Name
Pavel Nedvěd

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Born
1972 (51 years old)

Birth Place
Cheb, Czechoslovakia

Position
Midfielder

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Ethnicity
White

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Height
1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)

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Sport
Soccer

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_Retired Soccer

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Pavel Nedvěd (Czech pronunciation: (listen); born 30 August 1972) is a Czech former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He is 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.

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).

Nedvěd began playing for Czechoslovakia national youth teams in 1988, representing his country in the under-15 age group before progressing to 16, 17 and 18. In 1992, he made his first appearance on the under-21 team, playing seven times between 1992 and 1993.

The midfielder debuted for the re-formed Czech Republic national team in June 1994 in a 3–1 win over the Republic of Ireland. His first major tournament was Euro 1996, where he scored his first senior international goal and helped his team reach the final. He was also part of the Czech team which placed third in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, defeating Uruguay in the third-place match. Nedvěd scored two goals during the tournament, both which came during the Czech Republic's 6–1 win over the United Arab Emirates in their final group match, which allowed them to progress to the semi-finals, where they were defeated by eventual champions Brazil.

A complete, tenacious and consistent two-footed player, Nedvěd frequently played as a left-sided, offensive wide midfielder or as a left-winger throughout his career, due to his crossing ability with his left foot, as well as due to his ability to cut inside and shoot with his right foot, although he was capable of playing anywhere in midfield due to his offensive and defensive work-rate, as well as his versatility, physicality, and tackling ability, which enabled him to start attacking plays after winning back possession. He was also deployed as a central midfielder on occasion, as well as in an attacking midfield and playmaking role, or as a supporting striker, where he excelled as an assist-man due to his excellent dribbling ability, passing range and vision. Primarily known for his powerful shots and volleys from distance, as well as his stamina, he was also a dynamic player, who was noted for his speed, acceleration, endurance, technique and goal-scoring ability, which often saw him carry the ball and undertake forward surging runs from midfield. He was also an accurate set-piece and penalty kick taker.

Known for his trademark long blonde hair, which made him a highly recognisable player on the pitch, Nedvěd was nicknamed "Furia Ceca" ("Czech Fury", or also "Blind Fury" in Italian) by Italian fans, who noted his skill, consistency and verve, as well as his stamina, pace, power and determination. In the English-language media, he was called "the Czech cannon". His former Lazio boss Sven-Göran Eriksson described him as "an atypical midfielder, totally complete". Despite his ability, Nedvěd's tenacious playing style and disciplinary record also led him to be criticised by some in the sport, who accused him of being excessively reckless in his tackles and of going to ground too easily when challenged.

Nedvěd ran the Prague Half Marathon in 2010 (his first race at the distance), finishing the course in 1:49:44. He ran the 2012 Prague Marathon in a time of 3:50:02 for the 42-kilometre course.

Nedvěd was named International Personality at the 2012 FAI International Football Awards in February. In January 2013, he was banned from attending Serie A matches for three weeks after he insulted referee Paolo Valeri during Juventus' match against Sampdoria.

The son of Václav and Anna, Nedvěd had lived with his wife Ivana since 1992. The couple have two children, named Ivana and Pavel after their parents. The couple split in 2019 and the ex-footballer started dating an equestrian 23 years his junior. Nedvěd's 2010 autobiography was published in Italian as La mia vita normale: di corsa tra rivoluzione, Europa, e pallone d'oro. It was translated into Czech as Můj obyčejný život and released in the Czech Republic in 2011. On 6 January 2022, Nedvěd tested positive to COVID-19 amid its pandemic in Italy.



Career Honours

Italian Serie B
2006-2007

Juventus

UEFA Team of the Year
2005

Juventus

UEFA Team of the Year
2004

Juventus

FIFA Ballon d Or
2003

Juventus

Italian Supercoppa Italiana
2003

Juventus

UEFA Team of the Year
2003

Juventus

Italian Serie A
2002-2003

Juventus

Italian Supercoppa Italiana
2002

Juventus

Italian Serie A
2001-2002

Lazio

Italian Supercoppa Italiana
2000

Lazio

Italian Serie A
1999-2000

Lazio

Italian Coppa Italia
1999-2000

Lazio

UEFA Super Cup
1999

Lazio

Italian Supercoppa Italiana
1998

Lazio

Italian Coppa Italia
1997-1998

Lazio

Czech First League
1994-1995

Sparta Prague

Czech First League
1993-1994

Sparta Prague


Career Milestones


Serie A Footballer of the Year
2003-12-31


UEFA European Championships Player Of The Match
2000-06-11


Former Youth Teams


Former Senior Teams

1990-1992

1990-1992 (Loan)

1992-1996

1994-2006

1996-2001

2001-2009


Former Club Staff


Contracts



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LazioAppearancesItalian Serie A2000-200131

LazioGoalsItalian Serie A2000-20019



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