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Vratislav Lokvenc

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Vratislav Lokvenc
Vratislav Lokvenc 2013.JPG
Lokvenc in 2013
Personal information
Date of birth (1973-09-27) 27 September 1973 (age 43)
Place of birth Náchod, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1980–1986 Náchod
1986–1992 Hradec Králové
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1994 Hradec Králové 55 (8)
1994–2000 Sparta Prague 163 (74)
2000–2004 1. FC Kaiserslautern 116 (36)
2004–2005 VfL Bochum 32 (10)
2005–2008 Red Bull Salzburg 45 (8)
2008 FC Basel (loan) 6 (0)
2008–2009 FC Ingolstadt 04 23 (6)
Total 440 (142)
National team
1993–1996 Czech Republic U21 13 (7)
1995–2006 Czech Republic 74 (14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Vratislav Lokvenc (born 27 September 1973) is a Czech former professional footballer who played as a striker. After playing youth football for Náchod and Hradec Králové, he began his senior club career with the latter team. After moving to Sparta Prague he won five league titles and one cup, as well as the 1999–2000 league top scorer award. He subsequently played abroad, playing club football in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for 1. FC Kaiserslautern, VfL Bochum, Red Bull Salzburg, FC Basel and FC Ingolstadt 04. He retired in 2009.

Lokvenc played international football for the Czech Republic. He played at the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup before going on to take part in three major competitions. He made three substitute appearances at Euro 2000 and played in one game at Euro 2004. His last international tournament was the 2006 World Cup, where he played in two group matches before missing the third through suspension. The Czech Republic did not qualify for the next round of the competition and Lokvenc subsequently retired from international football in 2006.

Club career[edit]

Early success[edit]

Lokvenc was born into a football family; his father, also named Vratislav Lokvenc, played club football for FK Ústí nad Labem in the second football league of Czechoslovakia and later Náchod.[2] Born in 1973, Lokvenc started his professional career during the 1992–93 season with Hradec Králové,[3] joining Sparta Prague in October 1994.[4] He featured in the 1995–96 UEFA Cup for Sparta, scoring the first goal and providing the pass for the second in a 2–1 win against Danish club Silkeborg IF, whereby Sparta qualified on the away goals rule for the second round.[5] He scored a goal shortly after entering the game as a substitute in a first round match of the 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup against Austrian side Sturm Graz; the match finished 2–2.[6]

Lokvenc spent six seasons at Sparta Prague, with whom he won five league titles and the 1995–96 Czech Cup.[3] In March 2000, in a match against České Budějovice, Lokvenc scored four times for Sparta as the match finished 4–1.[7] In doing so he became the third player in the Czech era to score four times in the same match, after Josef Obajdin and Robert Vágner.[7] Lokvenc scored twice in the Prague derby match against Slavia Prague in May 2000, in a 5–1 win which secured the league title for Sparta.[8] He was top scorer of the Czech First League in the 1999–2000 season with 22 goals,[9] tying the league record, which stood until David Lafata scored 25 goals during the 2011–12 season.[10]

Germany[edit]

Lokvenc joined 1. FC Kaiserslautern of the German Bundesliga in 2000, agreeing to the move before the 2000 European Championship.[11] Around the same time, a daughter was born to Lokvenc in May 2000.[8] He scored six goals in an 11–1 friendly match win against an amateur side before the start of the season.[12] In December 2000 Lokvenc scored in the UEFA Cup against Rangers, helping his team qualify for the last 16 of the competition.[13] In the following round Kaiserslautern were paired with Slavia Prague; after the first match had finished goalless, Lokvenc scored the only goal in the second leg of their two-legged tie to eliminate the Czech team.[14] He scored a hat-trick in the 2002–03 DFB-Pokal quarter-final against Bochum, a game which finished 3–3 but was won by Kaiserslautern after a penalty shoot-out.[15] Lokvenc played in the final of the competition at the end of May 2003, but his side were beaten 3–1 by league winners Bayern Munich as the latter claimed the double.[16]

Kaiserslautern announced that Lokvenc would be sold in April 2004, citing his salary demands as reasons for his sale.[17] He joined VfL Bochum of the Bundesliga in the summer of 2004, agreeing the transfer before the European Championships.[18] Bochum were relegated from the league after 33 games of the 34-game season, with Lokvenc scoring his tenth goal of the season in a 2–0 win at third placed Stuttgart.[19]

Late career[edit]

Lokvenc signed for Red Bull Salzburg in the summer of 2005, rejecting offers from Portsmouth and Hertha Berlin.[20] He described his move to Salzburg as "the best transfer of my life",[20] arriving around the same time as Germany national team players Thomas Linke and Alexander Zickler.[21] Lokvenc only played four league matches in his first season with the club before requiring surgery on an injury to his right knee in November.[22] He returned to the team in May 2006, taking part in a match for the first time since July 2005, as he made an appearance as a substitute in a 2–1 home loss against Pasching.[23] The club finished the season as league runners-up, behind Austria Vienna.[24]

Lokvenc scored his first league goal of the 2006–07 Austrian Football Bundesliga in a December match against Altach, levelling the scores as the game finished 1–1.[25] The club went on to win the league in April 2007 with five matches of the season remaining.[26]

In October 2007 Lokvenc scored the only goal in Salzburg's 1–0 UEFA Cup first round win against AEK Athens This was not enough for his team to advance, having lost 3–0 in the first leg of their two-legged tie.[27] Lokvenc featured less for Salzburg in the 2007–08 season,[28] prompting him to join Swiss Super League team Basel on loan in February 2008 for the remainder of the season.[29] He scored in Basel's 1–0 semi-final Swiss Cup victory against Thun.[1] The club went on to win the 2008 league championship title and the 2008 Swiss Cup.[30]

Lokvenc returned to Germany in the summer of 2008, joining Ingolstadt of the 2. Bundesliga.[31]

Post-playing career[edit]

After finishing his professional playing career, Lokvenc worked as a scout in the Czech Republic and Slovakia for his former team, Basel.[32] He also played football in the amateur Czech Fourth Division for Union Čelákovice.[32] He continued to be physically active after his football career, taking part in the 2010 Prague Half Marathon in the same field as former international teammate Pavel Nedvěd.[33] He was again involved in the Prague Half Marathon in 2015, taking part in a relay alongside Nedvěd, fellow footballer Tomáš Hübschman and 2014 Miss Czech Republic, Tereza Skoumalová.[34]

International career[edit]

Lokvenc represented his country at under-21 level, scoring seven goals in 13 matches between 1993 and 1995.[3] He first played for the senior Czech national team in 1995.[3] Lokvenc was part of the Czech Republic squad at the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup in Saudi Arabia. He took part as a substitute in the group stage match against United Arab Emirates and started the third place play-off game versus Uruguay, which the Czech Republic won to finish third overall in the tournament.[35][36]

Euro 2000[edit]

At Euro 2000, Lokvenc made a substitute appearance in the Czech Republic's opening game against the Netherlands, replacing Pavel Nedvěd after 89 minutes as the match resulted in a 1–0 win for the Dutch.[37] He replaced Radek Bejbl in the second group match, against France, coming on after 49 minutes in the 2–1 loss.[38] Lokvenc appeared in the third group match against Denmark, although due to both teams having lost both of their previous matches, neither team could advance to the next round of the competition. He came on after 79 minutes, replacing Vladimír Šmicer in a 2–0 win for his nation.[39]

Euro 2004[edit]

Lokvenc scored twice as a substitute in a June 2003 qualification match against Moldova, scoring both goals with his head in a 5–0 win for his country.[40] He played in one match at Euro 2004. He started the group match against Germany among a group of players which was described by the BBC as "very much a Czech second string", but failed to score and was replaced by Milan Baroš after 59 minutes. The Czech Republic won the match, 2–1.[41]

2006 World Cup[edit]

During the qualification process for the forthcoming World Cup, Lokvenc scored five goals for his country. In a November 2004 match, away at Macedonia, he entered the game in the 76th minute as a substitute for Zdeněk Grygera with the game goalless. He scored the first goal of the game with his head, before Jan Koller made the score 2–0 to win the match.[42] In March 2005, Lokvenc again scored the deciding goal, this time against Finland in Teplice. In a game in which the Czechs had led 3–1, Finland scored twice to level the scores, however Lokvenc made the score 4–3 with three minutes remaining.[43] Four days later, Lokvenc scored another goal, heading in a cross from Baroš, in a 4–0 away win against Andorra.[44] In June of the same year, Lokvenc scored the first and last goals for his nation in an 8–1 home win, also against Andorra.[45]

At the 2006 World Cup, Lokvenc replaced the injured Jan Koller as a substitute in the first group match, against the USA.[46] He didn't score but received a yellow card as his nation won 3–0.[46] He started the second group match, against Ghana, in the absence of fellow strikers Koller and Baroš due to injury.[47][48] He received another yellow card in the match, which Ghana won 2–0.[48] Due to having received two yellow cards, he was suspended for his country's final group match, against Italy.[49] The Czech Republic lost to Italy and therefore failed to progress to the next stage of the competition.[50] Lokvenc announced his retirement from international football in September 2006, becoming the third player from the World Cup team to retire after Karel Poborský and Pavel Nedvěd.[51] He finished his international career with figures of 14 goals in 74 matches.[3]

Style of play[edit]

Lokvenc was particularly noted for his height, being referred to as a "towering forward",[52] and having "a similar aerial threat" to international teammate Jan Koller.[47] His strength was noted as another of his assets.[53]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Source: [54]

Club performance League
Season Club League Apps Goals
Czechoslovakia League
1992–93 Fomei Hradec Králové First League 17 0
Czech Republic League
1993–94 Fomei Hradec Králové Czech First League 29 5
1994–95 9 3
1994–95 Sparta Prague 21 8
1995–96 29 9
1996–97 30 12
1997–98 29 12
1998–99 29 11
1999–00 25 22
Germany League
2000–01 Kaiserslautern Bundesliga 30 9
2001–02 31 11
2002–03 30 8
2003–04 25 8
2004–05 Bochum 32 10
Austria League
2005–06 Red Bull Salzburg Bundesliga 5 0
2006–07 23 6
2007–08 17 3
Switzerland League
2007–08 Basel Super League 6 0
Germany League
2008–09 Ingolstadt 2. Bundesliga 23 6
Country Czechoslovakia 17 0
Czech Republic 201 82
Germany 171 52
Austria 45 9
Switzerland 6 0
Total 440 143

International[edit]

Source: [54]

Czech Republic national team
Year Apps Goals
1995 2 0
1997 4 0
1998 10 1
1999 8 1
2000 10 0
2001 11 3
2002 5 1
2003 5 2
2004 9 1
2005 5 4
2006 5 1
Total 74 14

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list the Czech Republic's goal tally first.[55]
# Date Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 27 May 1998  South Korea 2–2 Draw Friendly
2. 28 April 1999  Poland 1–2 Loss Friendly
3. 15 August 2001  South Korea 5–0 Win Friendly
4. 5 September 2001  Malta 3–2 Win 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
5. 6 October 2001  Bulgaria 6–0 Win 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
6. 13 February 2002  Cyprus 4–3 Win Friendly
7. 11 June 2003  Moldova 5–0 Win UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifier
8.
9. 17 November 2004  Macedonia 2–0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
10. 26 March 2005  Finland 4–3 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
11. 30 March 2005  Andorra 4–0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
12. 4 June 2005  Andorra 8–1 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
13.
14. 30 May 2006  Costa Rica 1–0 Win Friendly

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Sparta Prague
Kaiserslautern
Salzburg
Basel

Country[edit]

Czech Republic

Individual[edit]

  • Top scorer of the Czech First League:[9] 1999–2000

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Schaub, Daniel (14 March 2008). "Beleaguered Basel opt for brute force". UEFA.com. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Machek, Radomír (17 June 2004). "Lokvenc dával v žácích i devadesát gólů". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Jeřábek, Luboš (2007). Český a československý fotbal – lexikon osobností a klubů (in Czech). Prague: Grada Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 978-80-247-1656-5. 
  4. ^ Novák, Jaromír (11 April 2000). "Lokvenc: Když chce mít fotbalista vystaráno, musí ven". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Kondos, Sakis (4 October 1995). "'Three Musketeers' Go to Round Two". The Prague Post. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Bouc, Frantisek (18 September 1996). "Crosstown soccer rivals successful in theri European Cup excursions". The Prague Post. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Lokvenc: Hattrick a ještě gól navrch". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). 19 March 2000. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Bouc, Frantisek (10 May 2000). "We are the champions". The Prague Post. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Jeřábek, Luboš (2007). Český a československý fotbal – lexikon osobností a klubů (in Czech). Prague: Grada Publishing. p. 232. ISBN 978-80-247-1656-5. 
  10. ^ Novák, Miloslav (7 May 2013). "Ukradli mě, vzpomíná Lokvenc, jak místo na Žižkov přestoupil do Sparty". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
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  27. ^ "Ajax follow French pair out of Europe". UEFA.com. 5 October 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
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  47. ^ a b Phillips, Mitch (17 June 2006). "Lokvenc ready to plug gap in Czechs' forward line". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  48. ^ a b "Czech Republic 0–2 Ghana". BBC Sport. 17 June 2006. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  49. ^ Janicek, Karel (21 June 2006). "Baros could be fit to lead the Czech line". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  50. ^ "Czech Republic 0–2 Italy". BBC Sport. 22 June 2006. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  51. ^ Felt, Karel (5 September 2006). "V reprezentaci zřejmě skončím, říká Lokvenc". sport.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  52. ^ Josef, Ladislav (29 September 2005). "Czech lose two towers". UEFA.com. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  53. ^ Severn, Michael (24 July 2002). "Galatasaray striker hunt continues". Hurriyet Daily News. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  54. ^ a b Vratislav Lokvenc at National-Football-Teams.com. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  55. ^ Vratislav Lokvenc at FACR (Czech). Retrieved 13 June 2014.

External links[edit]