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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Pavel Nedved

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

Pavel Nedved was one of the greatest players ever to have worn the Lazio jersey. A fighter who played mainly on the left side from midfield up, but he could use both feet indifferently.

Source Wikipedia

Born in Cheb on August 30 1972, he started playing football at a very young age in the youth team of Tatran Skalna, to then move first to RH Cheb and then Skoda Plzen, where he played from 1986 to 1990.


In 1991 he turned professional and played for Dukla Prague for a year and then moved to Sparta Prague. He was one of the best players in Euro 1996 where the Czech Republic reached the final.


Zdenek Zeman had asked President Sergio Cragnotti to sign Nedved back in 1995 when Pavel was Mr. Nobody but Cragnotti ignored him. He did not a year later and in 1996 Nedved joined Lazio.


It looked like a marriage made in heaven. Lazio needed a player on the left of Zeman’s midfield and with Zeman being Czech, Nedved would easily adapt to Italian football. He did not. It actually took him a while to adapt to the different culture and different way of working. Then Zeman got fired and was replaced by Dino Zoff half way through the season. Under Zoff the team improved and so did Pavel.


Nedved’s potential exploded under Sven Goran Eriksson and he became one of the best midfield players in Europe. He was one of the protagonists of that amazing team full of champions.


With Lazio he won a scudetto, the Coppa Italia twice, the Super Coppa twice, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup (scoring the winning goal in the final) and the UEFA Super Cup.


He played 207 games for Lazio (138 in Serie A, 22 in Coppa Italia, 30 in Champions League, 14 in the UEFA Cup, 2 in Super Coppa and 1 in the UEFA Super Cup) and scored 51 goals (33 in Serie A, 5 in Coppa Italia, 8 in Champions League, 4 in UEFA Cup and one in the Supercoppa).


In 2001, with Lazio in financial difficulty, Cragnotti sold Nedved to Juventus. But Pavel refused to sign for the Bianconeri, he wanted to stay with Lazio. Cragnotti shredded the signed papers and offered a contract extension to the Czech, who accepted. Everybody happy. But Luciano Moggi, Director General of the Bianconeri, had not thrown the contract away. He flew on a private plane to Rome and invited Nedved and his wife to go to Turin. It was difficult to say no to Moggi and Nedved signed the contract with Juventus. Goodbye Lazio.


Just like he did with Lazio, he became a fundamental player for Juventus staying for eight years, winning the scudetto twice and the Super Coppa twice. He won the Ballon D’Or in 2003. Once he stopped playing he became a member of the Juventus Board of Directors in 2010 and Vice President in 2015.


He played 91 games for the Czech Republic and scored 18 goals. He participated in Euro 1996, Euro 2000, Euro 2004 and the World Cup of 2006.


When he was playing for Lazio he was one of the most loved players but once he moved to Juve, the love turned first to hate and then complete indifference. Mind you it is not surprising. Pavel has spoken very little about his days at Lazio since he moved to Turin.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Cup Winners Cup

UEFA Cup

UEFA Super Cup

Super Coppa

1996-97

38 (10)

32 (7)

3 (1)

-

-

3 (2)

-

-

1997-98

43 (15)

26 (11)

6 (2)

-

-

11 (2)

-

-

1998-99

34 (6)

21 (1)

4

-

8 (4)

-

-

1 (1)

1999-00

47 (7)

28 (5)

6 (1)

12 (1)

-

-

1

-

2000-01

45 (13)

31 (9)

3 (1)

10 (3)

-

-

-

1

Total

207 (51)

138 (33)

22 (5)

22 (4)

8 (4)

14 (4)

1

2 (1)

Sources


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