Czech football legend Pavel Nedvěd turns 50

Pavel Nedvěd

Retired football legend Pavel Nedvěd, regarded as one of the most successful players to emerge from Czechia, celebrates his 50th birthday this Tuesday. 

Pavel Nedvěd | Photo:  ČTK

The local lad from near Cheb in the far west of the country made his name with Italian clubs Lazio and Juventus Turin, whom he led to the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final.

He also captained the national team at Euro 2004, which got into the semi-finals and helped his team to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since the breakup of Czechoslovakia.

Over his 19-year career, Nedvěd played 501 league matches at club level and made 91 appearances for the Czech Republic.

He received a number of awards, including the Medal of Merit from President Miloš Zeman. In 2003 he became only the second Czech to win the Ballon d’Or as European footballer of the year.

Since retiring from Juventus in 2009, Nedvěd served on the club’s board of directors and in 2015 he was appointed its vice president.