Zdeněk Grygera

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Zdeněk Grygera
Zdenek Grygera.jpg
Personal information
Full name Zdeněk Grygera
Date of birth (1980-05-14) 14 May 1980 (age 36)
Place of birth Přílepy, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)[1]
Playing position Right-back
Youth career
1987–1990 TJ Holešov
1990–1997 FK Svit Zlín
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1998 Svit Zlín 20 (1)
1998–2000 Petra Drnovice 54 (3)
2000–2003 Sparta Prague 65 (2)
2003–2007 Ajax 78 (8)
2007–2011 Juventus 87 (3)
2011–2012 Fulham 5 (0)
Total 309 (17)
National team
2001–2009 Czech Republic 65 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Zdeněk Grygera (Czech pronunciation: [ˈzdɛɲɛk ˈɡrɪɡɛra]; born 14 May 1980) is a retired Czech footballer. A former defender, he usually played as a right back or centre back.

Club career[edit]

Grygera (fourth from left, with Urby Emanuelson, Wesley Sneijder, Maarten Stekelenburg, and John Heitinga) played for Ajax from 2003–2007.

Early career[edit]

Grygera began his career at Petra Drnovice before moving to Sparta Prague.[2] In July 2003, he was signed by Dutch club Ajax for an undisclosed fee, estimated to be around €3.5 million.[3] His first goal came for the club came in September 2004, a 5–0 thrashing away at Den Bosch. He soon became a fan favorite, especially after scoring against bitter rivals Feyenoord in the April Klassieker.


On 10 January 2007, it was confirmed by Ajax Technical Director Martin van Geel that Grygera would be leaving for Juventus on a Bosman transfer when his contract with Ajax expired in June 2007. He was supposed to transfer after the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but the Calciopoli scandal prevented him from doing so.[4] He expressed his delight over the possibility of playing with one of his Czech compatriots, Pavel Nedvěd. Due to his versatility, he established himself in the Juve lineup. In March, he scored and set up David Trezeguet's goal in a 2–0 win over Genoa and scored a last-gasp equalizer in Derby d'Italia fixture against Juve's bitter rivals Internazionale on 18 April 2009.[5]


In summer 2011, Grygera still had one year left to run on his contract at Juventus, but it was rescinded by mutual consent on 30 August 2011. The following day, he joined English Premier League side Fulham.[6][7] He received the number 26 jersey and made his Fulham debut on 15 September 2011 in the UEFA Europa League against Twente.[8] Grygera suffered an anterior cruciate ligament rupture during a league match against Tottenham Hotspur on 6 November 2011, which kept him out for the rest of the season.[9]

Grygera's contract with Fulham was up for renewal at the end of the 2011–12 season. Manager Martin Jol, said, "Hopefully he can prove himself before the end of August. If he proves he's fit I would like to keep him."[10]

On 6 December 2012, Martin Jol confirmed that Grygera had decided to retire from English football to concentrate instead on returning to full fitness.[11]

International career[edit]

A former Czechoslovak youth international, Grygera played for the Czech Republic at UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008. At the 2006 World Cup, Grygera's run and cross set-up the opening goal for Jan Koller in the Czech's first game against the United States, which they won 3–0.[12]

At Euro 2008, Grygera was involved in a rough challenge with Swiss striker Alexander Frei during the first half of the tournament's opening game, which tore Frei's knee ligaments and forced the player out of rest of the tournament.[13] He was a regular during 2010 World Cup qualifying, playing in six of the ten qualifiers, but was not able to help the Czechs qualify for a second consecutive World Cup. Grygera earned his 65th and final national appearance in October 2009.


Sparta Prague



  1. ^ "Player Profile". Fulham FC. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Three's company in Prague". fifa.com. 11 October 2007. 
  3. ^ "Sparta Prague's Zdenek Grygera joins Ajax for four seasons". ajax-usa.com. 22 July 2003. Archived from the original on 25 October 2006. 
  4. ^ "Grygera agrees Juve deal on busy day of transfers". fifa.com. 30 January 2007. 
  5. ^ "Report: Juventus vs Internazionale". ESPN. 18 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "Grygera granted Juve exit". skysports.com. 30 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Official: Zdenek Grygera rescinds Juventus contract ahead of move to Fulham". Goal. 30 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Fulham v Twente Enschede, ESPN, 15 September 2011 
  9. ^ "Fulham's Grygera ruled out for six months with knee ligament damage". Daily Mail. 10 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Defender offered Fulham lifeline". The Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Grygera: "Thank You"". Fulham FC. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Czech Republic got off to a flying start with a fabulous victory over USA.". BBC Sport. 12 June 2006. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Swiss talisman Frei to miss Euro 2008". Daily Mail. 8 June 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 

External links[edit]