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  27/04/2011: Nedved (1996-2001)
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Nedved (1996-2001)

Pavel Nedved, born in the town of Cheb, on 30 August 1972. He learned football since he was 5 years old. In 1977, his parents took him to a local youth club, TJ Skalna where he learnt the basics of football.  When he was 13 years old, he moved to another club that had its headquarters near his town, namely RH Cheb.

The following years wouldn't be an easy time for the young Czech, as he had to switch clubs 3 times, going through Skoda Plzen for a few seasons, VTJ Tabor for a short while and finally settling for Dukla Praha at the age of 18.

At Dukla, Nedved earned to make an impression, and he only needed a single season at their youth club to convince the senior squad's coach that he is worthy for a place with the big boys. He was now playing at one of the top teams in the Czech Republic. Although Dukla Praha is not amongst the powers of the Czech league nowadays, it was very successful in the 60s and 70s and has one of the biggest trophy lists in the country.

Nedved's time with Dukla was short, as he only played one season with the club, before being offered by another Czech giant, Sparta Praha.  It's here that Nedved earned a place in the National Team and during his 4 seasons with Sparta, he helped the team win 3 titles and a Cup.

Nedved with SS Lazio

After being spotted by Lazio following an impressive Euro 96’ with the Czech Republic, Nedved arrived on the Italian scene to begin what would be a glittering career on the peninsula.

Nedved's contact with the tough Serie A championship wasn't as big of a shock as it was for other players, mostly because he fit right in, with his enthusiastic, battle-prone playing style. He soon grabbed a first team spot at Lazio. The Czech star was a hit with Lazio fans for his impressive performances against arch-rivals AS Roma. However his finest moment with the Biancocelesti is undoubtedly scoring an 84th minute dazzler in the Cup Winners Cup final.

Nedved played most of the games in the 5 seasons with Lazio as the most productive midfielder in terms of goal scoring. He scored 33 goals from 138 games he played. During his time in Lazio Nedved showed to the World. He said it himself, he was never the most talented player on the pitch, nor the finest dribbler, but he was always one of the players that ended the game exhausted, regardless of the result.

With Lazio, Nedved won the Scudetto in 1999-00, 2 Coppa Italia in 1997/98, and 1999/00, and 2 Supercoppa Italiana in 1998, and 2000. On European competitions, he played on the last international Cup Winners' Cup tournament in 1999 in the Final against RCD Mallorca, where he scored the last ever goal of the tournament in a 2–1 win for Lazio. He also part of Lazio success in European Super Cup 1999, when Lazio beat Manchester United with a single goal by Salas.

His hard but fair playing style, his decisiveness and most importantly the passion with which he battled for every ball, earned Nedved many individual awards, including FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Nedved moved to Juventus in 2001 for a fee of € 41 million as a replacement for Zinedine Zidane, who had transferred to Spain's Real Madrid the same summer, neither Lazio that had some financial problems, nor the Czech player could refuse.

Ironically, after spending a further eight seasons with Juventus, Nedved never managed to achieve the honors he received in just five spectacular years in the capital city with SS Lazio.

(Ali Alkatiri)

Jofo 4/28/2011 7:59:45 AM
My all time best Lazio player.
Hamid 4/28/2011 8:00:40 AM
I was always his fan.
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