Ligová fotbalová asociaceChance Liga

1973-1990: Reflection from the bottom

After years full of success, a difficult period followed, which even included a football tragedy in the form of relegation to the second league. There was some improvement in the early 1980s and a permanent turnaround in the 1984-1990 seasons, in which Sparta won six championship titles. Fame in Europe brought Sparta promotion over the famous Real Madrid in 1983.

Winner of the Czech Cup


Winner of the Czechoslovak Cup, Winner of the Czech Cup


Winner of the Czechoslovak Cup, Winner of the Czech Cup


League champion, Winner of the Czechoslovak Cup, Winner of the Czech Cup


League champion


Winner of the Czech Cup


League champion, Winner of the Czech Cup


League champion, Winner of the Czechoslovak Cup, Winner of the Czech Cup


League champion, Winner of the Czechoslovak Cup, Winner of the Czech Cup


League champion


Photo gallery

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Is it even possible that some players didn't even want to PLAY THE FIRST LEAGUE? They shouldn't hold their heads up high, but they should be ashamed.

- Oldřich Nejedlý in reaction to Sparta's relegation

Ideal 11

The line-up was selected by Zdeněk Pavlis, chairman of the Club of Sports Journalists and co-author of the book Iron Sparta.

Sparta had to fall to the very bottom in order to rise like the mythical phoenix from the ashes of the second league and gradually work its way back to the limelight. Where it belonged for decades and where it belonged. To the league throne. To the European stage, where she was absent for many seasons. Into the underbelly of European football, which she reminded us of on several occasions: I'm here, take note of me, count me in.

Memorable matches

14. 9. 1983
opening match of the UEFA Cup 1st round
Sparta Praha vs. Real Madrid
28. 9. 1983
second match of the UEFA Cup 1st round
Real Madrid vs. Sparta Praha
7. 12. 1983
second match of the UEFA Cup 3rd round
Sparta Praha vs. Watford FC
20. 3. 1985
second match of PMEZ quarter-final
Sparta Praha vs. Juventus Turín
2. 10. 1985
second match of PMEZ 1st round
Barcelona vs. Sparta Praha

It was a very unfortunate game for us. We should change the poles at Letná, which are maliciously obstructing our strikers. If we had won 3:1, I would have been 100% satisfied, but this way it's only seventy-five.

- Václav Ježek after Sparta's 3:2 win over Real Madrid


František Chovanec
František Chovanec

*21. 8. 1944 Volné Kočkovce can be found only in the autoatlas and yet from this small village near Půchov, a footballer who could leave his heart on the pitch, work till death and with his fighting spirit managed to tear others down. The defender or midfielder wore the red jersey from 1965 to 1979, playing 660 games and scoring 43 goals.

Jozef Chovanec
Jozef Chovanec

*7. 3. 1960 Since his arrival in 1978, he has played 743 games in a red jersey as a defender or midfielder, scoring 168 goals and celebrating eight titles. After his playing career ended, he worked at Sparta as a coach, manager and president. He made his mark in the hearts of the fans in his very first game, when he scored the decisive goal in the 1-0 win over Slavia. He was nominated for 52 national team matches and in 1986 he was crowned the best Czechoslovak footballer.

Jan Berger
Jan Berger

*27. 11. 1955 He wore the red jersey from 1980 to 1986, played 331 games and scored 96 goals. He appeared in 30 matches for the national team. He was the creator of the game and the engine of most of the actions, an excellent midfield player. However, he was also able to assert himself in large spaces, successfully defend, establish offensive actions, develop them in the field and suddenly shoot hard and accurately. He kept playing with his head held high, looking for open teammates to set up a direct scoring chance. In the late 1980s, he began to have problems with his lifestyle, but eventually the man of mischief became a knight of the sporting arena. He topped the popular Footballer of the Year award in 1984, helped Sparta to championship titles in 1984 and 1985, helped them to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1983 against Real Madrid, and two years later scored a goal to beat Juventus.

Ivan Hašek
Ivan Hašek

*6. 9. 1963 At the age of 14, he started in Sparta's youth team C and three years later coach Dušan Uhrin put him on the roster of the first league team. He was hard on himself in training and in matches and became an excellent all-rounder. Most often he played in the middle line, but in some matches he also appeared in defence or as a right winger. He became a central figure in the Spartan and, in 56 matches, in the national team. His will, commitment, hard work and character were exemplary. He donned the league boots for Sparta from 1981 to 1990 and then again from 1996 to 1998. He played 221 league games and scored 68 goals.

Jiří Novotný
Jiří Novotný

*7. 4. 1970 With 14 titles, he holds not only the Czech record, but also probably the European record. He wore the red jersey, with the exception of a half-year guest stint in Liberec, from 1987 to 2003, played 724 games and scored 58 goals as a stopper. However, he started wearing Spartan football boots at the age of 13, he was not in any national youth category and soon trained in the company of Chovanec Hašek, Straka, Skuhravý and other outstanding footballers. He became a pillar of the defence, excelled in positional play, proved to be valid in the offensive and dangerous in the end.

After Ježek, no one has ever left Letná with honour - except Ježek. I would like to break this rule.

– Jozef Jarabinský