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The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Czech Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,880 Soccer Players, 184 of which were born in Czechia. This makes Czechia the birth place of the 17th most number of Soccer Players behind United States and Croatia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Czech Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Czech Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Czech Soccer Players.

Photo of Josef Masopust

1. Josef Masopust (1931 - 2015)

With an HPI of 67.16, Josef Masopust is the most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages on wikipedia.

Josef Masopust (9 February 1931 – 29 June 2015) was a Czech football player and coach. He played as midfielder and was a key player for Czechoslovakia, helping them reach the 1962 FIFA World Cup Final. He was capped 63 times, scoring ten goals for his country.He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1962. In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, Masopust was selected as his country's Golden Player by the Football Association of the Czech Republic as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004. He is regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

Photo of Antonín Panenka

2. Antonín Panenka (1948 - )

With an HPI of 66.55, Antonín Panenka is the 2nd most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Antonín Panenka (born 2 December 1948) is a Czech retired footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He spent most of his career representing Czechoslovak club Bohemians Prague. Panenka won UEFA Euro 1976 with the national team of Czechoslovakia. In the final against West Germany, he notably scored the winning penalty in the shootout with a softly-chipped ball up the middle of the goal as the goalkeeper dived away; a style of penalty now known as a panenka, named after him. In 1980, he won Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year and his team finished third at Euro 1980.

Photo of Matthias Sindelar

3. Matthias Sindelar (1903 - 1939)

With an HPI of 64.14, Matthias Sindelar is the 3rd most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Matthias Sindelar (German: [maˈtiːas ˈʃɪndəlaːɐ̯], Czech: Matěj Šindelář; 10 February 1903 – 23 January 1939) was an Austrian professional footballer. Regarded as one of the greatest Austrian players of all time, Sindelar notably played for Austria Vienna and the national side. He played as a centre-forward for the celebrated Austrian national side of the early 1930s that became known as the Wunderteam, which he captained at the 1934 World Cup. Known as "The Mozart of football" or Der Papierene ("The Paper Man") for his slight build, he was renowned as one of the finest pre-war footballers, known for his fantastic dribbling ability and creativity. He was voted the best Austrian footballer of the 20th Century in a 1999 poll by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) and was named Austria's sportsman of the century a year before.With the Wunderteam, Sindelar was one of the key elements of their developing formation and style of play as it evolved into a 2-3-5. According to specialists like Paul Dietschy, this formation provided "such fluidity to the Austrian system", leading to it's earning the nickname of "the Viennese whirlpool". Although the Wunderteam regularly lacked efficiency, Sindelar's individual technical skill and vision often compensated for these issues.

Photo of Pavel Nedvěd

4. Pavel Nedvěd (1972 - )

With an HPI of 61.42, Pavel Nedvěd is the 4th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Pavel Nedvěd (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpavɛl ˈnɛdvjɛt] (listen); born 30 August 1972) is a Czech former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He is widely considered as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation and as one of the most successful players to emerge from the Czech Republic, winning domestic and European accolades with Italian clubs Lazio, including the last Cup Winners' Cup, and Juventus, whom he led to the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final. Nedvěd was a key member of the Czech team which reached the final of Euro 1996, during which he attracted international attention. He also captained the national team at UEFA Euro 2004, where they were defeated in the semi-final by eventual champions Greece, and Nedvěd was named as part of the Team of the Tournament. Furthermore, Nedvěd helped his team qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup for the first time since the breakup of Czechoslovakia. Due to his performances, as well as his quick and energetic runs during matches, Nedvěd was nicknamed "Furia Ceca" ("Czech Fury") by Italian fans and "The Czech cannon" in English-language media. His nickname in Czech is Méďa ("Little Bear"), stemming from the similarity between his surname and the Czech word for bear, Medvěd. Winning the Ballon d'Or as European Footballer of the Year in 2003, Nedvěd was the second Czech player to receive the honour and the first since the breakup of Czechoslovakia. During his career Nedvěd received a number of other individual awards, including the second Golden Foot award in 2004, Czech Footballer of the Year (four times) and the Golden Ball (six times). He was also named by Pelé as one of the FIFA 100, and was placed in the UEFA Team of the Year in 2003, 2004, and 2005. He retired following the 2008–09 season, after a 19-year professional career. Nedvěd played 501 league matches at club level (scoring 110 goals), and was capped 91 times for the Czech Republic (scoring 18 times).

Photo of Oldřich Nejedlý

5. Oldřich Nejedlý (1909 - 1990)

With an HPI of 60.39, Oldřich Nejedlý is the 5th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Oldřich Nejedlý (26 December 1909 – 11 June 1990) was a Czech footballer, who spent his entire professional career at Sparta Prague as an inside-forward. He is considered to be one of Czechoslovakia's greatest players of all time. He was the top goalscorer of the 1934 World Cup.

Photo of František Plánička

6. František Plánička (1904 - 1996)

With an HPI of 58.86, František Plánička is the 6th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

František Plánička (Czech pronunciation: [ˈfraɲcɪʃɛk ˈplaːɲɪtʃka]; 2 July 1904 – 20 July 1996) was a Czech football goalkeeper and one of the most honoured players in the history of Czechoslovak football. He played all his career for Slavia Prague, during which time the club won the Czech league eight times and the Mitropa Cup once. He also became a member of the Czechoslovakia national team, where his first success as a young goalkeeper was helping Czechoslovakia to become runner-up in the Central European International Cup 1931-32 and later became captain during the World Cup finals of 1934 (where the Czechoslovakia team finished second) and 1938. Plánička was a courageous player, to the extent that in Czechoslovakia's 1938 World Cup match against Brazil, he remained on the field despite having suffered a serious injury. He was a goalkeeper of outstanding reflexes and shot-stopping abilities and was also characterized by his sportsmanship, never once being cautioned or sent off in his career. He was awarded the UNESCO International Fair Play Award in 1985.Regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation, and of all time, in 1999, the IFFHS elected him the best Czech goalkeeper – as well as the sixth best in Europe and the ninth best overall – of the twentieth century. In 2003, he was catalogued as the greatest goalkeeper of an era that included other notable keepers such as Ricardo Zamora and Gianpiero Combi.

Photo of Jan Koller

7. Jan Koller (1973 - )

With an HPI of 58.13, Jan Koller is the 7th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Jan Koller (Czech pronunciation: [ˈjan ˈkolɛr]; born 30 March 1973) is a Czech former professional footballer who played as a striker. He was noted for his height, strong physique, and heading ability. He began his career at Sparta Prague, then moved to Belgium, where he became the Belgian First Division top scorer with Lokeren. He won the league championship twice with Anderlecht and the Belgian Golden Shoe. In 2001, he joined Borussia Dortmund, where he won the Bundesliga title in his first season and scored 73 goals in 167 official games over five campaigns. He moved frequently in his later career, with stops in France, Germany and Russia. Koller is the all-time top scorer for the Czech Republic national team, with 55 goals in 91 appearances in a decade-long career starting in 1999. He represented the nation at three UEFA European Championships and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Photo of Ivo Viktor

8. Ivo Viktor (1942 - )

With an HPI of 57.46, Ivo Viktor is the 8th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Ivo Viktor (born 21 May 1942 in Křelov) is a Czech former football goalkeeper. He played for Czechoslovakia, representing his country on 63 occasions between 1966 and 1977, taking part in the 1970 FIFA World Cup and winning the 1976 European Championship. Regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation in Europe in his prime, he placed third in the 1976 Ballon d'Or, and was a five-time winner of the Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year award, and a two-time winner of the European Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Photo of Petr Čech

9. Petr Čech (1982 - )

With an HPI of 57.20, Petr Čech is the 9th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 67 different languages.

Petr Čech (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpɛtr̩ ˈtʃɛx] (listen); born 20 May 1982) is a Czech former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. He now plays semi-professional ice hockey as a goaltender for Chelmsford Chieftains. He has often been described by numerous players, pundits and managers as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and, by some, as the greatest goalkeeper, alongside Peter Schmeichel, in Premier League history.Čech began his senior career at Chmel Blšany in 1999, where he played sporadically for two seasons prior to relocating to Sparta Prague in 2001. At age 19, Čech became a first team regular, and his single campaign with the club saw him register a league record of not conceding a goal in 903 competitive minutes. This led to his first move abroad, when he relocated to France to join Ligue 1 side Rennes for a fee of €5.5 million (£3.9 million) in 2002. In France, Čech starred in an under-performing team, and was the subject of a then club-record transfer for a goalkeeper when he moved to Premier League side Chelsea for a fee of £7 million (€9.8 million) in 2004. In his eleven-year spell at Chelsea, Čech made 494 appearances in all competitions, making him the club's seventh most capped player of all time. He also helped the club win four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League title, and one UEFA Europa League title. Čech also holds Chelsea's all-time record for clean sheets, with 228. Čech departed Chelsea in 2015 to join city rivals Arsenal for a fee of £10 million, where he won another FA Cup before retiring in 2019. A Czech international, Čech made his debut with the Czech Republic in 2002, and is the most capped player in the history of the Czech national team, with 124 caps. He represented his country at the 2006 World Cup, as well as the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 European Championships. He was voted into the Euro 2004 All-Star team after helping the Czechs reach the semi-finals, and served as the team's captain, prior to retiring from international competition in 2016. Čech also holds the record for the most Czech Footballer of the Year and Czech Golden Ball wins. Čech holds a number of goalkeeping records, including the Premier League record for fewest appearances required to reach 100 clean sheets, having done so in 180 appearances, the most clean sheets in a season (24), as well as the record for the most clean sheets in Premier League history (202). Čech is also the only goalkeeper to have won the Premier League Golden Glove with two separate clubs, and has won it a joint record four times; in the 2004–05, 2009–10, 2013–14 and the 2015–16 seasons. He was voted the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper in 2005, received the award of Best Goalkeeper in the 2004–05, 2006–07 and 2007–08 editions of the UEFA Champions League, and went 1,025 minutes without conceding a goal in the 2004–05 season, a league record. He has the third most clean sheets since 2000 among all goalkeepers.

Photo of Sigfried Held

10. Sigfried Held (1942 - )

With an HPI of 56.98, Sigfried Held is the 10th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Sigfried "Siggi" Held (born 7 August 1942) is a German former football player and coach. He played as an attacking midfielder or forward.

Pantheon has 184 people classified as soccer players born between 1881 and 2002. Of these 184, 143 (77.72%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Antonín Panenka, Pavel Nedvěd, and Jan Koller. The most famous deceased soccer players include Josef Masopust, Matthias Sindelar, and Oldřich Nejedlý. As of April 2022, 22 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Jiří Čadek, Karel Pešek, and Karel Petrů.

Living Soccer Players

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Deceased Soccer Players

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Newly Added Soccer Players (2022)

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Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.