Karel Poborský (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarɛl ˈpoborskiː] (listen); born 30 March 1972) is a Czech former professional footballer who played as a right winger. He was most noted for his technical ability and pace.
|Full name||Karel Poborský|
|Date of birth||30 March 1972|
|Place of birth||Jindřichův Hradec, Czechoslovakia|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He began and finished his club career at Dynamo České Budějovice, where his kit number (8) is retired in his honour. He also won the Czech First League titles at the two largest clubs in Prague - Slavia and Sparta. Between these domestic triumphs, he won a Premier League title at Manchester United and also played for Benfica and Lazio.
After Petr Čech, Poborský ranks second in appearances for the Czech national team, with 118 between 1994 and 2006, retiring from international football after playing at the country's first World Cup. He also played in three European Championships, being named in the Team of the Tournament at UEFA Euro 1996 after helping the Czechs to the final.
Poborský was one of a number of the Czech squad at UEFA Euro 1996 who left the Czech Republic to play in another country after the tournament. In July 1996 he signed with Manchester United but, due to David Beckham's rising stardom, Poborský would only manage one-and-a-half seasons at Old Trafford. He did collect a Premier League title winner's medal in the 1996–97 season, however, playing in 22 out of 38 league games and scoring four goals, also helping United reach the Champions League semi-finals.
After a string of impressive performances, Poborský moved sides in January 2001, joining Serie A's Lazio. Whilst at Lazio he played a key role in the destination of the 2001–02 Serie A title. On the final day of the season Inter Milan were playing at Lazio knowing a win would give them the title. However Lazio won 4-2, with Poborský scoring twice, and the title went to Juventus instead. In July 2002, he returned to his homeland, signing with Sparta Prague, where he became the highest-paid footballer playing in the Czech Republic. He subsequently returned to his first club, Dynamo České Budějovice, scoring two goals and setting up a third on the way to a 4–0 victory against Sigma Olomouc B in his first match. He retired on 28 May 2007 after a match against another former side, Slavia Prague.
Poborský's first international appearance, against Turkey on 23 February 1994, was also the first match for the Czech team after the partition of Czechoslovakia. He played for his country at Euro 96, where he was one of the most valuable players of Czech national team and even the whole tournament, scoring there his well-known "Poborský lob", Euro 2000, and Euro 2004, and was also in the nation's squad for the 2006 World Cup, where his performances was far below, due to his age and contract with České Budějovice, which played "only" Czech 2. Liga. After the 2006 World Cup, Poborský retired from international competition.
Following his 2007 club retirement, Poborský started working as a technical leader for the national team.
Poborský's name is often attached to his performance in Euro 96, where during the quarter-final match against Portugal, he chipped the ball and lobbed it over the advancing Vítor Baía. The goal became a trademark shot for Poborský, as that shooting style was soon attributed to him.
In 2008, it was voted the best individual goal in the Carlsberg goal of the day poll on Euro2008.com. As a club player, Poborský scored a similar goal against Porto (again with Vítor Baía as the goalkeeper) while at Benfica.
In 2016, Poborský was put into a medically-induced coma after contracting a brain infection that left the muscles in his face paralysed and with a hypersensitivity to light. He spent three weeks quarantined in hospital before making a full recovery, but he said if he had arrived at the hospital a day later, he might have died.
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- Czech Footballer of the Year: 1996 (shared with Patrik Berger)
- UEFA Team of the Tournament: UEFA Euro 1996
- Czech First League Best eleven of the season: 1995–96, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05
- Czech Footballer of the Year personality of the Czech First League: 2003, 2004, 2005
- Top assist provider: UEFA Euro 2004
|Club||League||Season||League||Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other[Note 1]||Total|
|České Budějovice||Czechoslovak First League||1991–92||26||0||—||—|
|Czech First League||1993–94||27||8||—||—|
|Viktoria Žižkov||Czech First League||1994–95||27||10||—||—|
|Slavia Prague||Czech First League||1995–96||26||11||2||0||—||11||2||—||39||13|
|Manchester United||FA Premier League||1996–97||22||3||2||0||2||1||6||0||1||0||33||4|
|Sparta Prague||Czech First League||2002–03||29||8||—||—|
|České Budějovice||Czech 2. Liga||2005–06||14||8||—||—||—|
|Czech First League||2006–07||12||2||—||—||—|
|Czech Republic national team|
- Scores and results list Czech Republic's goal tally first.
|1||23 June 1996||Villa Park, Birmingham||Portugal||1–0||1–0||Euro 1996|
|2||8 September 1999||Na Stínadlech, Teplice||Bosnia and Herzegovina||3–0||3–0||Euro 2000 qualifying|
|3||16 June 2000||Jan Breydel Stadium, Bruges||France||1–1||1–2||Euro 2000|
|4||2 September 2000||Georgi Asparuhov Stadium, Sofia||Bulgaria||1–0||1–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|5||16 October 2002||Na Stínadlech, Teplice||Belarus||1–0||2–0||Euro 2004 qualifying|
|6||10 September 2003||Toyota Arena, Prague||Netherlands||2–0||3–1||Euro 2004 qualifying|
|7||15 November 2003||Na Stínadlech, Teplice||Canada||3–0||5–1||Friendly|
|8||1 March 2006||İzmir Atatürk Stadium, İzmir||Turkey||1–0||2–2||Friendly|
- Turnbull, Simon (7 July 1996). "All aboard gravy train". The Independent. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "Sporting Heroes". Sporting Heroes. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "Juve's gain is Inter's pain". espn.com. 5 May 2002. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- "Poborský bude hrát za své Budějovice" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 23 September 2005. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "Poborský dal dva góly a třetí připravil" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 25 September 2005. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- Culley, Jon (24 June 1996). "Poborsky piques Portugal". The Independent. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- "Poborsky, a Czech constant". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- "Poborský voted best solo strike". UEFA. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- Butler, Michael (20 April 2019). "Karel Poborsky: 'They put me into a coma. All my face muscles were paralysed'". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Karel Poborsky: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- uefa.com (25 April 2016). "UEFA EURO 2016 - History – UEFA.com". UEFA.com. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- uefa.com. "UEFA EURO 2004 - History - Statistics – UEFA.com". UEFA.com. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "SK Slavia Prague stats — 1995". Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- "SK Slavia Prague stats — 1996". Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- "Games played by Karel Poborsky in 1996/1997". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "Games played by Karel Poborsky in 1997/1998". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "Karel Poborský – Century of International Appearances". Rsssf.com. 23 July 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2012.