#6 Pavel Nedved
The Czech icon is one of the greatest midfielders of his generation and was a much-loved footballer all over the world. He was known as the Czech cannon during his football career and was a valuable part of the Czech team that reached the final of the 1996 Euro. Nedved won the Ballon d’Or in 2003, before going on to win the European Footballer of the Year in the same year. He won many other accolades in his wonderful playing career, including the Golden Foot, Czech Footballer of the Year and Czech Golden Ball among others.
Nedved started his club career at Dukla Prague in the 1991/92 season, before moving to Sparta Prague next season. During the 1995/96 season, Nedved scored 19 goals from 38 games and attracted the attention of Italian giants Lazio. He moved to the Stadio Olimpico in the summer of 1996, where he spent 5 fruitful seasons, winning a Serie A title, 2 Coppa Italia, 2 Super Coppa Italia, 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and 1 UEFA Super Cup.
In the summer of 2001, Nedved transferred to Juventus to replace Zinedine Zidane and spent 8 seasons at Turin, before retiring at the end of 2008/09 season, having won 2 Serie A titles, 2 Supercoppa Italiana and 1 Serie B title.
Pavel Nedved currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors at Juventus and it is a pity that Little Bear never set foot in the Premier League as a player.
Nedved has revealed that he had an offer to join Chelsea in 2006, but chose to stay with Juventus as the club were demoted to the Serie B. He refused to leave his club in crisis and as such a move to Stamford Bridge never occurred. Nedved, however, says that his biggest regret in life is that he never got to play for Sir Alex Ferguson. A move to United stayed an unfulfilled dream, as did playing alongside Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, two footballers he admired.Published 24 Sep 2018, 01:03 IST