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Slovakia's best footballer of the 20th century has died

Slovakia’s best footballer of the 20th century – Ján Popluhár – died at the age of 75 of multi-organ failure on March 6, the TASR newswire wrote. Popluhár played in the 1962 World Cup final in which Czechoslovakia lost 1:3 to Pele's Brazil. Two years earlier, Popluhár was a member of the bronze-medal team at the European Championship. Bimbo, as he was nicknamed, was an exceptional centre-back as he was known for his clean tackles and sense of fair-play, TASR wrote.

Slovakia’s best footballer of the 20th century – Ján Popluhár – died at the age of 75 of multi-organ failure on March 6, the TASR newswire wrote.

Popluhár played in the 1962 World Cup final in which Czechoslovakia lost 1:3 to Pele's Brazil. Two years earlier, Popluhár was a member of the bronze-medal team at the European Championship. Bimbo, as he was nicknamed, was an exceptional centre-back as he was known for his clean tackles and sense of fair-play, TASR wrote.

Incredibly, he was never ejected from a match and saw only one yellow card in his whole career. He became known for a situation at the 1962 World Cup when he drew the referee's attention to an injured Pele rather turning the opportunity to his own advantage.

In 1964, Popluhár played for Team Europe in Copenhagen against England and a year later he was invited by England's Sir Stanley Matthews (who never even had a yellow card in a career spanning more than three decades) for his farewell match. Popluhár played his club football with Slovan Bratislava, Red Star Brno, Olympique Lyon and Zbrojovka Brno, TASR wrote. In 2002, he was awarded the Ludovit Stur First Class Award by President Rudolf Schuster.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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