A right-sided attacking midfielder of no little talent, Marek Sapara is one of the more familiar faces in the current Slovakia line-up, having pulled on the blue jersey 23 times in his career. His fantastic free-kicks and crosses delivered with pinpoint accuracy have invited comparisons to none other than David Beckham. Sapara’s inclusion in his country’s squad for 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ is therefore no surprise.
‘Sapi’ was born and bred in Kosice, serving a football apprenticeship with his home-town club before signing professional forms there as an 18-year-old in 2000. His dribbling skills and general dexterity with the ball led to him cementing a place in the team stright away. Following two extremely promising seasons, Sapara decided the time was ripe for a move, with European qualifiers Ruzomberok his new destination. He spent four productive years in the north of the country, improving to such an extent that he was awarded his first Slovakia cap during his time there, before packing his bags for Norway in 2006.
At new club Rosenborg, Sapara began to put in performances worthy of a player at the peak of his powers. An unquestionable first choice at the Norwegian giants, he clocked up 77 appearances and 19 goals in Trondheim, as well as gaining his first taste of UEFA Champions League football in 2007. In the 2010 transfer window, he was transferred to Turkish club, Ankaragucu. In addition to a more pleasant climate, he has also benefitted from playing alongside Slovak compatriot Robert Vittek, a club-level affiliation that both players hope to mirror in the international arena in South Africa this summer.