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Significant Sport Events: Ján Popluhár (1935 – 2011) Issue number
533
Date of issue
14.02.2013
Face value
0.65 €
Sell price
0.65 €

Ján Popluhár (1935 – 2011), a long-time support of the  Slovan Bratislava football club (1955 – 1969), played for Czechoslovakia in 62 matches (1958 – 1967) and was considered to be one of the best defensive players in the world. During the first football European Championship (France, 1960) he was a member of a bronze Czechoslovak team. He attended World Cups held in Sweden in 1958 and in Chile in 1962, where he significantly contributed to gaining the silver medal, and after years, he was also awarded World Fair Play Award (1967) for his generous sport gesture to the injured Pelé. In 1965, he became the Czechoslovak football player of the year. In 2000, Ján Popluhár was pronounced the best Slovak football player of the 20th century for his merits.  As the only Slovak, he was a member of the FIFA World Eleven team which played against the England football team in Wembley in 1963 at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the English Football Association foundation. Josef Masopust and Svatopluk Pluskal were also in a starting line-up. In 1965, Sir Stanley Mathews, the legend of British football, invited Ján Popluhár to his farewell match. He was awarded Emerald Order for merits he carried out for development of football at UEFA Congress taking place in Paris (2011).  He started his carrier in AC Čeklís (today Bernolákovo) and was developing his talent in RH Brno and Slovan Bratislava under the leadership of the legendary coach Leopold „Jim“ Šťastný, the author of Popluhár´s nickname: “Bimbo”.  In these clubs as well as in the national team, he together with Viliam Schrojf, the best goalkeeper of the 1962 World Cup, represented a support of the back rows. A postage stamp, coupon and FDC motive reminds of the 150th anniversary of establishment of organised foundations of the most popular world sport in England in 1863. From Čeklís through Paris, Santiago de Chile and Wembley back to Bernolákovo – that was the life journey direction of an honest and incredibly modest man and Slovak football will always be in his debt...
                                                                                                                                                                                       Peter Osuský

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