I was born in Ostrava on 29 March 1989. I am a football goalkeeper and I currently play for Sevilla FC. How did I get all the way to Spain from Ostrava? It all began on the football pitch in Frýdek-Místek. I was six when my parents first took me there. Since that time everyone has called me Vacloš.
I think I can say with a clear conscience that I come from a sporty family, though it’s true that no one at home had any experience playing football. I began playing with my brother Ríša on a pitch in Frýdek-Místek. I still have pieces of that cinder all over my body to this day.
When I was ten, I moved to nearby Vítkovice at the request of Mr. Kušnír who was then the trainer of the juniors. I remember that time extremely fondly for two reasons. Firstly, I went through all the youth categories here and got my first chance as first team goalkeeper. And secondly, I met my wonderful wife Martina here.
When I had established myself between the posts in the Vítkovice first team and was playing regularly in the second division, I got an offer from Viktoria Žižkov. For me, it was (and is) an established Czech club with an eventful history, so I didn’t have to think for long before setting off for my first adventure in Prague. We were promoted to the first division the following season and this only served to confirm that I had made the right decision.
I didn’t get the chance to celebrate our promotion properly, because the greatest challenge of my career to date awaited me just a week later – the European Under-21 Championship in Denmark. I travelled to Denmark with the lads with the aim of at least getting out of the group. We hadn’t lost a single match during qualification, so we were understandably full of determination, but our plans went awry pretty quickly. We weren’t in the best form at the crucial time and left the tournament empty-handed. The enormous joy of being promoted in the league was followed by even greater disappointment.
The following year, I started my first games in the first division and then got a chance you don’t turn down in the Czech Republic – to become the goalkeeper for AC Sparta Prague. The interesting thing was that I played my first game in my new colours on the pitch at Viktoria Žižkov.
I have strong memories of Sparta. Thanks to Sparta, I finally got called up to the full national team for the first time in 2012, got my first taste of playing in the Europa League and, perhaps most importantly, got the chance of training with my role model Pavel Srniček. We had our best season in 2014 when we managed to win the double!
Then came the chance of playing for FC Basel. I think this is the dream of every footballer – the reason we play football. It was a wonderful chance.
Basel became a new home for me and Martina for the next few years. I didn’t have to wait long for a taste of the most prestigious European competition, and I was suddenly standing on the pitch against players from Real Madrid and Liverpool. But in the end the greatest success in my life came off the pitch. Our daughter Nicole was born in 2015.
When Petr Čech ended his international career in 2016, I became the new number one for the national team for qualification for the World Cup in Russia. Meanwhile, we were regularly winning the league with Basel. After four seasons in Switzerland, however, I felt like I wanted to take another step up. I had never hidden my ambition of playing in one of the TOP 5 European leagues, so when an offer from Sevilla in Spain, a leading team in La Liga and multiple winner of the Europa League, landed on my table I didn’t hesitate for a minute!
And so I found myself in Spain. There are Spanish course books all over the place at home, and I’m working hard to prove to myself and everyone else that I belong at this elite club.
|Date of birth||March 29, 1989|
|Place of birth||Ostrava, Czech Republic|
|Shoe model||adidas Predator 19.1+|
|Gloves model||adidas Predator PRO|
|Current club||Sevilla FC|