Slovak Legend Jozef Adamec Dies At 76

Updated: 24 December 2018 21:09 IST

Slovak Adamec was just 18 when he forced his way into the Czechoslovakia team in 1960.

Slovak Legend Jozef Adamec Dies At 76
Slovak forward Jozef Adamec, once scored a hat-trick against Brazil. © AFP

Slovak forward Jozef Adamec, who once scored a hat-trick against Brazil, died on Monday at the age of 76, according to his former club Spartak Trnava. Adamec was just 18 when he forced his way into the Czechoslovakia team in 1960 and he went on to play 44 times, scoring 14 goals. He was the rookie of the team at the 1962 World Cup when he played in the group matches against Spain, Brazil and Mexico. He did not feature in the knockout phase, however, and missed out on the final which the Czechs lost 3-1 to Brazil. The Brazilians help to forge his legendary status at home, though, as Adamec became one of the few players ever to score a hat-trick against them, in a friendly in Bratislava in June 1968.

Czechoslovakia did not go to the 1966 World Cup in England but Adamec was a part of the squad that went to Mexico four years later, playing a part in each of their group games against Brazil, England and Romania, all of which ended in defeat.

At club level he won seven championships in Czechoslovakia, five with Spartak Trnava -- with whom he reached the European Cup semi-final in 1969 -- and two with Dukla Prague.

He scored 170 goals in the championship, finishing four times as the league's top scorer.

After retiring as a player Adamec went into coaching, taking charge of a number of Czech and Slovak sides including five different stints at Spartak Trnava.

He spent three years as coach of the Slovakia national side but failed to qualify for the 2000 European Championship and the 2002 World Cup.

Almost as legendary as his goal-scoring prowess was his fear of flying.

He once refused to fly with the national team to a tournament in central America and, according to a local newspaper, spent the five-hour flight from Bratislava to Baku for a Euro qualifier in 1999 "in prayer with his eyes fixed on the cabin ceiling".

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Topics mentioned in this article Slovakia Slovakia Football
Highlights
  • Adamec was just 18 when he forced his way into the Czechoslovakia
  • Adamec, once scored a hat-trick against Brazil
  • Czechoslovakia did not go to the 1966 World Cup in England
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