On this day: Karel Poborsky delivers The Prince of Lobs against Portugal

Ollie Irish

24th, June 2020

Czech Republic vs Portugal, Euro 96 quarter-final, June 1996, Villa Park

Sure, Karel Poborsky got a bit lucky on the way to this memorable goal at Euro 96, but the finish is one of the great lobs you could hope to see, a proper links bunker escape job. It also won the quarter-final for Czech Republic. The Czechs went on to beat France in the semis, on penalties, before losing to Germany in the final at Wembley.

One month after the tournament, Poborsky signed for Man Utd, but he never hit the heights there, as his playing time was restricted due to the emergence of a youngster named David Beckham.

Footnote: Sir Alex Ferguson made a few other signings in the hot summer of ’96,  a couple of whom did pretty well for the club:

Left to right: Ronnie Johnsen, Jordi Cruyff, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Fergie (epic slacks), Poborsky and Raymond van der Gouw (starting the sliders trend way ahead of time). Johnsen was a very good player and a key man in United’s treble-winning season, and Solskjaer is, if not a bona fide club legend, then a beloved cult hero. Cruyff (weighed down by his old man’s name) and Poborsky didn’t make the grade, while Van der Gouw was a willing back-up goalkeeper for six years.


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