Stanislav Varga (born 8 October 1972) is a Slovak football manager and former player.

Stanislav Varga
Personal information
Full name Stanislav Varga[1]
Date of birth (1972-10-08) 8 October 1972 (age 51)[1]
Place of birth Lipany, Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Position(s) Centre back
Youth career
1982–1985 Lipany
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1998 Tatran Prešov 104 (10)
1998–2000 Slovan Bratislava 56 (12)
2000–2003 Sunderland 21 (1)
2002West Bromwich Albion (loan) 4 (0)
2003–2006 Celtic 80 (10)
2006–2008 Sunderland 20 (1)
2008Burnley (loan) 10 (0)
Total 295 (34)
International career
1997–2006 Slovakia 54 (2)
Managerial career
2011–2013 Odeva Lipany
2013–2014 Tatran Prešov (assistant manager)
2013–2014 Tatran Prešov juniori
2014–2016 Tatran Prešov
2018–2022 Dukla Banská Bystrica
2022–2023 Sandecja Nowy Sącz
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Club career edit

Sunderland edit

Varga, a tall and commanding centre-back, was recruited by Peter Reid for £875,000[2] from Slovan Bratislava during the summer of 2000. Varga began his career at the Stadium of Light with an impressive opening day display in Sunderland's 1–0 victory over Arsenal, picking up the man of the match award. He scored his first Sunderland goal in a 2–0 win over West Ham in January 2001.[3][4]

He spent the end of 2001–02 on loan with West Bromwich Albion, helping the club get promoted to the Premier League. The towering centre back returned from a long-term injury to find himself out of the first team picture and his last game before going on loan ended when he was taken off at half-time at Old Trafford, where Sunderland lost 4–1. With Joachim Björklund and Jody Craddock ahead of him, Varga never really found his way back into the team, and was released in January 2003.

Celtic edit

Less than a month later, Martin O'Neill snapped up the defender on a short-term deal. Despite only making one appearance for Celtic in that time, Varga was rewarded with a two-year contract in July 2003. An ever-present in the side during the 2003–04 campaign, he helped his new teammates to domestic glory, winning the domestic double of Scottish Premier League and Scottish Cup. In the league, Varga helped Celtic concede only 25 goals, which allowed the club to set a new league record of 25 straight wins (32 games unbeaten from the start of the season) and 77 home league games without defeat.[5] He also contributed 7 goals in all competitions.

Successive titles evaded Celtic in the 2004–05 season as they threw away the SPL title on the final day of the season, but they did manage to take consolation in the Scottish Cup final, beating Dundee United 1–0, with Alan Thompson scoring the only goal of the game after 8 minutes from a free-kick.[6] Throughout this season Varga proved to be a rock in the Celtic defence. He even got up-field to score six times, including one in Celtic's 3–1 defeat to A.C. Milan in the UEFA Champions League group stage.[7] During this time he, like Stilian Petrov before him, had his name abbreviated by the Celtic following, Stanislav would now simply be known as "Stan" Varga to the Hoops supporters and Scottish media.

After the 2005–06 season, Varga agreed a new one-year contract at Parkhead. "Stan has signed his new deal at Celtic," his agent Tony McGill told Sky Sports. "Stan is pleased to stay as he did not want to go anywhere else and he has signed a one-year deal."[8]

Return to Sunderland edit

On 31 August 2006, he returned to Sunderland under new manager Roy Keane, a former colleague from Celtic, alongside Celtic's Ross Wallace, for a combined fee of up to £1,100,000.[9] He scored his first goal in his second spell at Sunderland in a 4–1 loss at Preston North End in October 2006.[10]

His strong and powerful presence, ability in the air and no nonsense defending has made him a rising fan favourite at the Stadium of Light. Having to act as a substitute behind first choice centre half Nyron Nosworthy, the Slovak chose a one-month loan deal to Burnley on 4 January 2008 to regain match-fitness.[11] He was named in the Championship Team of the Week for his performance in Burnley's 1–0 win over Plymouth Argyle, his first league game for the club.[12]

Sunderland released Varga at the end of the 2007–08 season.[13]

International career edit

A regular in the Slovakian national side with over fifty caps to his name, Varga also captained his country on a number of occasions. It was during a friendly game against Norway before Euro 2000 that he was first spotted by then-Sunderland manager Peter Reid, impressing the Black Cats' boss with the way he kept Tore André Flo and Ole Gunnar Solskjær out of the game.

Honours edit

As player edit


As coach edit

Tatran Prešov
Dukla B.Bystrica

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.
  2. ^ "Vargov prestup zo Slovana do Sunderlandu je predmetom vyšetrovania". (in Slovak). Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Black Cats punish Hammers". BBC Sport. 13 January 2001. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  4. ^ Hunter, James (19 June 2018). "Stanislav Varga's Sunderland debut against Arsenal, and four more memorable curtain-raisers". ChronicleLive. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  5. ^ Philip, Calum (21 April 2004). "Zdrilic strike ends Celtic's run". The Independent. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  6. ^ Glenn, Patrick (29 May 2005). "Thompson lifts the Cup and the gloom". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  7. ^ Glendenning, Barry (29 September 2004). "AC Milan 3 - 1 Celtic". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  8. ^ O'Rourke, Peter. "Varga signs Celtic deal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  9. ^ Keane Signs Celtic Pair Sunderland AFC Website 31 September 2006
  10. ^ "Preston 4–1 Sunderland". BBC Sport. 14 October 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Defender Varga loaned to Burnley". BBC Sport. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  12. ^ "Coca-Cola Championship Team of the Week (14/01/2008)" (PDF). The Football League. 14 January 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  13. ^ "Keane releases Sunderland quartet". BBC Sport. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2008.

External links edit