Josef Masopust

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Josef Masopust
Josef Masopust (2011).jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1931-02-09) 9 February 1931 (age 84)
Place of birth Střimice, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Box-To-Box Midfielder
Youth career
1945–1950 ZSJ Uhlomost Most
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1950–1952 ZSJ Technomat Teplice
1952–1968 Dukla Prague 386 (79)
1968–1970 Crossing Molenbeek
National team
1954–1966 Czechoslovakia 63 (10)
Teams managed
1973–1976 Dukla Prague
1976–1980 Zbrojovka Brno
1980–1984 Hasselt
1984–1987 Czechoslovakia
1988–1991 Indonesia Junior team
1992 Zbrojovka Brno
1993–1996 FK Pelikán Děčín
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Signature of Josef Masopust (2011)
Josef Masopust (in the centre) with Zdeněk Nehoda and Ivo Viktor (right) in 1974

Josef Masopust (born 9 February 1931) is a Czech former football player and coach. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1962. In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of the Czech Republic by the Football Association of the Czech Republic as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years. He played as midfielder and was an indispensable player for Czechoslovakia.[1] He capped 63 times, scoring 10 goals for his country.[2]

He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.


In 1962, Masopust led the Czechoslovakia team that reached the 1962 FIFA World Cup final, losing to Brazil. He scored the opening goal in the Final and Czechoslovakia took the lead, Brazil however came back to win 3-1.[3] Because of his performance at the World Cup Finals, he was named European Footballer of the Year in 1962. Overall, he was capped 63 times for his country, scoring ten goals (he also played in the 1958 FIFA World Cup). In Europe, he took Czechoslovakia to third place at the 1960 UEFA European Football Championship.

Masopust's first club was lowly ZSJ Uhlomost Most, but ZSJ Technomat Teplice (renamed to ZSJ Vodotechna Teplice in 1951) signed him as a 19-year-old left-half and gave him his top-flight debut. Then, in 1952, he joined a Czechoslovak Armed Forces football club under name of ATK Praha (renamed to ÚDA Praha in 1953 and to Dukla Prague in Winter 1956). They won eight league championships. When he eventually went abroad in 1968, he helped Crossing Molenbeek win promotion to the Belgian first division as player-coach. His coaching career continued at Dukla, yet his greatest achievement on the bench was winning the Czechoslovak league with Zbrojovka Brno in 1978.[3] Later, in 1984-88, he led the Czechoslovakian national football team before a spell in Indonesia where coached their national football junior team between 1988 and 1991.

Playing ability[edit]

Masopust was in a similar mould to that of the Magyar Bozsik; a workhorse of a team, who toiled away in obscurity crafting and building fresh attacks for the front line. Masopust though was not devoid of technical abilities and could 'play the violin and do the dishes'. He Possessed exemplary ball control, his transmission with ball on foot through the field was clinical, which he utilized for both; basic work, from the recovery of the ball in defense, to driving menacingly through the opposition in what was termed 'Masopust's slalom'. During these solo runs Masopust would seamlessly switch between both feet, easily jinking to the left and right but always moving forward.

Like Bozsik, Masopust as well was a marvellous passer, and was able to pick out teammates with both strength and precision. The only flaw in his capabilities came from his physical weakness due to his medium build, but he made up for this deficit with massive reserves of stamina and pace, allowing him to be a tireless engine in the centre of the field.

Shackled by Czechoslovakia's 'no-risk' style philosophy, Masopust's natural inclination for attack was limited, yet he still managed 10 goals in 63 caps for his country. At club level he scored 79 times in 386 appearances for Dukla Praha.

Career statistics[edit]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 10 May 1956 Charmilles Stadium, Geneva, Switzerland   Switzerland 1-6 Win International Cup
2. 8 August 1956 Estádio do Pacaembu, São Paulo, Brazil  Brazil 4-1 Lost Friendly
3. 30 August 1958 Strahov Stadium, Prague, Czechoslovakia  Soviet Union 2-2 Draw Friendly
4. 13 December 1958 Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genova, Italy  Italy 1-1 Draw International Cup
5. 1 May 1960 Strahov Stadium, Prague, Czechoslovakia  Austria 4-0 Win Friendly
6. 22 May 1960 Stadionul 23 August, Bucharest, Romania  Romania 0-2 Win EURO 1960
7. 29 October 1961 Strahov Stadium, Prague, Czechoslovakia  Republic of Ireland 7-1 Win 1962 FIFA World Cup Q.
8. 17 June 1962 Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile  Brazil 3-1 Lost 1962 FIFA World Cup
9. 16 September 1962 Praterstadion, Vienna, Austria  Austria 0-6 Win Friendly
10. 16 September 1962 Praterstadion, Vienna, Austria  Austria 0-6 Win Friendly

National team statistics[edit]


Czechoslovakia national team
Year Apps Goals
1954 1 0
1955 0 0
1956 10 2
1957 6 0
1958 10 2
1959 2 0
1960 6 2
1961 7 1
1962 11 3
1963 4 0
1964 4 0
1965 1 0
1966 1 0
Total 63 10

External links[edit]