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František Plánička

Frantisek Planicka
Personal information
Full nameFrantišek Plánička
Height1.72 m (5 ft 7.7 in)
Playing positionGoalkeeper

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František Plánička (-csˈfrantiʃɛk ˈplaːnitʃka; 2 June 1904 - 20 July 1996) was a Czech football goalkeeper and one of the most honoured players in the history of Czechoslovakian football. He played the majority of his career for Slavia Prague, during which time the club won the Czech league eight times and the Mitropa Cup once. He also became a member of the Czechoslovakia national team and later its captain during the World Cup finals in 1934 (where the team finished second) and 1938.

Plánička was a courageous player, to the extent that in Czechoslovakia's 1938 World Cup match against Brazil, he remained on the field despite having suffered a serious injury. He was a goalkeeper of outstanding reflexes and shot-stopping abilities and was also characterized by his sportsmanship, never once being cautioned or sent off in his career. In 1985, he was awarded the UNESCO International Fair Play Award and the Czech Fair Play Award in 1994.

In 1999, the IFFHS elected him the best Czech goalkeeper - and ninth best overall - of the twentieth century. In 2003, he was catalogued as the greatest goalkeeper of his era.

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