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FC Slovan Liberec /ˈslvən ˈlɪbərɛts/[citation needed] (Czech pronunciation: [ˈslovan ˈlɪbɛrɛts]) is a Czech football club founded in the city of Liberec. The club is one of the most successful in the Czech Republic, having won three league titles and the domestic cup since 1993. Glass-making company Preciosa a.s. is the current main sponsor of the club.

Slovan Liberec
FC Slovan Liberec.png
Full nameFootball Club Slovan Liberec, a.s.
Nickname(s)Modrobílí (Blue-whites)
Founded1958; 61 years ago (1958)
GroundStadion u Nisy, Liberec
Capacity9,900
ChairmanZbyněk Štiller
ManagerPavel Hoftych
LeagueCzech First League
2018–196th
WebsiteClub website

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Early YearsEdit

The very first predecessor of the Liberec football club was the Reichenberger Fussballklub (RFK) which was founded in 1899 (renamed to Reichenberger Sportklub [RSK] in 1904).[1] Because Liberec was a city where the majority of inhabitants were of German nationality, until 1945, it was Germans who first established clubs and played their own league. The first Czech football club, SK Liberec, was established after World War I on 11 May 1919. In 1922, the originally German club FK Rapid Ober Rosenthal became the Czech club SK Rapid Horní Růžodol. In the same year, another Liberec-based club – SK Doubí – was established, followed by AFK Stráž bezpečnosti in 1931. On 27 February 1934, SK Liberec took on the new name of Slavia Liberec so that the Czech footballers could affirm their club's Slavic character at a time when the Nazi regime in neighbouring Germany already represented a serious threat to the former Czechoslovakia as well as all of Europe.

The rivalry that once existed in Liberec between Rapid and Slavia can be compared to a smaller version of the rivalry between Prague's two most famous clubs, Sparta and Slavia. In 1938, the Munich Agreement was signed, in which representatives of the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany forced Czechoslovakia to withdraw from their border area and surrender it to Germany. After the city of Liberec was incorporated into the Third Reich, Czech football in the city came to a halt for a full seven years.

Post-War EraEdit

At the end of World War II and with the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945, Liberec took on the character of a Czech city. The first post-war game was played in Turnov on 10 June 1945 by Liberec's football club Slavia. On 15 July 1945, representatives of Czech football clubs from the border areas that had started up again met at the Radnice hotel. The result of the meeting was the verdict that each border-area club continue in the same league that it had played in up until 1938. After seven years of forced inactivity, Slavia Liberec was again included in Class I A and Rapid Horní Růžodol in Class II. In February 1948, the Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia. Under the new name of Kolora, Rapid Liberec, former Horní Růžodol, fought its way to be promoted to the premier league. Due to the poorly thought-out restructuring of Czechoslovak physical education and sports, Kolora remained in the second league – yet an administrative decision placed Slavoj Liberec, originally established as Čechie, in the premier league. At the time, Slavoj had only played in the regional league. This reorganization created a lot of bad blood in Liberec. After one season, Slavoj was relegated to the second league. Three years later, Kolora once again battled its way up to be promoted to the premier league, but the team could not manage to save themselves from relegation the following season. Whenever Kolora, which later played under the name of Jiskra, met up with Slavoj Liberec, the match was always important and a rough battle to the end.

Slovan is bornEdit

In 1958, the decision was taken to close the Jiskra and Slavoj clubs and merge the two into a single team that would have the potential to win a spot in the premier league.[2] Although this plan stirred up very negative reactions among footballers and fans alike and despite the fact that members of Slavoj originally declared that they reject the plan, in the end they changed their minds. As a result, TJ Slovan Liberec was formed on 12 July 1958. With this name, the football club affirmed the Czech character of the club as well as the region where it played. The very first competitor the newly created team faced was Spartak Praha Sokolovo, as the famous team Sparta Prague was called at the time. Slovan lost 0–3. Despite of all its efforts, for a long time Slovan Liberec was unsuccessful in its fight for a place in the premier league. At certain stages of its history, it was even relegated to the regional division or third league.

In the 1970s, Slovan managed to be promoted back to the second league, which at the time included five Bohemian, one Moravian and ten Slovak teams. Due to the vast distances, the footballers from Liberec even had to board planes to play against teams in Bardejov or Michalovce, located in the eastern parts of the country. In 1971, Slovan again failed in its attempt to be promoted to the premier league. Following this were two relegations and promotions back to the second league.

Modern Day SlovanEdit

 
Slovan Liberec starting eleven before the Czech Cup final match against Sparta Prague, May 2008

After overcoming the financial crisis the club found itself in following the 1989 Velvet Revolution, Slovan Liberec finally had the chance to gain promotion to the top league. Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the six best teams in the second league were elevated to the newly created Czech premier league. Slovan ascended to the first league with the formation of the Czech First League in 1993, and has maintained this position ever since. In the 1990s, the club achieved a series of mid-table finishes.

In 2002, under the management of Ladislav Škorpil, Slovan Liberec became the first champions of the Czech Republic outside Prague. As Czech champions, the club entered the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, but lost their first tie to that season's eventual tournament winners Milan (0–1, 2–1). Subsequently, the team finished fourth in the league in 2002–03. Due to a league-wide corruption scandal in the 2004–05 season, the club was penalised with a six-point deduction and finished in fifth position with 46 points. In the 2005–06 season, Slovan recovered to achieve their second league title, confirmed their status as the leading Czech club outside Prague and broke the dominance of Sparta Prague and Slavia Prague.

In June 2007, popular coach Vítězslav Lavička resigned amidst problems with club management and disappointment with the team's Champions League qualification loss to Spartak Moscow. Liberec entered the UEFA Cup first round, where they defeated Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade before being eliminated in the group stage. Performances next season under coach Michal Zach would not meet the expectations of the club owners, and Slovan experienced one of the worst seasons in its modern history. Zach's replacement by former coach Ladislav Škorpil failed to remedy the situation, as the club finished sixth in the league. In the same season, the team reached the final of the Czech Cup, but lost in a penalty shootout against Sparta Prague.

The 2008–09 season began with bitter European defeat in the UEFA Cup, as Slovan lost their second qualifying round tie to Slovak club MŠK Žilina. By contrast, the club began their domestic league season with positive results against both of the dominant Prague sides, beating champions Slavia Prague 2–1 and Sparta Prague 3–0. However, a series of poor results against average opposition left the club down in fifth place by the fall. The spring saw Slovan opt for a more offensive approach and brought an improvement in results, with the club winning a derby against local rival Baumit Jablonec and beating an ambitious Mladá Boleslav side by three goals. Croatian striker Andrej Kerić scored 15 goals and became the league's top scorer as the club finished third, qualifying for the newly rebranded UEFA Europa League for the 2009–10 season. In the 2011–12 season, Slovan became league champions for the third time in club history.

Names and crestEdit

 
Slovan Liberec created a new crest for fiftieth club anniversary.

TJ (Tělovýchovná Jednota) Slovan Liberec was created in 1958. Since then the club's name has been changed on numerous occasions, reflecting changes in sponsorship. In the 1980s the club used the name TJ Slovan Elitex (a textile company) Liberec. In 1993 the name FC (Football Club) Slovan Liberec was announced, to be replaced later the same year with FC Slovan WSK Liberec (WSK was an abbreviation for Wimpey Severokámen). Only one year later in 1994, it became FC Slovan WSK Vratislav (Vratislav – a beer brand) Liberec. In 1995 Slovan returned to its former name, FC Slovan Liberec.

The crest represents the colours of Liberec (blue & white) and the mountain Ještěd near Liberec with its famous television tower on top.

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 12 August 2019[3]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Filip Nguyen
2   MF Radim Breite
3   DF Jan Mikula
4   DF Ondřej Karafiát
6   MF Tomáš Malinský
7   FW Jan Kuchta (on loan from Slavia Prague)
10   MF Jakub Pešek
11   DF Matěj Hybš
13   MF Roman Potočný
15   MF Akhmed Alibekov (on loan from Dynamo Kyiv)
16   FW Kanghyun Yu
18   MF Martin Koscelník
No. Position Player
19   GK Lukáš Hasalík
20   FW Petar Musa (on loan from Slavia Prague)
21   GK Olivier Vliegen
22   MF Michal Beran
23   MF Kamso Mara
24   DF Michal Fukala
25   DF Ondřej Lehoczki
26   MF Bojan Dordić
27   MF Aleš Nešický
28   MF Oscar Dorley (on loan from Slavia Prague)
30   DF Taras Kacharaba
37   DF Matěj Chaluš
--   DF Alan Aussi (on loan from Dynamo Kyiv)
--   FW Alexandru Baluta (on loan from Slavia Prague)

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
  DF Karel Knejzlík (at SFC Opava)
  DF Petr Heppner (at FK Varnsdorf)
  MF Jakub Barac (at FK Varnsdorf)
  FW Jan Pázler (at FC Zbrojovka Brno)

Notable former playersEdit

For all players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:FC Slovan Liberec players

Player recordsEdit

ManagersEdit

History in domestic competitionsEdit

  • Seasons spent at Level 1 of the football league system: 26
  • Seasons spent at Level 2 of the football league system: 0
  • Seasons spent at Level 3 of the football league system: 0
  • Seasons spent at Level 4 of the football league system: 0

Czech RepublicEdit

Season League Placed Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Cup
1993–94 1. liga 9th 30 11 11 8 32 26 +6 44 Round of 16
1994–95 1. liga 4th 30 16 3 11 49 46 +3 51 Round of 32
1995–96 1. liga 7th 30 12 8 10 34 30 +4 44 Round of 32
1996–97 1. liga 5th 30 12 10 8 33 30 +3 46 Round of 16
1997–98 1. liga 5th 30 13 8 9 39 32 +7 47 Round of 64
1998–99 1. liga 9th 30 9 11 10 33 34 –1 38 Runners-up
1999–00 1. liga 8th 30 9 11 10 21 24 –3 38 Winners
2000–01 1. liga 6th 30 12 9 9 39 31 +8 45 Round of 16
2001–02 1. liga 1st 30 19 7 4 55 26 +29 64 Quarter-finals
2002–03 1. liga 4th 30 14 8 8 43 36 +7 50 Round of 16
2003–04 1. liga 6th 30 12 10 8 38 27 +11 46 Semi-finals
2004–05 1. liga 5th 30 14 10 6 45 26 +19 46 Semi-finals
2005–06 1. liga 1st 30 16 11 3 43 22 +21 59 Round of 32
2006–07 1. liga 4th 30 16 10 4 44 22 +22 58 Round of 16
2007–08 1. liga 6th 30 12 8 10 35 31 +4 44 Runners-up
2008–09 1. liga 3rd 30 14 10 6 41 28 +13 52 Quarter-finals
2009–10 1. liga 9th 30 10 7 13 34 39 –5 37 Quarter-finals
2010–11 1. liga 7th 30 12 7 11 45 36 +9 43 Round of 32
2011–12 1. liga 1st 30 20 6 4 68 29 +39 66 Quarter-finals
2012–13 1. liga 3rd 30 16 6 8 46 34 +12 54 Semi-finals
2013–14 1. liga 4th 30 14 6 10 37 46 -9 48 Round of 32
2014–15 1. liga 12th 30 7 12 11 39 43 -4 33 Winners
2015–16 1. liga 3rd 30 17 7 6 51 35 +16 58 Quarter-finals
2016–17 1. liga 9th 30 10 9 11 31 28 +3 39 Quarter-finals
2017–18 1. liga 6th 30 13 7 10 37 35 +2 46 Quarter-finals
2018–19 1. liga 6th 30 11 9 10 33 28 +5 42 Quarter-finals

Notes: † six points deducted

History in European competitionsEdit

Season Competition Round Country Club Score
2000–01 UEFA Cup 1st Round
 
IFK Norrköping 2–2, 2–1
2nd Round
 
Liverpool 0–1, 2–3
2001–02 UEFA Cup 1st Round
 
Slovan Bratislava 2–0, 0–1
2nd Round
 
Celta Vigo 1–3, 3–0
3rd Round
 
Mallorca 3–1, 1–2
4th Round
 
Lyon 1–1, 4–1
1/4 Finals
 
Borussia Dortmund 0–0, 0–4
2002–03 UEFA Champions League 3rd Qual.
 
Milan 0–1, 2–1
UEFA Cup 1st Round
 
Dinamo Tbilisi 3–2, 1–0
2nd Round
 
Ipswich Town 0–1, 1–0 (4–2 pen)
3rd Round
 
Panathinaikos 2–2, 0–1
2003 Intertoto Cup 2nd Round
 
Shamrock Rovers 2–0, 2–0
3rd Round
 
Racing Santander 1–0, 2–1
Semi-finals
 
Schalke 04 1–2, 0–0
2004 Intertoto Cup 2nd Round
 
FK ZTS Dubnica 2–1, 5–0
3rd Round
 
Roda JC 1–0, 1–1
Semi-finals
 
Nantes 1–0, 1–2
Finals
 
Schalke 04 1–2, 0–1
2005 Intertoto Cup 2nd Round
 
Beitar Jerusalem 5–1, 2–1
3rd Round
 
Roda JC 0–0, 1–1
2006–07 UEFA Champions League 3rd Qual.
 
Spartak Moscow 0–0, 1–2
UEFA Cup 1st Round
 
Red Star Belgrade 2–0, 2–1
Group C
 
Sevilla 0–0
 
Braga 0–4
 
Grasshoppers 4–1
 
AZ 2–2
2007 Intertoto Cup 2nd Round
 
Tobol 1–1, 0–2
2008–09 UEFA Cup 2nd Qual.
 
Žilina 1–2, 1–2
2009–10 UEFA Europa League 3rd Qual.
 
Vaduz 1–0, 2–0
Play-off
 
Dinamo București 3–0 (c), 0–3 (8–9 pen)
2012–13 UEFA Champions League 2nd Qual.
 
Shakhter Karagandy 1–0, 1–1 a.e.t.
3rd Qual.
 
CFR Cluj 0–1, 1–2
UEFA Europa League Play-off
 
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 2–2, 2–4
2013–14 UEFA Europa League 2nd Qual.
 
Skonto 1–2, 1–0
3rd Qual.
 
Zürich 2–1, 2–1
Play-off
 
Udinese 3–1, 1–1
Group H
 
SC Freiburg 2–2, 1–2
 
Estoril 2–1, 2–1
 
Sevilla 1–1, 1–1
Round of 32
 
AZ 0–1, 1–1
2014–15 UEFA Europa League 2nd Qual.
 
MFK Košice 1–0, 3–0
3rd Qual.
 
Astra Giurgiu 0–3, 2–3
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 3rd Qual.
 
Ironi Kiryat Shmona 2–1, 3–0
Play-off
 
Hajduk Split 1–0, 1–0
Group F
 
Braga 0–1, 1–2
 
Marseille 1–0, 2–4
 
Groningen 1–1, 1–0
2016–17 UEFA Europa League 3rd Qual.
 
Admira Wacker Mödling 2–1, 2–0
Play–off
 
AEK Larnaca 1–0, 3–0
Group J
 
Fiorentina 1–3, 0–3
 
PAOK 1–2, 0–2
 
Qarabağ 2–2, 3–0

UEFA club coefficient rankingEdit

After 2018/19 season, Source: [1]

Rank Team Points
147   HJK Helsinki 9.000
148   FC Sion 9.000
149   FC Slovan Liberec 9.000
150   FC Spartak Trnava 8.500
151   AEK Larnaca 8.000

HonoursEdit

Club recordsEdit

Czech First League recordsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Article in Official FC Slovan Liberec Website – History
  2. ^ Jeřábek, Luboš (2007). Český a československý fotbal – lexikon osobností a klubů (in Czech). Prague, Czech Republic: Grada Publishing. p. 111. ISBN 978-80-247-1656-5.
  3. ^ "Soupiska muži 2019/2020". www.fcslovanliberec.cz.
  4. ^ "Detailed stats". Fortuna liga. Retrieved 2019-05-06.

External linksEdit