Libor Sionko

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Libor Sionko
Libor Sionko.jpg
Libor Sionko
Personal information
Date of birth (1977-02-01) 1 February 1977 (age 37)
Place of birth Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Right Winger
Youth career
1984–1986 TJ Vítkovice
1986–1993 Baník Ostrava
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1994 Banik Ostrava 1 (0)
1994–1996 TŽ Třinec 12 (3)
1996–1997 VTJ Znojmo 0 (0)
1997–1999 Banik Ostrava 45 (11)
1999–2004 Sparta Prague 95 (25)
2004 Grazer AK 15 (2)
2004–2006 Austria Vienna 63 (8)
2006–2007 Rangers 18 (3)
2007–2009 F.C. Copenhagen 54 (9)
2010–2012 Sparta Prague 40 (7)
Total 343 (68)
National team
1998–2000 Czech Republic U21 19 (7)
1999–2010 Czech Republic 41 (8)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 June 2011.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 25 March 2011

Libor Sionko (born 1 February 1977 in Ostrava) is a retired Czech footballer who played as a midfielder. At club level he started in his home town of Ostrava, playing for the youth teams of TJ Vítkovice and Baník Ostrava. Professionally, he played in his native country until 2004, featuring for clubs including Ostrava and Sparta Prague. He then went abroad, playing in Austria for Grazer AK and Austria Vienna before heading to Scotland where he played for Rangers. He subsequently had a spell in Denmark with F.C. Copenhagen before returning to the Czech Republic to finish his career with Sparta, where he last played before retiring in 2012.

Internationally Sionko made his debut for the Czech Republic in 1999 and took part in three tournaments, in particular the 2000 Olympics, the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. He played sporadically until 2010, finishing his career with 8 goals from 41 games.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

He previously played for Austria Vienna, Grazer AK, Sparta Prague, Banik Ostrava and Rangers. Playing successfully for Sparta in the Czech League and UEFA Champions League, where Sparta in two occasions (1999-00 and 2003–04), got through from the group stage. He left Prague, due to contract problems, to join high-rising Grazer Athletik Klub in February 2004, helping to achieve the first ever Austrian championship for the Styrians. He also was in the team winning the Austrian Cup for the 4th time.

After that remarkable success and change to Austria Vienna, he was a principal for a very successful challenge in the 2004–05 UEFA Cup, when the Viennese side reached the quarter-final. In 2005–06 the Czech player was an Austrian double winner a second time.

Rangers & Copenhagen[edit]

He completed a Bosman transfer to Rangers on 16 May 2006 on a three-year contract.[1]

He scored on his SPL debut against Motherwell on 30 July 2006 in the Gers' 2–1 win.[2] Frequent injury, however, meant that he was used intermittently by Paul Le Guen. He re-established himself in the team in December 2006 where he scored against Hibernian[3] and Aberdeen,[4] as Rangers' form improved after a poor start to the season.

On 27 July 2007, it was announced Rangers have agreed a deal for the transfer of Sionko to the Danish champions F.C. Copenhagen,[5] and the next day he was presented in the club after signing a 2-year deal.[6]

On 4 August came Sionko's debut for the club, where he assisted in the single goal at the 1–0 victory away against AGF. His first goal for the club came in his second match, and his home debut at Parken Stadium, against Esbjerg fB notching a 5–2 victory. Afterwards he started the next six matches at the bench, but on 23 September he was back in the lineup in his first New Firm Derby against Brøndby IF. This match ended 1–0 for FCK, the goal assisted by Sionko. Afterwards he has scored twice in a cup match against FC Fredericia and once against Lyngby Boldklub – in both matches he was named man of match.

Following the Lyngby-match, Sionko told fck.dk that his family has settled down well in Copenhagen and that he calls Copenhagen his second home.[7]

Sparta Prague[edit]

Sionko was rarely used in the first team in the autumn of 2009, and in January 2010 he was released from his contract and subsequently signed with Sparta Prague. The midfielder has signed with the Czech club a contract until June 2012, after being released by the Danish club.

He retired on 27 August 2012 after failing to find a new club after his Sparta Prague contract ran out.

International career[edit]

Sionko has represented his country at Under 17, Under 18, Under 20 and Under 21 level as well as playing twice in an unofficial friendly tournament in May 1998. He earned his first full cap in a friendly against Poland on 24 April 1999 and has been capped 41 times by the Czech Republic national team, scoring 8 goals. He had been only a substitute for a long time, because his position of right winger was occupied by Karel Poborský.

2000 Olympics[edit]

Sionko played in all three games at the 2000 Olympics as the Czechs drew with the United States and Cameroon and lost to Kuwait, meaning they were eliminated at the group stage and finished bottom of their group.

2006 World Cup[edit]

He was called up to the Czech team for the 2006 World Cup due to Vladimír Šmicer being injured; however he only featured as a late substitute role in some games as the Czechs were knocked out in the group stage of the competition. Sionko's World Cup debut came against Ghana on 17 June 2006. Ghana won the game 2–0.

Euro 2008[edit]

On 11 June, Sionko scored for the Czech Republic in their second game of Euro 2008, a 1–3 defeat to Portugal which sent the Portuguese through to the quarter-finals of the tournament. Sionko equalised in the 17th minute after Deco had opened the scoring in the 8th minute. However, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma added two further goals for their team in the second half to leave the Czechs to battle it out with Turkey in the final game of Group A.

International goals[edit]

As of 1 March 2009
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 12 November 2003 Na Stínadlech, Teplice, Czech Republic  Canada 4–0 5–1 Friendly
2. 6 September 2006 Tehelné pole, Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia 0–1 0–3 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
3. 6 September 2006 Tehelné pole, Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia 0–2 0–3 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
4. 17 October 2007 Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany  Germany 0–1 0–3 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
5. 30 May 2008 Letná, Prague, Czech Republic  Scotland 1–0 3–1 Friendly
6. 30 May 2008 Letná, Prague, Czech Republic  Scotland 3–1 3–1 Friendly
7. 11 June 2008 Stade de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland  Portugal 1–1 1–3 UEFA Euro 2008
8. 15 October 2008 Na Stínadlech, Teplice, Czech Republic  Slovenia 1–0 1–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sionko completes Rangers switch". BBC Sport. 16 May 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  2. ^ "Motherwell 1–2 Rangers". BBC Sport. 30 July 2006. 
  3. ^ "Rangers 3–0 Hibernian". BBC Sport. 9 December 2006. 
  4. ^ "Aberdeen 1–2 Rangers". BBC Sport. 23 December 2006. 
  5. ^ "Sionko on His Way". Rangers F.C. 27 July 2007. 
  6. ^ "København snap up Sionko". UEFA. 29 July 2007. 
  7. ^ "Sionko: – Mit andet hjem" (in Danish). F.C. Copenhagen. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Sweden Marcus Allbäck
F.C. Copenhagen Player of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
Denmark Hjalte Nørregaard