Pavel Nedved


Only two Czech players have won the coveted Ballon D'Or as European Footballer of the Year – midfielder Pavel Nedved is one of them.

Nedved won the honour in 2003 during a 19-year Football career in which he established himself as one of the world's most exciting attacking midfielders.

He was an integral member of the Czech Republic team that made it all the way to the final of Euro 96 where they eventually lost to Germany courtesy of an extra time golden goal.

Nedved was a fast and dynamic attacking midfielder who could play on either flank or straight down the middle. He was technically gifted and a great dribbler but he could score goals too – 159 of them in 733 appearances for club and country.

The bulk of his pro career was spent in Italy's Serie A playing for Lazio and then Juventus. In Rome, Nedved became an integral member of one of Lazio's most successful ever teams, doing the domestic double (league and cup) in 2000. He also scored the winning goal in the last ever Cup Winners' Cup final, with Lazio beating Mallorca 2-1.

A big money move to Juventus followed and he won three more league titles, as well as the Ballon D'Or and the World Footballer of the Year in 2003.

And the other Czech to be named European Footballer of the Year? Josef Masopust in 1962.

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Pavel Nedved