The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Czech Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 21,273 Soccer Players, 182 of which were born in Czechia. This makes Czechia the birth place of the 19th most number of Soccer Players behind Portugal, and Denmark.

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 Antonín Panenka

1. Antonín Panenka (b. 1948)

With an HPI of 68.53, Antonín Panenka is the most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages on wikipedia.

Antonín Panenka (born 2 December 1948) is a Czech retired footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He spent most of his career at Czechoslovak club Bohemians Prague before having spells with various Austrian clubs including Rapid Wien. Panenka won UEFA Euro 1976 with Czechoslovakia and gained recognition for his winning penalty kick in the shoot-out of the final against West Germany, where he scored with a softly-chipped ball up the middle of the goal as the goalkeeper dived away. This style of penalty is now known as a panenka. In 1980, he won Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year and his team finished third at Euro 1980.

Photo of Josef Masopust

2. Josef Masopust (1931 - 2015)

With an HPI of 68.13, Josef Masopust is the 2nd most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

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 national team. 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 Matthias Sindelar

3. Matthias Sindelar (1903 - 1939)

With an HPI of 64.75, Matthias Sindelar is the 3rd most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 35 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 its 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 (b. 1972)

With an HPI of 63.18, Pavel Nedvěd is the 4th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 58 different languages.

Pavel Nedvěd (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpavɛl ˈnɛdvjɛt] ; born 30 August 1972) is a Czech former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He is widely considered as one of the greatest Czech players of all time, 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 62.92, Oldřich Nejedlý is the 5th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 41 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 60.33, František Plánička is the 6th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

František Plánička (Czech pronunciation: [ˈfraɲcɪʃɛk ˈplaːɲɪtʃka]; 2 June 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. This injury ended a career that saw him play a total of 1253 matches, in which he conceded only 1073 goals, an average of 0.86 goals per game. 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 20-year 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 cataloged as the greatest pre-war goalkeeper in Europe along with other notable keepers such as Ricardo Zamora and Gianpiero Combi.

Photo of Jan Koller

7. Jan Koller (b. 1973)

With an HPI of 59.95, 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 Hugo Meisl

8. Hugo Meisl (1881 - 1937)

With an HPI of 59.88, Hugo Meisl is the 8th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Hugo Meisl (16 November 1881 – 17 February 1937), brother of the journalist Willy Meisl, was the multi-lingual football coach of the famous Austrian 'Wunderteam' of the early 1930s, as well as a referee.

Photo of Petr Čech

9. Petr Čech (b. 1982)

With an HPI of 59.24, Petr Čech is the 9th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 68 different languages.

Petr Čech (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpɛtr̩ ˈt͡ʃɛx] ; born 20 May 1982) is a Czech former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper and current ice hockey player who plays as a goaltender for Oxford City Stars. He has been described 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. Čech started playing football aged seven for Škoda Plzeň (later known as Viktoria Plzeň). In his early days, he played as a striker, although he moved to the goalkeeper position after breaking his leg at age ten. Čech joined Czech First League team Chmel Blšany in June 1999 and made his league debut at the age of 17 in October 1999, in a 3–1 loss against Sparta. Čech signed a five-and-a-half-year contract with Sparta Prague at the age of 18 in January 2001, although he remained at Blšany until the end of the 2000–01 season. In November 2001, Čech broke the record formerly held by Theodor Reimann for the longest time elapsed without conceding a goal in the Czech professional league, stretching his run to 855 minutes. His clean sheet record finally ended when he was beaten by a goal from Marcel Melecký of Bohemians on 17 November 2001, ending his record at 903 consecutive minutes without conceding. Despite Čech not winning the league title in the spring of 2002 with Sparta, he attracted interest from English clubs including Arsenal due to his international performances. Due to difficulties in obtaining a work permit, however, a proposed deal with the Gunners fell through. In July 2002, Čech moved to French club Rennes, signing a four-year contract for a transfer fee reported as CZK150 million (€5.5 million). During his first season in France, he was awarded man of the match against Paris Saint-Germain by L'Équipe. In May 2003, Rennes was at the bottom of the league table, yet escaped relegation with a win over Montpellier in the final matchday. Chelsea made a transfer bid for Čech in January 2004 which was rejected. However in February Rennes agreed to Čech's move to Chelsea for £7 million. Čech signed a five-year contract, to commence in July 2004, becoming the most expensive goalkeeper in Chelsea's history at that time. Čech's was one of many British club transfers that came under the spotlight in the 2006 football corruption investigation for being potentially in breach of transfer regulations. The Stevens inquiry report, published in June 2007, found no evidence of illegal payments. When Čech arrived at Chelsea, Carlo Cudicini was already established as Chelsea's first choice goalkeeper. Cudicini, however, suffered a pre-season elbow injury that allowed Chelsea manager José Mourinho to promote Čech into the starting spot, where he became the first-choice goalkeeper in his first season. He kept a clean sheet in his Premier League debut in a 1–0 victory over Manchester United. On 5 March 2005, Čech set a new Premier League record of 1,025 minutes without letting in a goal, though his record was later broken by Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar. Čech finally conceded to Leon McKenzie of Norwich City, after keeping a clean sheet in the league since 12 December 2004 when Thierry Henry scored for Arsenal. Čech was given a special award by the Premier League for the new record, and he was also awarded the Premier League Golden Glove at the end of the 2004–05 season for keeping a record 24 clean sheets in the Premier League. Chelsea retained the Premier League title in the 2005–06 season, with Čech playing in 34 league matches. Chelsea conceded just 22 times during the season. In January 2006, he was named the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper for 2005. In February 2006, Čech signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until 2010. He was also named the Czech Footballer of the Year for the first time. Čech underwent minor shoulder surgery on 27 June 2006 to repair a long-standing injury stemming from the previous season. He returned to action on 27 August 2006. Čech sustained a head injury in the match against Reading at the Madejski Stadium on 14 October 2006 when he collided with Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt inside Chelsea's penalty area within the first minute of a Premier League match. Hunt's right knee hit Čech's head, leaving the goalkeeper requiring treatment. Čech was taken off after several minutes and replaced by Carlo Cudicini, who himself was knocked unconscious later in the same game, forcing Chelsea captain John Terry to play in goal for the match's remaining minutes. Čech underwent surgery for a depressed skull fracture. Initially unaware of the seriousness of the injury, the doctors later reported that it nearly cost Čech his life, and as a result of the collision, he suffered intense headaches. Chelsea went on to win the match 1–0. Chelsea manager José Mourinho blamed Hunt for Čech's injury, saying that his challenge was "a disgrace". He also criticised the South Central Ambulance Service and match referee Mike Riley. A number of commentators, including current and former goalkeepers, saw the incident as highlighting the need for greater protection for goalkeepers. Čech was able to return home on 24 October 2006 and participated in light training the following week. Chelsea, however, announced that the goalkeeper would be out for three months, in line with medical advice on the time needed for complete recovery from the skull fracture. In an interview, Čech said that he had no memory of the injury itself. Čech made his comeback in a Premier League match in a 2–0 defeat against Liverpool on 20 January 2007, wearing a rugby style headguard made by Canterbury of New Zealand and carrying the manufacturer's logo. This caused friction with Czech national team sponsor Puma and Chelsea's apparel manufacturer Adidas. The matter was resolved after the latter sponsor developed its own headgear for Čech to wear in club matches, while the player went on to wear an unbranded cap for national team games. Čech wore the headguard for the rest of his career. Although Chelsea lost Čech's comeback match, he then went approximately 810 minutes of Premier League play without conceding a goal. On 11 April 2007, Čech was awarded the Premier League Player of the Month for the first time in his career, in recognition of his eight successive league clean sheets. He was the first goalkeeper to receive the award since Tim Flowers in 2000. This run was ended during a 4–1 Chelsea victory over West Ham United on 18 April 2007 when Carlos Tevez scored against him. Čech also kept a clean sheet for Chelsea in the 2007 FA Cup Final against Manchester United. He and United's Edwin van der Sar shared the honour of being the first goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet over 90 minutes in a competitive fixture at the new Wembley Stadium, but Čech became the first goalkeeper to end a competitive game unbeaten, as Chelsea beat United 1–0 to win the FA Cup. Čech started the 2007–08 season conceding two goals against Birmingham City in the first match of the season. Despite this, Chelsea managed to win 3–2 and set an English record for their 64th consecutive unbeaten league match at home. In November 2007, Čech suffered an injury to his right calf muscle in the 0–0 UEFA Champions League group stage match at Schalke 04. The following month, on 23 December 2007, he had to be replaced during a match against Blackburn Rovers due to a hip injury. Chelsea suffered their first major blow when they lost the League Cup final to Tottenham Hotspur, with Čech parrying the ball onto Jonathan Woodgate's head for the winner. He played in several games until injuring his ankle in training on the eve of Chelsea's home Champions League tie with Greek champions Olympiacos. In the weeks that followed, Čech missed key games of Chelsea's campaign, including the derby with Arsenal and both legs of the Champions League quarter-final. On 7 April 2008, it was announced that Čech had undergone emergency surgery on his chin and lips following an accidental collision with Tal Ben Haim during training. He had 50 stitches put on his mouth and chin. He returned to action on 14 April, in a home match against Wigan Athletic which Chelsea drew 1–1. He appeared in the Champions League final against Manchester United, where Chelsea lost in a penalty shoot-out. Čech signed a new five-year contract in July 2008 to keep him at Chelsea until 2013. Chelsea started the 2008–09 season in good form, conceding only 7 goals in 17 games and keeping 11 clean sheets, 10 of which with Čech in goal. In November 2008, Chelsea beat Sunderland 5–0 at Stamford Bridge, a game which marked the 100th match Čech had played for Chelsea without conceding a goal. Chelsea had a 1–0 victory over Juventus in the Champions League on his 200th appearance for the club, and he also starred in a 1–0 away victory at Villa Park against Aston Villa, saving from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Gareth Barry. The following week, Čech helped Chelsea move up to second place in the league by saving from Paul Scharner in the first half against Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea won 2–1. Successive clean sheets by Čech in Chelsea's wins against Portsmouth and Coventry City saw his side consolidate their position in the Premier League whilst progressing into the FA Cup semi-finals. Čech also made saves from Dirk Kuyt and Xabi Alonso as Chelsea beat Liverpool 3–1 at Anfield in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final. In a crucial Premier League game in April 2009, with Chelsea comfortably leading 4–0 against Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink took off both Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard only for Bolton to score three late goals which questioned the Chelsea defence, and in particular Čech. Čech, however, responded when he saved a penalty from Mark Noble in Chelsea's 1–0 win at the Boleyn Ground against West Ham. He also kept a clean sheet in the next game against Barcelona during the Champions League semi-final first leg match. Following a 3–2 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Čech and Chelsea finished the season with the joint-tightest defence in the Premier League along with Manchester United, having conceded just 24 goals over the course of the season. Despite conceding the fastest goal in FA Cup final history, Čech helped Chelsea's 2009 FA Cup Final triumph over Everton. Chelsea won 2–1, earning the Czech his seventh trophy at the club. Former Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari accused Čech, Michael Ballack and Drogba of causing his sacking, saying that they "did not accept my training methods or my demands". Scolari also said that it stemmed from a row between him and the Czech goalkeeper over the latter's alleged insistence on being given a personal coach. Čech denied the claims saying that he was "disappointed with [Scolari] because never in my life have I had a personal goalkeeping coach". Čech began the 2009–10 season in winning form with Chelsea, beating Manchester United in the Community Shield final at Wembley. With the game level at 2–2 at the end of normal time, Čech saved penalties from Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra. Čech kept goal for Chelsea in the six-match winning run that opened their season and placed them on top of the Premier League. On 26 September 2009, however, Čech was sent off and at the same time conceded the winning penalty for a trip on Wigan forward Hugo Rodallega, in the defeat that broke the run and conceded the lead in the league to Manchester United. On 27 February 2010, Čech sustained a calf injury in the Champions League match against Inter Milan. On 13 April, Čech kept his 100th Premier League clean sheet for Chelsea, against Bolton. He won his second Premier League Golden Glove award for the season, having kept 17 clean sheets in the Premier League as Chelsea secured a third title. He concluded his season by saving a Kevin-Prince Boateng penalty against Portsmouth in the FA Cup final, ensuring that the Blues went on to retain the Cup and achieve their first domestic double. During 2010–11 pre-season training, Čech reaggravated the calf injury he suffered against Inter the previous season. Scans revealed a muscle tear that sidelined him for the next three weeks, including Chelsea's 3–1 loss to Manchester United in the Community Shield. He returned on 14 August and kept a clean sheet as Chelsea beat West Bromwich Albion 6–0. Čech then kept another clean sheet in a 2–0 win over Arsenal, before keeping a clean sheet in a 0–0 draw at Villa Park. On 7 March, Čech made his 300th Chelsea appearance, against Premier League side Blackpool, which Chelsea went on to win 3–1. On 19 May, Čech was awarded the Chelsea Player of the Year for the first time. More than 28,000 fans voted for the award, which was handed over by Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. Čech started the opening game of Chelsea's 2011–12 Premier League season away to Stoke City, which ended 0–0. On 18 August 2011, Čech was ruled out for up to four weeks after he sustained a knee injury in training. He made his return three weeks later against Sunderland in which Chelsea won 2–1. He kept a clean sheet in Chelsea's first Champions League match of the season in a 2–0 win over Bayer Leverkusen. On 27 February, Čech was announced as the Czech Footballer of the Year for 2011, winning the award for the fifth time. On 24 March, Čech played his 250th league game for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur in a 0–0 draw at Stamford Bridge. Čech saved a penalty in extra time against former teammate Arjen Robben, and two penalties in the subsequent penalty shoot-out, of the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich resulting in the first Champions League win for Chelsea. Čech was named the Fans' Man of the Match following his heroic performance in goal for The Blues. By winning the Champions League, Čech became just the fourth Czech to win the competition. He finished the season by signing a new four-year contract with Chelsea in May, keeping him with the club until the end of the 2015–16 season. Čech started in Chelsea's first match of the 2012–13 season, the 2012 Community Shield against Manchester City, but failed to keep a clean sheet as Chelsea went down 3–2 to goals from Yaya Touré, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri. He also featured in the last UEFA Super Cup to be played at Monaco's Stade Louis II, in which he conceded four goals as Chelsea lost 4–1 to the UEFA Europa League winners Atlético Madrid. In October 2012, Čech took the captain's armband as regular Chelsea captain John Terry was sidelined with a four-match ban. In May 2013, Čech won the UEFA Europa League when Chelsea defeated Benfica 2–1 in the final. On 19 October 2013, Čech made his 300th Premier League appearance for Chelsea, in a 4–1 home win over newly promoted side Cardiff City. On 11 January 2014, he kept his 209th clean sheet for Chelsea in all competitions in a 2–0 away win at Hull City, beating the club record set by Peter Bonetti. On 18 March 2014, Čech made his 100th UEFA Champions League appearance in a 2–0 win over Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge. He became the fourth goalkeeper to make a century of appearances in the competition after Iker Casillas, Víctor Valdés and Oliver Kahn. On 22 April 2014, Čech was substituted in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Atlético Madrid with a shoulder injury. Chelsea manager José Mourinho stated that the injury would prevent Čech from playing again in the 2013–14 season. Despite the injury, Čech would finish the season as the joint winner of the Premier League Golden Glove award along with Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny, both keeping 16 clean sheets. Čech's place as Chelsea's starting goalkeeper was taken at the start of the season by Thibaut Courtois. This was possibly due to Čech's long standing injury concerns to his shoulder, back and knees. On 24 September 2014, Čech made his first appearance of the season against Bolton in the third round of the League Cup, a 2–1 victory. He made his first league appearance of the season on 5 October, replacing the injured Courtois in the first half of a 2–0 home win over Arsenal. His second start of the season came in the Champions League group stage victory against Slovenian side Maribor, keeping a clean sheet as Chelsea won 6–0. With Courtois injured, Čech made his first league start of the season on 13 December against Hull, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 win. Despite him being second choice, Mourinho stated that Čech would not be sold in the January 2015 transfer window due to third-choice Mark Schwarzer leaving for Leicester City. During that month, Čech made back to back starts in the Premier League against Newcastle United at home, followed by Swansea City away from home, keeping clean sheets in both wins. On 1 March 2015, Čech started in goal in the 2015 Football League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 victory to win the trophy for the third time in his career. Čech signed for Chelsea's Premier League rivals Arsenal on a four-year contract on 29 June 2015, for a fee of around £10 million. His move saw him subjected to death threats by a few Chelsea supporters. The departure of Wojciech Szczęsny to Roma on loan made Čech first-choice goalkeeper ahead of David Ospina. On 2 August, Čech won his first trophy with Arsenal after beating former side Chelsea 1–0 in the 2015 FA Community Shield. A week later, he made his Premier League debut for Arsenal in a 2–0 home defeat to West Ham. On 20 October, he made his first Champions League appearance for Arsenal in a 2–0 win against Bayern Munich. Čech recorded his 170th Premier League clean sheet in a 2–0 win against AFC Bournemouth on 28 December 2015, setting a new league record and overtaking previous record holder David James. On 2 March 2016, he was sidelined due to a calf injury while playing against Swansea. On 2 April, he returned as an unused substitute against Watford and returned to the pitch on 17 April against Crystal Palace in a narrow 1–1 draw and guided Arsenal to its 500th Premier League win on 21 April against West Brom. Marking the end of his debut season with Arsenal, he was named the Premier League Goalkeeper of the season by critics and platforms for winning the Golden Glove with an under-performing defence. Čech was given the captain's armband for Arsenal in their 4–3 opening day home loss to Liverpool. In September 2016, he featured for the full 90 minutes in a 3–0 rout by Arsenal of his former side Chelsea at the Emirates. On 24 April 2017, Čech played in the 2016–17 FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley, which Arsenal won 2–1. During this season, Cech received mild criticism among Arsenal fans for his inability to play with the ball at his feet but meanwhile he had the third most clearances among all goalkeepers in Premier League with 11 which manifested his transformation into a "sweeper keeper". Čech again held the captain's armband on 10 May 2017 in a 2–0 win over Southampton at the St Mary's Stadium. Čech was sidelined for the FA Cup Final due to injury, but Arsenal beat Chelsea 2–1. Čech won his fifth FA Cup, and Arsenal became the most successful club in the history of the competition with 13 tournament wins. Čech was Arsenal's starting goalkeeper in the 2017 Community Shield, against his former club Chelsea; following a 1–1 draw after regulation time, Arsenal won the match in a 4–1 penalty shoot-out, in which neither keeper saved a spot kick. Čech then held the armband to captain Arsenal in their 4–3 opening day home win over Leicester City. On 11 March 2018, Čech became the first Premier League goalkeeper to keep 200 league clean sheets, after a match against Watford in which he saved a penalty from Troy Deeney. Čech started the season as the first choice in goal for new manager Unai Emery, but later lost his place to new signing Bernd Leno after suffering a hamstring injury during a match against Watford. On 15 January 2019, Čech announced via open letter on Twitter that he would retire at the end of the season. On 29 May, he made the final appearance of his career in Arsenal's 4–1 defeat to his former club Chelsea in the 2019 UEFA Europa League final. Several media outlets described him as Arsenal's Man of the Match. Čech first came to prominence at the age of 20 at the 2002 U-21 European Championships, when he concede only one of the penalties in a penalty shoot-out victory over France in the final, earning the Czech Republic their first title at youth level. Čech debuted for the senior squad in February 2002 against Hungary. After establishing himself as the first choice goalkeeper, Čech was selected in the Czech Republic's squad for UEFA Euro 2004, where he was named in the all-star team as best goalkeeper at the tournament. On 17 October 2007, Čech captained the Czech Republic team in their Euro 2008 Group D qualifier against Germany. He kept a clean sheet and the Czechs defeated Germany 3–0 away to book their place for the finals in Austria and Switzerland. In the last group game of the final tournament, Čech was beaten three times in the final 15 minutes as Turkey overcame a two-goal deficit to knock the Czechs out. Čech had a cross slip through his hands, allowing Nihat Kahveci to score Turkey's equalising goal. On 29 May 2012, Čech was named in the Czech Republic's squad for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. In the Czech Republic's group match against Greece, a fumble from Čech allowed the Greeks a goal. Čech deputised for the injured Tomáš Rosický as captain in the final group match against Poland, as the Czech Republic qualified for the quarter-finals with a 1–0 victory. Čech's captaincy continued in the quarter-final, where the Czechs lost to Portugal through a 79th-minute Cristiano Ronaldo goal. On 26 March 2013, Čech made his 100th appearance for the Czech Republic, keeping a clean sheet in a 3–0 win over Armenia. Čech equalled the national record of former teammate Karel Poborský on 17 November 2015, when he earned his 118th appearance in a 3–1 loss to neighbours Poland in Wrocław. The following 27 May, he took the record outright by playing in a 6–0 friendly victory over Malta. On 8 July 2016, Čech announced his retirement from international football. He is the most capped player in the history of the Czech team, with 124 caps. In June 2019, Čech returned to former club Chelsea as a technical and performance advisor. In October 2020, Čech was included in Chelsea's 25-man Premier League squad for the 2020–21 season. The club announced that Čech was included as an emergency goalkeeper and as a non-contract player, and that this was a precautionary move due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He made one appearance for Chelsea's under-23 team in the Premier League 2. During a protest against the proposed European Super League outside Stamford Bridge on 20 April 2021, Čech approached fans who were blocking the team bus and could be heard saying "give us time". The fans did move and the team bus was able to enter after a short delay. Later that day, Chelsea were among the first clubs to withdraw from the league. In June 2022, Čech left Chelsea after Todd Boehly took over the club. On 9 October 2019, Čech signed for ice hockey side Guildford Phoenix of the National Ice Hockey League Division 2 (level 4 of British hockey) as a goaltender. He chose to wear number 39 jersey in honour of Dominik Hašek. Čech said he would continue his role as a technical and performance advisor at Chelsea whilst playing ice hockey in his spare time. He was named the man of the match on his ice hockey debut on 13 October, after stopping two penalty shots in a shoot-out victory, and making several other crucial saves. After winning a treble with Guildford Phoenix in the 2021–22 season, Čech signed for the National Ice Hockey League Division 1 side Chelmsford Chieftains in November 2022. In June 2023, after one season with Chelmsford, he signed for fellow Division 1 side Oxford City Stars. In the 2023 off-season, Čech played for the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) defending champions, Belfast Giants, in a charity match to support the continuation of ice hockey in Ukraine (amid the Russo-Ukrainian War), raising £65,000. In November 2023, he joined the club on loan as temporary emergency cover. In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Čech revealed that he used to play youth ice hockey in addition to football, but equipment costs forced him to play the significantly cheaper sport of football. He also stated that ice hockey was his preferred sport as a child. Čech made his first and only appearance for the Giants during his initial loan spell in a 5–1 win over the Glasgow Clan on 25 November, playing for the final five minutes of the game in relief of starting goaltender Tyler Beskorowany, and making one save. He returned to his parent club in December before re-signing for the Giants on loan for a second time in the 2023–24 season in February 2024. Since his emergence as a precocious talent in his youth, Čech has been considered to be one of the greatest, most consistent, and most respected goalkeepers both of his generation and of all time. A tall, athletic, agile, brave, physically strong, and well-rounded keeper, with a strong mentality, as well as good decision-making and leadership qualities; throughout his career he has stood out for his reflexes and shot-stopping abilities, as well as his positional sense, concentration, defence organisation, handling when coming off his line to claim crosses, and command of his area. Although Čech is not as adept with the ball at his feet as the newer generation of goalkeepers that emerged in his later career, he possesses a deep kick with either foot, despite being naturally left-footed. His ability to produce deep kicks and long throws came to use in his Chelsea days for starting quick counter-attacks which were an important part of their game. In his later career, he often functioned as a sweeper keeper, due to his ability to rush off his line, anticipate opponents who had beaten the offside trap, and clear the ball away from danger. Čech is also known for his penalty-saving abilities. Some examples of his penalty saves in high-profile matches include those made in the 2012 UEFA Champions League final, the 2010 FA Cup final, and his penalty save against Blackburn during the 2004–05 season, which helped him beat Peter Schmeichel's Premier League record of 694 minutes without conceding a goal. He cited fellow goalkeepers Oliver Kahn, Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar as inspirations in his early career. Čech is considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers both of his generation and of all time, as well as one of the best keepers in Premier League history, and has earned praise from several players, pundits, and managers due to his goalkeeping ability. Fellow goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon named Čech as the best goalkeeper of his era, saying: "The best goalkeeper with his feet? Pepe Reina. In the air I'd say Neuer. With his hands: Casillas. The best overall I'd say is Čech." Iker Casillas instead described him as, "One of the best goalkeepers I have ever seen" via his Twitter account. Former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger and goalkeeper Jens Lehmann have hailed him as "one of the greatest of all time". Journalist Alan Tyers of The Telegraph described Čech as the "Premier League's best-ever goalkeeper" in 2019. Čech currently holds two Guinness World Records for the most clean sheets in English Premier League history, and for winning the Premier League Golden Glove Award with two different clubs. Nathan Baxter, Martin Dúbravka, Marek Rodák and João Virgínia are some of the goalkeepers who have described him as their idol. In 2011, Čech was voted the third best goalkeeper of the first decade of 21st century by IFFHS. He also has the third highest number of clean sheets (391) since 2000s among all goalkeepers. Former Premier League striker and record-goalscorer Alan Shearer named Čech in his Premier League's Team of the Decade in 2019. Čech was born a triplet along with his sister Šárka and brother Michal in Plzeň, Czechoslovakia (present day Czech Republic). He has a weaker skull as a result of being a triplet. Čech married Martina Dolejšová (now Čechová) (born 1982), also of Czech nationality, in June 2003. They have a daughter Adéla, born in 2008, and a son Damián, born in 2009. He is a keen musician and plays the drums. He has a YouTube channel under his own name on which he posts video drum covers, including Incubus' "Anna Molly", as well as songs by Coldplay and Foo Fighters. He has played with Roger Taylor of Queen. In May 2019, he and Taylor released a charity single called That's Football. In 2020, he joined folk rock band Wills & The Willing as their drummer, filming their music video "Iceberg". Along with his native language Czech, Čech also speaks English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. As of 10 June 2024 Chelsea Premier League: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2014–15 FA Cup: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12 Football League Cup: 2004–05, 2006–07, 2014–15; runner-up: 2007–08 FA Community Shield: 2005, 2009 UEFA Champions League: 2011–12; runner-up: 2007–08 UEFA Europa League: 2012–13 FIFA Club World Cup runner-up: 2012 Arsenal FA Cup: 2016–17 FA Community Shield: 2015, 2017 EFL Cup runner-up: 2017–18 UEFA Europa League runner-up: 2018–19 Czech Republic U21 UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 2002 Individual UEFA European Under-21 Championship Golden Player: 2002 Best Goalkeeper of French League: 2003–04 Czech First League Most clean Sheets: 2001–02 UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 2004 Premier League Golden Glove: 2004–05, 2009–10, 2013–14, 2015–16 PFA Team of the Year: 2004–05 Premier League, 2013–14 Premier League Czech Footballer of the Year: 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 Golden Ball (Czech Republic): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper: 2005 Best European Goalkeeper: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012 UEFA Club Football Awards Best Goalkeeper: 2005, 2007, 2008 UEFA Team of the Year: 2005 ESM Team of the Year: 2004–05, 2005–06 Premier League Player of the Month: March 2007 Chelsea Player of the Year: 2011 Premier League Hall of Fame: 2023 Guildford Phoenix NIHL Division 2 South Regular Season: 2021–22 NIHL Division 2 South Playoffs: 2021–22 NIHL Division 2 South Cup: 2021–22 Individual NIHL 2 South Player of the Month: January 2020 Honorary Silver Medal of Jan Masaryk: 2019 Most Premier League Golden Glove awards: 4 (shared with Joe Hart) Most Premier League clean sheets: 202 clean sheets. Most Premier League clean sheets at one club: 162 with Chelsea. Most Premier League clean sheets in a season: 24 in 2004–05. First Premier League goalkeeper to reach 200 clean sheets. First Premier League goalkeeper to go 1000 minutes without conceding a goal. Fastest Premier League goalkeeper to reach 50 clean sheets: 82 appearances. Fastest Premier League goalkeeper to reach 100 clean sheets: 180 appearances. Only goalkeeper to have won the Premier League Golden Glove with different clubs. Most caps for Czech Republic national football team: 124 caps. Most Czech Footballer of the Year wins: 9 wins. Most Czech Republic Golden Ball wins: 11 wins. Most Champions League appearances by a Czech player: 111 appearances. Most Premier League appearances for Chelsea by a foreign player: 333 appearances. Most Premier League wins for Chelsea by a foreign player: 219 wins. Most appearances for Chelsea by a foreign player: 494 appearances. Most penalty saves for Chelsea by a foreign player: 8 penalty saves. Most starts for Chelsea in a season: 63 starts in 2012–13. Most major cup final appearances for Chelsea: 14 (shared with Frank Lampard). Most clean sheets for Chelsea: 227. Most clean sheets in a season for Chelsea: 28 clean sheets in 2004–05. Most consecutive clean sheets for Chelsea in all competitions: 7 in 2005–06 (shared record). Most consecutive home league clean sheets for Chelsea: 9 in 2009–10 - 2010–11 (shared record). Most consecutive home clean sheets for Chelsea in all competitions: 10 in 2009–10. Most consecutive league clean sheets for Chelsea: 10 in 2004–05. Most league clean sheets in a season for Chelsea: 24 in 2004–05. Most away league clean sheets in a season for Chelsea: 11 in 2004–05 & 2005–06. Most UEFA Best Club Goalkeeper Awards for a Premier League goalkeeper: 3 awards. One of four goalkeepers to have made consecutive appearances in the ESM Team of the Year (shared with Angelo Peruzzi, Oliver Kahn, and Manuel Neuer). List of footballers with 100 or more UEFA Champions League appearances List of men's footballers with 100 or more international caps Official website Petr Čech – FIFA competition record (archived) Petr Čech – UEFA competition record (archived) Petr Čech at FAČR (also at old FAČR website) (in Czech) Petr Čech at (in Czech)

Photo of Ivo Viktor

10. Ivo Viktor (b. 1942)

With an HPI of 59.11, Ivo Viktor is the 10th most famous Czech Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Ivo Viktor (born 21 May 1942) is a Czech former footballer who played as a 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.


Pantheon has 236 people classified as Czech soccer players born between 1881 and 2002. Of these 236, 179 (75.85%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Czech soccer players include Antonín Panenka, Pavel Nedvěd, and Jan Koller. The most famous deceased Czech soccer players include Josef Masopust, Matthias Sindelar, and Oldřich Nejedlý. As of April 2024, 55 new Czech soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Josef Vojta, Václav Mašek, and Václav Hovorka.

Living Czech Soccer Players

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Deceased Czech Soccer Players

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Newly Added Czech Soccer Players (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

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