|Full name||Miroslav Votava|
|Date of birth||25 April 1956|
|Place of birth||Prague, Czechoslovakia|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2017||Werder Bremen II (interim)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
A defensive midfielder of stamina and tactical awareness, he played 546 matches in the Bundesliga (fourth in the all-time list at the time of his retirement), retiring at the age of 41. Most of his professional career was spent in with Werder Bremen, with which he won a total of five titles – he also played eight years with Borussia Dortmund.
Borussia Dortmund / AtléticoEdit
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Votava started learning his football trade at local FK Dukla. However, his parents left the country during the Prague Spring, settling first in Australia then West Germany, in Witten. He began playing professionally with Borussia Dortmund in 1974, with the club in the second division.
Scoring three goals in 22 games during his first Bundesliga season, Votava was an undisputed starter onwards, only missing three matches from 1977 to 1982 combined, although he failed to win any silverware.
He subsequently moved to Atlético Madrid for 58 million pesetas, being an instrumental figure for the Colchoneros which always finished in the top four in La Liga during his three-year spell and also lifting the Copa del Rey in 1985.
Votava returned to West Germany aged 29, signing with SV Werder Bremen where he would play a further 11 campaigns and rarely missing a game. He helped the club to the 1991–92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and two league titles (to which he contributed with 65 matches and five goals combined). On 24 August 1996, aged 40 years and 121 days, he became the league's oldest goalscorer at the time, scoring in a 1–2 loss at VfB Stuttgart. The record lasted until 16 February 2019, when Claudio Pizarro (aged 40 years and 136 days) scored against Hertha BSC.
As he was understandably slowing down, Votava left Bremen during the 1997 January transfer window, joining second division's VfB Oldenburg and retiring at the season's end, with his team ranking last. During a 23-year professional career, he was never sent off.
Votava then moved into coaching, starting with last club Oldenburg then moving to SV Meppen, both in the regional leagues. From late 2002 to early 2004, he took the reins of 1. FC Union Berlin in the second level, following which he returned to Werder as a youth coach (he had previously worked with the club as a scout).
Votava chose to represent West Germany internationally, and made his debut on 21 November 1979, playing 15 minutes in a 3–1 friendly away win over the Soviet Union. He appeared in a further four internationals, including UEFA Euro 1980's group stage match against Greece (0–0) as the national side emerged victorious in the tournament.
- Bundesliga: 1987–88, 1992–93
- DFB-Pokal: 1990–91, 1993–94; Runner-up 1988–89, 1989–90
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1991–92
- "Votava, Miroslav" (in German). kicker. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Arnhold, Matthias (19 February 2015). "Miroslav Votava – Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Arnhold, Matthias (28 May 2014). "Germany – All-Time Most Matches Played in Bundesliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Calvo, Juan Antonio (20 August 1982). "Votava: el último nibelungo" [Votava: the last of the nibelungs]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- "1991/92: Bremen shine in Stadium of Light". UEFA. 1 June 1992. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Mirko Votava – ältester Torschütze der Liga" [Mirko Votava – League's oldest goal scorer] (in German). Norddeutscher Rundfunk. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- "90.+6! Pizarro nimmt Hertha-Mauer als Ping-Pong-Hilfe" [90'+6! Pizarro overcomes Hertha wall with ping-pong aid] (in German). kicker. 16 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- "Das Votava-Gen" [The Votava gene] (in German). Werder Bremen. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- "Rekordmann Votava: 79 Spiele, zwei Titel" [Recordman Votava: 79 matches, two titles] (in German). German Football Association. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- Arnhold, Matthias (19 February 2015). "Miroslav Votava – International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Lozano Ferrer, Carles. "Spain – Cups 1985". RSSSF. Retrieved 30 December 2018.