We are often used to hear about either Czechoslovakian or Czech Republic footballers, but much less about Slovakian footballers. In this post, however, we are to see who the best Slovakian footballers of all time are.
Since the words “best” and “famous” are close to each other concerning their meanings, you should expect some of the footballers on the list of best Slovakian footballers of all time to be among famous Slovakian footballers, too, as it is really so. We have footballers like Marek Hamsik and Jan Popluhar on the list who are also considered as the most famous Slovakian footballers ever, too.
Marek Hamsik is actually the only active footballer on the list and since he’s number one among best Slovakian footballers of all time, he can also be among
best Slovakian footballers in 2022
, though the man is 34 years old by now and near his retirement. We have also Martin Skrtel on the list who, if not retired, could be among best Slovakian footballers in 2022. And that’s not all; there are also footballers like Milan Skriniar, the current defender of Inter Milan, who could be considered as best Slovakian footballers in 2022, too, but they are not actually on the list of best Slovakian footballers of all time.
The list of best Slovakian footballers of all time starts with the passed goalkeeper, Villiam Schrojf, but let’s see which other footballers are on the list.
The only goalkeeper on the list of
best Slovakian footballers of all time
, Villiam Schrojf is a passed Czechoslovakian footballer who was born in August 1931 in Czechoslovakia and died in September 2007 in Slovakia at the age of 76. You can, therefore, consider him as both a top Czechoslovakian and Slovakian goalkeeper, though he only served the Czechoslovakian national team and not Slovakia football team at international arenas. Schrojf served the Czechoslovakian national team sometime between 1953 and 1965 taking part in three editions of FIFA World Cup, namely the 1954, 1958 and 1962 editions, with them and finishing as runner-up in the 1962 edition after losing 3-1 to Brazil.
This was actually Czech’s best performance in World Cup history in which Schrojf had a major part. He actually guarded Czech’s goal in all the competition’s matches as best as he could, however, he didn’t do that well at final as Czechoslovakia received two goals in the first half due to his mistakes and a third one in the second half as he failed to catch a simple ball dropping it at the feet of the Brazilian forward, Vavá, who took the opportunity and scored Brazil’s third goal. They say in that incident the culprit was actually the sun which got into the Czechoslovakian goalkeeper’s eyes preventing him from making a simple catch. At club level, Schrojf served five clubs from 1952 to 1973 but made the most number of his career appearances for the two Slovak clubs, Slovan Bratislava and Lokomotiva Košice, with the latter getting a share of 240 appearances from all his club appearances. Schrojf also made 39 appearances for the Czechoslovakian national team during his service to them.
Considered as one of the best defenders in the world in 1970s, Anton Ondrus is a 72-year-old retired Slovakian footballer who actually was born in 1950 in the former Czechoslovakia. Ondrus served five clubs during his 19-year career which lasted from 1970 to 1989 with the Slovakian club,Slovan Bratislava
, being the club he served the most: Actually for 9 years and in two time periods during which he managed to make a total of 210 appearances and score 38 goals for the Slovakian club. There is not much information at hand about Ondrus, but as far as we know, Slovan Bratislava was the club he won all his three club trophies with including two Czechoslovakian League titles in 1974 and 1975 and one Czechoslovakian Cup in 1974. He also captained the team for some time.
At international level, Ondrus made a total of 58 appearances and scored 9 goals for the Czechoslovakian national team - not the Slovakia football team, of course, since there was no separate country as Slovakia at the time - between 1974 and 1980. He was part of the Czech team in Euro 1976 and actually led the team to the competition’s title as their captain after beating the then European giants, Netherlands, in semi-finals and West Germany in the final. He also took part in Euro 1980 just to finish third in the competition with his country’s national team. It might be interesting for you to know that Ondrus became the president of the club he served the most during his career, namely Slovan Bratislava, for a short period of time in 1997.
The most recently-retired footballer on the list of best Slovakian footballers of all time, Martin Skrtel is a 37-year-old retired Slovakian defender - actually center back - who, unlike the two other footballers already mentioned on the list, served
Slovakia football team
at international arenas and not the Czechoslovakian national team. That’s quite natural since when he started his career in 2001, there was no Czechoslovakia anymore, but the two separate countries of Czech Republic and Slovakia. Skrtel served six clubs during his career and in different countries including Russia (Zenit Saint Petersburg), Turkey (Fenerbahçe) and England (Liverpool), however, he’s often known as a Liverpool player since he served the English club for 8 years which was at least twice as long as he served the other clubs during his career.
During his service to Liverpool, Skrtel made a total of 320 appearances and scored 18 goals for them. He also won a Football League Cup in 2011-12 season with them and was named Liverpool Player of the Year in the same season not to mention that in both 2011 and 2012 and in 2007 and 2008 he was named Slovak Footballer of the Year, too. Skrtel served theSlovakian national team
sometime between 2004 and 2019 during which he managed to make 104 appearances and score 6 goals for them. He was part of the Slovakian national team in 2010 FIFA World Cup which was actually Slovakia’s first presence in World Cup as an independent nation. Although Slovakia didn’t advance beyond the round-of-16 in that competition, they managed to beat the defending champions, Italy, 3-2 in the group stage.
Skrtel also was a part of Slovakian national team in Euro 2016, and more than that; he also captained the team, but just like in 2010 World Cup, they also couldn’t advance beyond the competition’s round-of-16 stage, however, again just like in 2010 World Cup, they managed to beat the competition’s defending champions, Spain, this time, but in the qualifying round and not the group stage. It might be interesting for you to know that with the 104 appearances Skrtel has made for the Slovakian national team, he’s currently the fourth most capped Slovakian footballer of all time. Also with the 6 goals he scored for his country’s national team he was Slovakia’s 10th top scorer of all time - quite an incredible position for a defender if you ask us - up until 2019 that his position was taken jointly by Ondrej Duda and Juraj Kucka who had already managed to score 10 international goals each.
Mainly an attacking midfielder but also having played as a forward during his career, Andrej Kvasnak is a passed Slovakian or, better said, Czechoslovakian footballer who played for eight clubs during his career but mainly for the Czech club,Sparta Prague
, for whom he made a total of 202 appearances and scored 65 goals only at league level. This is at least four times higher than the number of appearances he made and goals he scored of the other clubs he served during his play time. He also served the Czechoslovakian national team between 1960 and 1970 during which he managed to score 13 goals in his 47 appearances for them.
They call Kvasnak a prolific goalscorer, but if you take his goalscoring ratio into consideration which is one goal in every 3 to 4 appearances averagely, then in our opinion, it’s not so, however, that ratio is still good for a midfielder; the role in which Kvasnak played majorly during his career. Kvasnak played in two editions of FIFA World Cup, namely the 1962 and 1970 editions, where in the former he finished as the competition’s runner-up with the Czechoslovakian national team after they lost 3-1 to Brazil. Kvasnak died in April 2007 at the age of 70.
Described by the English legend, Kevin Keegan, as one of the most skilled wingers in the world - of course, during his playtime, Marian Masny is a 71-year-old retired Slovakian footballer who played for four clubs, namely Dukla Banska Bystrica, Slovan Bratislava,SC Neusiedl am See
, and ZTS Petrzalka during his 15-year career which lasted from 1970 to 1985. From among the aforementioned clubs, Slovan Bratislava was the club Masny served the most: Actually for 11 years between 1972 and 1983 during which he made a total of 318 appearances and scored 97 goals - almost one goal in every three appearances averagely - for them.
Masny also served the Czechoslovakian national team sometime between 1974 and 1982 making 75 appearances and scoring 18 goals for them in the process. He was a participant in 1976 and 1980 editions of UEFA Euro where he managed to actually win the competition in the former and finish third in the latter edition with his country’s national team. If Masny is not a highly-decorated footballer compared to other footballers on the list that we think he is, he’s for sure a moderately-decorated one with the 12 club trophies he won during his career including two Czechoslovakian First League titles and two Czechoslovakian Cups.
He’s very much like Marian Masny in terms of the club he served the most during his career and also the number of his trophies: Karol Jokl actually served the Czechoslovakian club, Slovan Bratislava, more than any other club during his career and he’s also a moderately-decorated footballer on the list of best Slovakian footballers of all time with the 9 club trophies he won during his career including three Czechoslovakian First League titles and two Czechoslovakian Cups, though that number is still lower than that of Marian Masny. Karol Jokl served Slovan Bratislava for 12 years between 1963 and 1975 during which he managed to score 69 goals in 245 appearances for them; 0.84 goal in every three appearances compared to almost one goal of Marian Masny in the same number of appearances averagely.
However, Jokl’s stats at international level is better than those of Marian Masny: While Masny scored 18 goals in 75 international appearances which gets him a goalscoring ratio of 0.24 meaning that he scored 0.96 goal in every 4 appearances averagely, Jokl scored 11 goals in his 27 international appearances between 1963 and 1972 which translates to 1.6 goals in every 4 appearances. Although Jokl took part in 1970 World Cup where Czechoslovakia was eliminated in the group stage, he was never a participant in Euro finals, though he played in two matches in 1972 Euro qualifying round. Jokl died in October 1996 at the age of 51.
The only footballer on the list of
best Slovakian footballers of all time
who served Real Madrid for sometime during his career, Peter Dubovsky is also the youngest passed footballer on the list. He died in 2000 at the very early age of 28 after he fell near a waterfall he was photographing and succumbed to severe blood loss and brain injuries. He’s also the only footballer on the list to have served both Czechoslovakian and Slovakian national teams during his career; the former actually from 1991 to 1993 during which he made 14 appearances and scored 6 goals for them and the latter from 1994 to 2000 during which he scored 12 goals in his 33 appearances for them.
Although Dubovsky was not a prolific goalscorer with Real Madrid and the other Spanish club he served during his career, namelyOviedo
, he was indeed with both Czechoslovakian and Slovakian national teams as he scored almost one goal in every three appearances he made for them and also the Slovakian club, Slovan Bratislava, for whom he scored 59 goals in 94 appearances only at league level. Dubovsky 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.
Having played both as a midfielder and defender - actually right back - during his career, Karol Dobias is a 74-year-old retired Slovakian footballer who served two Slovakian clubs, namelySpartak Trnava
and Bohemians Prague, and the Belgian club, Lokeren, during his 18-year career which lasted from 1965 to 1983. Dobias won all his club trophies including five Czechoslovakian First League titles, 3 Czechoslovakian Cups, and one Mitropa Cup with the first club he served, Spartak Trnava. He was also named Czechoslovakian Footballer of the Year in 1970 and 1971.
And in his international career which lasted from 1967 to 1980, Dobias managed to make 67 appearances and score 6 goals for the Czechoslovakian national team. He was part of the Czechoslovakian national team who won Euro 1976 after beating the then West Germany 2-0 in the final and actually scored his team’s second goal in the 25th minutes. He also took part in 1970 World Cup with the Czechoslovakian national team where they actually got eliminated in the group stage after three losses to Brazil, England, and Romania. After his career as a player, Dobias served five Czech clubs as a manager or assistant manager for 20 years between 1984 and 2004.
Passed away in December 2018 at the age of 76, Jozef Adamec was a Slovakian footballer - actually forward - who served three Czechoslovakian clubs, namely Spartak Trnava, Dukla Prague, and Slovan Bratislava, and the Austrian lower-tier club, SK Slovan Wien, during his 21-year career which lasted from 1959 to 1980. If Adamec is not a highly-decorated footballer, he’s, for sure, a moderately-decorated one comparing to other footballers on the list. He actually won 12 club trophies during his career including seven Czechoslovakian First League titles, and from all these trophies he won 10 with Spartak Trnava.
Adamec was part of the Czechoslovakian national team who finished as runner-up in 1962 World Cup, however, maybe the most memorable match for him in his international career was a friendly against Brazil in 1968 in which he managed to score a hat-trick against the top South American team leading his team to a 3-0 win. What is quite notable about Adamec on the list of best Slovakian footballers of all time is that he managed more teams than any other footballer on the list: Actually 13 teams, though some of them only for a short period of time, and also Slovakia and the former Czechoslovakia national teams. This actually happened in a span of 32 years between 1976 and 2008.
The only sweeper and also the last passed footballer on the list of
best Slovakian footballers of all time
, Jan Popluhar served five clubs during his career including the top French club, Lyon, in a span of 24 years between 1955 and 1979 from which he spent 14 years or almost two third of his career’s length with his home-country club, Slovan Bratislava. He actually made 262 appearances and scored 21 goals for the Slovakian club during the aforementioned period winning three Czechoslovakian Cups with them in 1961-62, 1962-63, and 1967-68 seasons. He was also named Czechoslovakian Footballer of the Year in 1965 and was chosen UEFA Slovak Golden Player in 2003.
Popluhar served the Czechoslovakian national team for 9 years between 1958 and 1967 making 62 appearances and scoring one goal for them in the process. He actually took part in two editions of FIFA World Cup, namely the 1958 and 1962 editions, and the first edition of UEFA Euro better known as European Nations' Cup in 1960 with Czechoslovakia where he managed to finish as runner-up in 1962 World Cup and as third in Euro 1960 with them, though in that edition of Euro only 4 teams competed. It should also be mentioned here that Popluhar was given the World Fair Play award in 1997 due to his fair play in a match against Brazil in 1962 World Cup where instead of taking advantage of an opportunity for his team, he decided to attract the attention of referees to the injured Brazilian forward, Pele.
Number one on the list of best Slovakian footballers of all time and undoubtedly one of the most
famous Slovakian footballers
ever, Marek Hamsik is also the only still-active footballer on the list who’s been serving the Turkish club,Trabzonspor
, since 2021. Hamsik is often known for his being a Napoli player. In fact, he served the Italian club more than any other club during his career; actually for 12 years between 2007 and 2019 during which he made a total of 521 appearances and scored 121 goals for them becoming the footballer with most appearances in the club’s history and also the club’s all-time top scorer between 2017 and 2020 with that number of goals before his goalscoring record was broken by Napoli’s Belgian footballer, Dries Mertens, in 2020. He’s currently Napoli’s third top scorer of all time in front of Diego Maradona with 115 goals.
Although not retired at club level yet, Hamsik has just retired from international football - actually in 2022 - after a 15-year service to the Slovakian national team which lasted from 2007 to 2022. Durnig this time, he actually managed to score 26 goals in his 135 appearances for Slovakia which has made him not only the most capped Slovakian footballer of all time but also Slovakia’s top scorer of all time. And what might surprise you is that he’s a midfielder and not a forward to hold that topscoring record. As a midfielder, indeed, he provided the most number of assists in Serie a 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons, too. Hamsik has also been named Slovakian Footballer of the Year more than any other footballer on the list of best Slovakian footballers of all time; actually for 9 times in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 which as you see 6 times of which have been consecutive.
In playstyle, Hamsik is often considered as a pacey and energetic footballer with a high work rate and versatility that enables him to play anywhere in the midfield and even as a second striker or winger. Due to his technicality, passing and crossing abilities, and good vision, Hamsik is also considered as a good playmaker, especially for the reason that he often drops deep into the opposition’s defense, finds spaces, and makes attacking runs, but that doesn’t mean he has no goalscoring abilities. On the contrary, when the time is right, he takes the helm and scores goals, too. He is right-footed but can shoot with both his feet. He’s also an accurate free kick and penalty taker.
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