Czech football in mourning for Ladislav Novák

Ladislav Novák, who captained Czechoslovakia to the final of the 1962 FIFA World Cup, died today at the age of 79, and will be remembered as one of the great left-backs of his age.

Mauro and Ladislav Novák shake hands ahead of Brazil's meeting with Czechoslovakia at the 1962 FIFA World Cup finals in Chile
Mauro and Ladislav Novák shake hands ahead of Brazil's meeting with Czechoslovakia at the 1962 FIFA World Cup finals in Chile ©Popperfoto/Getty Images

Ladislav Novák, who captained Czechoslovakia to the final of the 1962 FIFA World Cup, has died at the age of 79.

One of the best left-backs of his age, Novák played at three successive World Cups. He won a silver medal in Chile in 1962 after picking up a bronze at the UEFA European Championship two years earlier. Capped 75 times, he won eight national titles with FC Dukla Praha and earned a reputation as a footballing gentleman, having never been sent off in his career.

After hanging up his boots, he briefly coached Czechoslovakia in the early 1970s and won a final Czech title as coach of Dukla in 1982. Either side of that success, he took his skills to Belgium, taking charge at KSC Lokeren OV, R. Antwerp FC, K. Beerschot VAC (now KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen), KSK Beveren and RWD Molenbeek.

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