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Václav Ježek

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Václav Ježek (1 October 1923, Zvolen 27 August 1995, Prague) was the coach of the Czechoslovakia national football team when they won the 1976 European Championships.

Chiefly remembered more as a famous coach than as a player, he became coach of Sparta Prague for the first time in the 1960s, going on to transform the team and win two Czech titles, in 1965 and 1967. After this success, he left Czechoslovakia and moved to the Netherlands. From 1969 to 1972, he coached ADO Den Haag, leading them to third place in the Dutch league, before taking over as head coach of Czechoslovakia's national team. He created a new team of talented players including Ivo Viktor, Alexander Vencel, Antonín Panenka, Ladislav Jurkemik, Zdeněk Nehoda, Anton Ondruš, Jaroslav Pollák and Ján Pivarník. The team won the European Championships in 1976, beating West Germany in a penalty shoot-out in the final, but failed to qualify for the 1978 World Cup Finals. Ježek was replaced as head coach by his assistant Jozef Vengloš.

Ježek moved back to Holland in 1978 as coach of Feyenoord. His best league finish with the Rotterdam club was second in 1979. On leaving Feyenoord in 1982, Ježek was twice coach of Sparta Prague again in the next decade, and started a long period of success for the club, winning the Czech title several times. In 1993, he became the provisional head coach of the joint Czech-Slovak team, formed after the Czech Republic and Slovakia split in November 1992, in the qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup. During the 1990s he also continued as a member of the managerial stuff of Slavia Prague. He also coached FC Zürich.

Ježek died in Prague in 1995, at the age of 71.

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