Able to play both as a lone striker or deep-lying forward, the free-scoring Filip Holosko offers a useful option to Vladimir Weiss’ Slovakia in attack. The imposing 26-year-old’s control and effective final ball have drawn comparisons with French maestro, Thierry Henry, and while he has not yet collected anywhere near the same number of medals as the Barcelona player, he also shares the ability to grab a game by the scruff of the neck.
A solid header of the ball, and equipped with fine dribbling skills, Holosko is a product of Trencin’s youth system, although once promoted to the first-team squad, his playing opportunities at the club from Western Slovakia were severely limited. It was not until he crossed the border into the Czech Republic to join Slovan Liberec that the player really began to get into his stride. His nose for goal led to him being selected to represent his country at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2003. He was not satisfied with that honour, however, and three extremely promising seasons and 17 goals later, he managed to break into the full Slovakia squad, making his debut in 2005. ‘Pipo’ was at this point getting itchy feet, so decided to try his hand at the Turkish Super Lig prior to season 2006/07.
Representing the colours of Vestel Manisaspor, newly promoted from the division below, he proceeded to enjoy a quite fabulous season, tearing rival defences apart at times. His top-class performances caught the eye of Besiktas and Holosko could not resist the call of the Istanbul giants. His star continued to rise with the Black Eagles, as he quickly became their most dangerous attacking threat. Fans of city rivals Fenerbahce know just how lethal Holosko can be, having watched the Slovak pick up the ball in his own half, evade the attention of four Fenerbache defenders and slam home one of the goals of the 2008/09 season. If Holosko can reproduce that sort of form at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, then supporters of Italy, Paraguay and New Zealand may also get to experience that sinking feeling.