the start of his career; actually from 1994 to 1996.

Although Koller was not a prolific goalscorer at club level - he actually scored a little bit more than 2 goals (exactly 2.05) in every 5 club appearances, he was with the Czech national team. He actually scored 55 goals in the 91 appearances that he made for his country’s national team between 1999 and 2009 which gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.6 meaning that he scored more than one goal (exactly) 1.2 in every 2 international appearances he made.

In fact, Koller became the Czech Republic top scorer of all time in 2005 with 39 goals and he just improved his record until 2009 with 16 more goals he scored for the Czech national team registering a record of 55 goals in total which is not yet broken by any other footballer either on our list of most famous Czech football players ever or by any other Czech footballer.

The interesting fact about Jan Koller is that he’s also at the top of the list of Czech Republic top scorers of all time concerning the average number of goals he scored for the

Czech national team

- or actually his goal-to-appearance ratio with the team which is 0.6, as you know. Koller was also named Belgian Pro League top scorer in 1998-99 season and Czech Footballer of the Year in 1999.

Tomas Rosicky

One of the really top footballers on our list of

most famous Czech footballers of all time

, Tomas Rosicky is a 40-year-old retired footballer who played as an attacking midfielder or winger for only three clubs during career: Sparta Prague whom he served in two time periods and for four years, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal who actually got a share of 5 and 10 years from Rosicky’s years of service between 2001 and 2016; actually a little bit more than three fourth of all the top Czech footballer’s career.

Maybe not a prolific goalscorer - he scored only 66 goals in all his 516 club appearances - but Rosicky is notable for the two things he did during his footballing time: First, he captained the Czech national team for 10 years, and second, because of his move to Borussia Dortmund for a then-record transfer fee of £8 million. He also won 8 club trophies during his career most of which with Arsenal and

Borussia Dortmund

including two FA Cups and one Bundesliga title and was also named Czech Footballer of the Year for three years, namely 2001, 2002, and 2006.

Described as a “solid playmaker” by BBC and a player with “great technique, skill on the ball and sharp passing” by Arsène Wenger of Arsenal, Tomas Rosicky was also known for preferring the outside of his foot for passing or shooting; what’s considered as an unusual habit among footballers. He was also known for his ability to organize the game in the middle of the pitch; the ability for which he was called “the little Mozart” during his service to the German club, Borussia Dortmund.

Antonin Panenka

Yet another footballer from the former Czechoslovakia on our list of most famous Czech footballers of all time, Antonin Panenka is a 72-year-old retired footballer who played as an attacking midfielder for six different clubs most of them from Austria during his career, though he actually spent a major part of his career - actually 14 years from 1967 to 1981 - with the Czechoslovakian club,

Bohemians Praha

, and at the start of his career. Panenka is actually a product of Bohemians Praha and currently is the chairman of the same club.

Although Panenka spent most of his career with his home-country club, Bohemians Praha, he actually won all his club trophies with the Austrian club, Rapid Wien, including two Austrian Bundesliga titles and three Austrian Cups. He also made 59 appearances for the Czechoslovakian national team between 1973 and 1982 and scored 17 goals for them. What is Panenka is quite known for is that he’s somehow or other the inventor of chip shot. He’s actually the first footballer ever in the history of football to have used the technique to score a penalty; the penalty that won Czechoslovakia the UEFA Euro Championship in the same competition final against West Germany in 1976.

Oldrich Nejedly

The second most prolific goalscorer after Josef Bican on our list of most famous Czech footballers of all time, Oldrich Nejedly is another passed footballer from the former Czechoslovakia who played as a forward and only for two clubs, namely Sparta Prague and SK Rakovník, during his 15-year career which lasted from 1931 to 1946. He actually scored a total of 180 goals for these two clubs - 162 for Sparta Prague and 18 for SK Rakovník - in the 225 appearances that he made for them at league level.

180 goals in 225 club appearances; that means Nejedly scored almost one goal (exactly 0.8) in every club appearance he made during his career. He was also a prolific goalscorer with the Czechoslovakian national team: He actually scored 29 goals in the 44 appearances that he made for Czechoslovakia between 1931 and 1939 which means he scored 0.65 goals in every appearance or 1.3 goals in every two appearances for his country’s national team.

And if Nejedly hadn’t broken his leg in the 1938 World Cup, the incident that actually ended his international career, he could have still added to his international goals. It is also noteworthy to mention here that with 5 goals scored in 1934 World Cup, Nejedly became the same competition top scorer. However, despite being a prolific goalscorer and his success at international level, the passed Czechoslovakian footballer never won a club trophy with any of the clubs he served during his career.

Pavel Nedved

And here comes not only one of the

best Czech soccer players in history

but also the most famous one in the modern Czech football: Pavel Nedved. Currently the vice-chairman of the top Serie A club, Juventus, Pavel Nedved is the only footballer on our list of most famous Czech footballers of all time to have served the top Italian club and almost for half of his career; actually for eight years between 2001 and 2009 during which he made a total of 327 appearances and scored 65 goals for them across all competitions.

Although not a prolific goalscorer, Pavel Nedved is for sure among the most decorated Czech footballers of all time if not actually the most decorated Czech footballer ever. He actually won 16 club trophies with Juventus,

Lazio

, and Sparta Prague, including three Serie A titles, four Italian Super Cups and two Czech First League titles. He has also a number of individual honors to his name among them are six Czech Republic Golden Balls, Czech Footballer of the Year for four years, Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2003, Ballon d'Or award in the same year, and the Golden Foot award in 2004.

Nedved is actually the only Czech footballer to this date who has won the Golden Foot award. He was also named on the FIFA 100 list in 2004 which is a list of greatest living footballers composed by the Brazilian legend, Pele. Described as an “atypical and totally complete” by his former boss at Lazio, Sven-Göran Eriksson, Pavel Nedved was not only known for his long blonde hair but also for his top dribbling and crossing abilities and his powerful shots and volleys from distance. He could play anywhere in the midline and cooperate both in offensive and defensive work of his team.

Josef Masopust

The only footballer among the best Czech soccer players in history along with Pavel Nedved to have won the Ballon d'Or trophy - actually in 1962, Josef Masopust is another passed footballer from the former Czechoslovakia who served only three clubs, namely

ZSJ Technomat Teplice

, Dukla Prague, and the Belgian club, Crossing Molenbeek, during his 20-year career which lasted from 1950 to 1970.

Just like Pavel Nedved, Josef Masopust is also among the most successful Czech footballers ever. He not only won 14 club trophies during his career including eight Czechoslovakian First League titles - all with the Czech club Dukla Prague - but also has some individual honors to his name among them are Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year in 1966, UEFA Czech Golden Player in 2003, and indeed, Ballon d'Or in 1962. He’s also like Pavel Nedved on Pele’s FIFA 100 list.

Masopust also appeared 63 times for the Czechoslovakian national team between 1954 and 1966 and although he was not an attacking player, he managed to score 10 goals in all the appearances that he made for his country’s national team. The interesting fact about Masopust is that he served more clubs as a manager than player. He actually served 4 club teams and two national teams including his country’s national team between 1974 and 1996.

Josef Bican

The most prolific goalscorer on our list of

most famous Czech football players ever

, Josef Bican is actually a phenomenon in the Czech football and maybe in the world football concerning the number of goals he scored during his career. He scored a total of 798 goals in the 495 club appearances that he made and if you add the 29 goals that he scored at international level - in 34 appearances, then you can say he scored 827 goals in the total 529 appearances that he made throughout his career.

However, according to some sources, the numbers are even greater; they say Josef Bican scored more than 948 goals in all his official and unofficial appearances which sum up to 621 in total. Whatever figure to believe, there’s no doubt that Josef Bican is the world’s top scorer ever in the history of football which means no other footballer has scored more than him to this date even Pele,

Lionel Messi

, and Cristiano Ronaldo, though the two latter have still time to improve their goalscoring records.

And Bican’s goal-to-appearance ratio is around 1.5 considering the figures above meaning that the top passed Czech footballer scored 1.5 goals in every appearance or two goals in every three appearances that he made during his career. More about Bican’s goalscoring wonders? Well, he actually became the top scorer of the domestic leagues he played in for 12 times and when with the home-club, Slavia Prague, he managed to score 21 goals in three matches - seven goals in each match - that led to his side’s 10-1, 12-1, and 15-1 wins.

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source: SportMob

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