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AC Sparta Praha

Published: Friday 20 August 2010, 14.47CET
Club profile
AC Sparta Praha
Sparta celebrate the most recent of their 35 league titles ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 20 August 2010, 14.47CET

AC Sparta Praha

Club profile

Formed: 1893
Nickname: Rudí (Reds)

UEFA club competition honours (runners-up in brackets):
• none

Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets):
• League title: 35 (2010)
• National cup: 13 (2008)

History
• Founded by the three Rudl brothers and their friends, and named in honour of the Spartans of Greek antiquity, Sparta earned a goalless draw against local rivals SK Slavia Praha in their first official game in 1896. A decade later, their club president Dr Petřík returned from a trip to London with a red Arsenal FC jersey, Sparta subsequently adopting similar colours.

• The "Iron Sparta" side of 1919-23 set new standards, winning all but one of their 59 competitive games in that period to dominate the predecessor to the first official Czechoslovakian league; Sparta also won Central European Cups in 1927 and 1935 to emerge as one of the continent's strongest sides.

• Sparta have always been the most popular Czech side, edging out Slavia, but in the years after 1945 they failed to translate that into much success, even being relegated for the only time in their history in 1975.

• However, from the mid-1980s, a Sparta side featuring the likes of Jozef Chovanec, Tomáš Skuhravý and Ivan Hašek kick-started a massive upturn in the club's fortunes: the 1983/84 title was the first of 19 successes in the course of 26 seasons.

• The 1990s Sparta sides boasted the talents of Pavel Nedvěd, Michal Bílek and Tomáš Rosický, and while the club have never reached the final of a UEFA club competition, they came closest in 1991/92, finishing second behind eventual winners FC Barcelona in the European Champion Clubs' Cup group stage, equivalent to a last-four finish.

Club records
Most appearances: Josef Chovanec (743)
Most goals: Oldřich Nejedlý (183)
Record victory: Sparta 15-1 Kovo Děčín (Czechoslovakian Cup, 1965)
Record defeat: SK Slavia Praha 7-0 Sparta (Czechoslovakian league, 7 December 1941)
Sparta 1-8 SK Slavia Praha (Czechoslovakian league, 15 March 1942)

* Last updated 31 December 2010

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