Zdeněk Grygera

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Zdeněk Grygera
Zdenek Grygera.jpg
Personal information
Full name Zdeněk Grygera[1]
Date of birth (1980-05-14) 14 May 1980 (age 40)[1]
Place of birth Přílepy, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)[2]
Playing position(s) Defender
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 was known for his work-rate, competitiveness, and versatility, and usually played as a full-back, wing-back, or winger along right flank, although he was also capable of playing on the left, or as a centre-back; while being solid defensively, he was also known for his ability to get forward and for his all-round good quality of play.[3][4][5][6]

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.[7] In July 2003, he was signed by Dutch club Ajax for an undisclosed fee, estimated to be around €3.5 million.[8] 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.[9] He expressed his delight over the possibility of playing with one of his Czech compatriots, Pavel Nedvěd. Due to his versatility, he soon established himself in the Juventus starting lineup. In March, he scored and subsequently set up David Trezeguet's goal in a 2–0 win over Genoa, and also scored a last-gasp equalizer in the club's Derby d'Italia fixture against rivals Internazionale on 18 April 2009.[10]


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.[11][12] He received the number 26 jersey and made his Fulham debut on 15 September 2011 in the UEFA Europa League against Twente.[13] 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.[14][deprecated source]

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."[15]

On 6 December 2012, Martin Jol confirmed that Grygera had decided to retire from football to concentrate instead on returning to full fitness.[16]

International career[edit]

A former Czech 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 Czechs' first game against the United States, which they won 3–0.[17]

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.[18][deprecated source] 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 made his 65th and final national appearance in October 2009.


Sparta Prague



  1. ^ a b "2006 FIFA World Cup Germany List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Player Profile". Fulham FC. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  3. ^ Christian Seu (16 June 2006). "Juventus, Nedved consiglia Grygera" (in Italian). TuttoMercatoWeb.com. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  4. ^ Stefano Bedeschi (14 May 2015). "Gli eroi in bianconero: Zdenek GRYGERA" (in Italian). Tutto Juve. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Serie A: le pagelle di Juventus-Inter" (in Italian). ESPN FC. 18 April 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  6. ^ Nick Bidwell (14 September 2003). "Team-by-team guide". ESPN FC. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Three's company in Prague". FIFA. 11 October 2007.
  8. ^ "Sparta Prague's Zdenek Grygera joins Ajax for four seasons". ajax-usa.com. 22 July 2003. Archived from the original on 25 October 2006.
  9. ^ "Grygera agrees Juve deal on busy day of transfers". FIFA. 30 January 2007.
  10. ^ "Report: Juventus vs Internazionale". ESPN. 18 April 2009.
  11. ^ "Grygera granted Juve exit". skysports.com. 30 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Official: Zdenek Grygera rescinds Juventus contract ahead of move to Fulham". Goal. 30 August 2011.
  13. ^ Fulham v Twente Enschede, ESPN, 15 September 2011
  14. ^ "Fulham's Grygera ruled out for six months with knee ligament damage". Daily Mail. 10 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Defender offered Fulham lifeline". The Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  16. ^ "Grygera: "Thank You"". Fulham FC. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  17. ^ "Czech Republic got off to a flying start with a fabulous victory over USA". BBC Sport. 12 June 2006. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Swiss talisman Frei to miss Euro 2008". Daily Mail. 8 June 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2013.

External links[edit]