Peter Pekarik, at just 23 years old, has developed into a certain starter for Slovakia at right-back in the eyes of national coach, Vladimir Weiss. A mature, rugged defender, capable of delivering high-quality crosses, he has experienced a meteoric rise in the world of football, culminating in a German Championship-winning medal in 2009.
‘Peky’ first took to the pitch as a professional with Dubnica in 2004, at the tender age of 18. Despite his inexperience, the club’s coaching staff had no hesitation in offering him a regular place in the team’s defence. The gifted youngster was quick to repay this vote of confidence by helping Dubnica to a best-ever fourth place in the Slovakian Championship. His fine performances piqued the interest of his home-town club, Zilina, and the temptation to play for the team he had supported as a boy proved too strong. From 2005 to 2008, the right full-back gradually established himself as one of the star performers in the Slovak top division.
Highlights of his time in the green and yellow of Zilina included 111 first-team appearances, five goals, a league title and a first cap for Slovakia. With these considerable achievements under his belt, in January 2009 Pekarik decided a new challenge was in order and packed his bags for the Bundesliga, where further success awaited him.
Wolfsburg, coached by Felix Magath, was the Slovak’s landing-place in Germany. Yet again, Pekarik would become a vital element in his new team’s back line. In addition to this seamless adaptation, he played an integral part in the club’s unexpected league title victory, the first in the history of Die Wolfe. And while the 2009/10 season was more difficult for Pekarik, as the Wolfsburg players struggled in the unfamiliar role of reigning champions, he will be looking to continue his startling run of success at the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa this summer.