Zdeněk Grygera

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Zdeněk Grygera
Zdenek Grygera.jpg
Personal information
Full nameZdeněk Grygera
Date of birth (1980-05-14) 14 May 1980 (age 38)
Place of birth Přílepy, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in) [1]
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1987–1990 TJ Holešov
1990–1997 FK Svit Zlín
Senior career*
1997–1998 Svit Zlín 20 (1)
1998–2000 Petra Drnovice 54 (3)
2000–2003 Sparta Prague 65 (2)
2003–2007 Ajax 78 (8)
2007–2011 Juventus 87 (3)
2011–2012 Fulham 5 (0)
National team
2001–2009 Czech Republic 65 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Zdeněk Grygera (Czech pronunciation: [ˈzdɛɲɛk ˈɡrɪɡɛra] ; born 14 May 1980) is a retired Czech footballer. A former defender, he was known for his work-rate, competitiveness, and versatility, and usually played as a full-back, wing-back, or winger along right flank, although he was also capable of playing on the left, or as a centre-back; while being solid defensively, he was also known for his ability to get forward and for his all-round good quality of play. [2] [3] [4] [5]

Czech Republic republic in Central Europe

The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants; its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen. The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

Association football team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals.


Club career

Grygera (fourth from left, with Urby Emanuelson, Wesley Sneijder, Maarten Stekelenburg, and John Heitinga) played for Ajax from 2003-2007. Oslavy Ajaxu.jpg
Grygera (fourth from left, with Urby Emanuelson, Wesley Sneijder, Maarten Stekelenburg, and John Heitinga) played for Ajax from 2003–2007.

Early career

Grygera began his career at Petra Drnovice before moving to Sparta Prague. [6] In July 2003, he was signed by Dutch club Ajax for an undisclosed fee, estimated to be around €3.5 million. [7] His first goal came for the club came in September 2004, a 5–0 thrashing away at Den Bosch. He soon became a fan favorite, especially after scoring against bitter rivals Feyenoord in the April Klassieker .

AC Sparta Prague Czech association football club

Athletic Club Sparta Praha, commonly known as Sparta Prague, is a Czech football club based in Prague.

AFC Ajax Dutch association football team

Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax, also known as AFC Ajax, Ajax Amsterdam or simply Ajax, is a Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam, that plays in the Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football. Historically, Ajax has been the most successful club in the Netherlands, with 33 Eredivisie titles and 18 KNVB Cups. It has continuously played in the Eredivisie, since its inception in 1956 and, along with Feyenoord and PSV, it is one of the country's "big three" clubs that have dominated that competition.

FC Den Bosch Dutch association football club

FC Den Bosch is a football club from 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.


On 10 January 2007, it was confirmed by Ajax Technical Director Martin van Geel that Grygera would be leaving for Juventus on a Bosman transfer when his contract with Ajax expired in June 2007. He was supposed to transfer after the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but the Calciopoli scandal prevented him from doing so. [8] He expressed his delight over the possibility of playing with one of his Czech compatriots, Pavel Nedvěd. Due to his versatility, he soon established himself in the Juventus starting lineup. In March, he scored and subsequently set up David Trezeguet's goal in a 2–0 win over Genoa, and also scored a last-gasp equalizer in the club's Derby d'Italia fixture against rivals Internazionale on 18 April 2009. [9]

Juventus F.C. association football club from Italy

Juventus Football Club, colloquially known as Juve, is an Italian professional football club based in Turin, Piedmont. Founded in 1897 by a group of Torinese students, the club has worn a black and white striped home kit since 1903 and has played home matches in different grounds around its city, the latest being the 41,507-capacity Allianz Stadium. Nicknamed Vecchia Signora, the club has won 34 official league titles, 13 Coppa Italia titles and eight Supercoppa Italiana titles, being the record holder for all these competitions; two Intercontinental Cups, two European Cups / UEFA Champions Leagues, one European Cup Winners' Cup, a joint national record of three UEFA Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and one UEFA Intertoto Cup. Consequently, the side leads the historical Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) ranking whilst on the international stage occupies the 4th position in Europe and the eight in the world for most confederation titles won with eleven trophies, having led the UEFA ranking during seven seasons since its inception in 1979, the most for an Italian team and joint second overall.

2006 FIFA World Cup 18th FIFA World Cup, held in Germany in 2006

The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six populated continents participated in the qualification process which began in September 2003. Thirty-one teams qualified from this process, along with the host nation, Germany, for the finals tournament. It was the second time that Germany staged the competition, and the tenth time that it was held in Europe.

Pavel Nedvěd Czech footballer

Pavel Nedvěd is a Czech retired footballer who played as a midfielder. Described as one of the best footballers of his generation, he is also regarded 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.


In summer 2011, Grygera still had one year left to run on his contract at Juventus, but it was rescinded by mutual consent on 30 August 2011. The following day, he joined English Premier League side Fulham. [10] [11] He received the number 26 jersey and made his Fulham debut on 15 September 2011 in the UEFA Europa League against Twente. [12] Grygera suffered an anterior cruciate ligament rupture during a league match against Tottenham Hotspur on 6 November 2011, which kept him out for the rest of the season. [13]

Premier League Association football league in England

The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL).

Fulham F.C. association football club

Fulham Football Club is a professional association football club based in Fulham, West London, England. Founded in 1879, they currently compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, following their promotion from the EFL Championship in the 2017–18 season. They are the oldest football team from London to play in the Football League.

UEFA Europa League annual association football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971

The UEFA Europa League is an annual football club competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions. It is the second-tier competition of European club football, ranking below the UEFA Champions League.

Grygera's contract with Fulham was up for renewal at the end of the 2011–12 season. Manager Martin Jol, said, "Hopefully he can prove himself before the end of August. If he proves he's fit I would like to keep him." [14]

The 2011–12 season was Fulham's 114th professional season and their 11th consecutive season in the top flight of English football, the Premier League. They also competed in the Europa League, League Cup and the FA Cup. Fulham finished the season in ninth place after their last league match against Tottenham Hotspur resulted in a 0–2 defeat on 13 May 2012.

Martin Jol Dutch association football player and manager

Maarten Cornelis "Martin" Jol is a Dutch football manager and former midfielder.

On 6 December 2012, Martin Jol confirmed that Grygera had decided to retire from football to concentrate instead on returning to full fitness. [15]

International career

A former Czech youth international, Grygera played for the Czech Republic at UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008. At the 2006 World Cup, Grygera's run and cross set up the opening goal for Jan Koller in the Czechs' first game against the United States, which they won 3–0. [16]

At Euro 2008, Grygera was involved in a rough challenge with Swiss striker Alexander Frei during the first half of the tournament's opening game, which tore Frei's knee ligaments and forced the player out of rest of the tournament. [17] He was a regular during 2010 World Cup qualifying, playing in six of the ten qualifiers, but was not able to help the Czechs qualify for a second consecutive World Cup. Grygera made his 65th and final national appearance in October 2009.


Sparta Prague


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  9. "Report: Juventus vs Internazionale". ESPN. 18 April 2009.
  10. "Grygera granted Juve exit". skysports.com. 30 August 2011.
  11. "Official: Zdenek Grygera rescinds Juventus contract ahead of move to Fulham". Goal. 30 August 2011.
  12. Fulham v Twente Enschede, ESPN, 15 September 2011
  13. "Fulham's Grygera ruled out for six months with knee ligament damage". Daily Mail. 10 November 2011.
  14. "Defender offered Fulham lifeline". The Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  15. "Grygera: "Thank You"". Fulham FC. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  16. "Czech Republic got off to a flying start with a fabulous victory over USA". BBC Sport. 12 June 2006. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  17. "Swiss talisman Frei to miss Euro 2008". Daily Mail. 8 June 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2013.