The TOP 10 Czech footballers who participated in the CEE Cup

05.02.2020 08:30

In the course of the 9 editions of the CEE Cup, hundreds of Czech footballers had the chance to showcase their skills, many of whom can currently be seen in playing in the top league. The following list, compiled by our editors, represents the 10 players whose careers have been steadily rising.

10. Matěj Pulkrab (Sparta)
Strong forward who, in 2015, led Sparta (as captain) in the memorable final of the CEE Cup, in which the Czechs played more than half the match against Fluminense in numerical inferiority (10 players against 11) but still managed to tie 1:1 and ultimately win at penalties. Pulkrab was a member of the Sparta A-Team and now is in Bohemians Praha 1905 on loan.

9. Antonín Vaníček (Bohemians)
In 2015, the Bohemians finished 7th out of 12 teams and could rely on two league players today - Matěj Chaluš and agile wingman Antonín Vaníček. While Chaluš made his debut in the league after moving to the Příbram team, Vaníček stuck with the Bohemians and within two years he made his own debut playing against Sparta.

8. Václav Drchal (Sparta)
His performance in the 2017 CEE Cup was perhaps less than stellar, as Sparta lost their first match to Burnley. Nevertheless, the young striker's goal-scoring abilities were never in discussion, so much so, in fact, that Drchal eventually made the A-team and scored immediately in his debut match in the league.

7. Jan Žambůrek (Slavia, today Brentford)
Slavia started the CEE Cup a year and a half ago with a sensational 3:1 win over Everton, the defending champions. The blonde midfielder gave a great performance, dominating the middle of the pitch and initiating one play after another. It was perhaps that match which resulted in his move to England, specifically Brentford, with whom he made his debut in the second highest competition shortly after his 18th birthday.

6. Michal Sáček (Sparta)
He moved to Sparta in the summer of 2013 from Hodonín, where he played in the second league. It was a big leap for a native of Hustopeče when he suddenly made his appearance in Sparta. Between 2013 and 2014, when they won their last league title, Sparta finished fourth and sixth respectively in the CEE Cup. Over the next two years, the handy midfielder succeeded in the A-team of the Prague club and is still a Sparta player today.

5. Michal Trávník (Slovácko, today Sparta)
He first appeared at the CEE Cup as one of Slovácko's greatest promises. The team from Uherské Hradiště finished 7th out of 12 and Trávník soon moved to the league A-team, where he spent four seasons. He played another four years in Jablonec and then moved to Sparta before the start of the current season.

4. Martin Hašek (Sparta)
He was originally slated to make his tournament debut back in 2012, but an unfortunate injury kept him relegated to the stands, where he watched his teammates fight their way to the final, ultimately lost at the hands of Mladá Boleslav. He got his chance to play the tournament a year later, though this time David Holoubek and his team finished fourth, after losing 1:2 against Slavia in the semifinals. After a three year spell on loan for Pardubice, Žižkov and, finally, Vlašim, he eventually returned to Sparta, who bought him back from Vršovice.

3. Adam Hložek (Sparta)
He made his CEE Cup appearance on his 16th birthday and it was immediately clear that this player was abnormally mature for his age. Only a handful of months have gone by since his participation in the tournament and he has already made his way to Sparta's A-team where, at the age of 17, he is of valuable support to the team and is already attracting the attention of foreign clubs.

2. Alex Král (Slavia, today Spartak Moscow)
Alex Král only played 45 minutes at the 2016 CEE Cup. "It was a very good tournament, I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I suffered a heat-stroke in the first match, so I played only the first half and the CEE Cup ended early for me", he recalled a year later. In the middle of the following season, Král moved to Teplice, where he gradually became one of the team's stars. Then, a year ago, he returned to Slavia as an old-new reinforcement, but he left soon after, this time to join Spartak Moscow, where he is currently a member of the A-team.

1. Tomáš Souček (Slavia)
And the winner is... Tomáš Souček! Yes, you read that correctly. Even though the youngster's performance for Slavia at the 2013 CEE Cup probably did not catch anybody's attention in particular, the last six years have allowed the player to grow into the valuable asset he currently is for both Slavia and the Czech national team. Tomáš Souček joined Slavia when his team advanced to the tournament final, which they ultimately lost to the Hungarian Győr 1:2. Two years later, Souček became a member of the Slavia A-team. Then he was on loan in Liberec where he was led by coach Trpišovský. After that both came to Slavia and made a big success in Europe together. Now, he is a "fresh meat" in Premier League as a West Ham United squad member.
Tagy: top10    sparta    slavia    bohemians    slovacko   

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