From 1992 until 2005 Lafata played for Czech team SK České Budějovice, with a brief spell at FC Vysočina Jihlava in 2002. The striker then moved to Greek club Skoda Xanthi in July 2005, but returned to the Czech Liga in January 2006. After one year at Jablonec, Lafata was transferred to FK Austria Vienna in January 2007 from where he came back to Jablonec in the spring of 2008.
He continued his good run of form into the 2011–12 season, scoring eleven goals in the first seven games, at the end of the autumn half, he scored eighteen goals in sixteen appearances. In April 2012, Lafata broke the Czech First League season scoring record, notching his 23rd goal of the season. He finished season with 25 goals, being top scorer and setting new record.
In the 2012–13 season, Lafata scored 13 goals in the first 16 games, being top scorer of the league before signing for AC Sparta Prague in the winter break. In March 2014 Lafata scored his 134th goal in the Czech First League, surpassing Horst Siegl as its top all-time scorer.
At the start of the 2014-15 season, Lafata scored five goals in a 7-0 Champions League qualifying round win over Levadia Tallinn in the home leg in Prague. Continuing his fine form in the Champions League qualifying round, Lafata scored a hat trick in an impressive 4-2 comeback victory over Malmo FF at home in Prague.
He scored two goals in a dream debut for the Czech national team in a 2–1 win against Wales on 2 September 2006. He came on as a substitute after 75 mins and scored within a minute of coming on, the second coming in the 89th minute.