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Stanislav Varga (born October 8, 1972 in Lipanymarker) is a football player from Slovakiamarker, who is currently a free agent.

Career

Varga, a tall and commanding centre-back ,was recruited by Peter Reid for £650,000 from Slovan Bratislava during the summer of 2000. Varga began his career at the Stadium of Lightmarker with an impressive opening day display in Sunderland's 1–0 victory over Arsenal, picking up the man of the match award. He scored his first Sunderland goal in a 2-0 win over West Ham in January 2001.

A regular in the international side with over fifty caps to his name, Varga has also captained his country on a number of occasions. He was first spotted by Peter Reid when playing for Slovakia in a friendly game against Norway before Euro 2000 and impressed the Black Cats' boss with the way he kept Tore André Flo and Ole Gunnar Solskjær out of the game.

A relative unknown in Englandmarker, Varga enjoys nothing short of hero status in Slovakiamarker where thousands of fans watched his every step in the Premiership and the Scottish Premier League.

He spent the end of 2001–02 on loan with West Bromwich Albion. The towering centre back returned from a long-term injury to find himself out of the first team picture and his last game before going on loan ended when he was taken off at half-time at Old Traffordmarker, where Sunderland lost 4–1. With Björklund and Jody Craddock ahead of him, Varga never really found his way back into the team, and was released in January 2003.

Less than a month later and Martin O'Neill had snapped up the defender on a short-term deal. Despite only making one appearance for Celtic in that time, he was rewarded with a two-year contract in July 2003. He was an ever-present in the side during the 2003–04 campaign and helped his new team-mates to domestic glory, winning the domestic double. Such success continued in the 2004–05 season as he proved to be a rock in the Celtic defence. He even got up-field to score six times, including one in Celtic's 3–1 defeat to A.C. Milan in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage.

On 31 August 2006 he returned to Sunderland under new manager Roy Keane, a former colleague from Celtic, alongside Celtic's Ross Wallace, for a combined fee of up to £1,100,000. He scored his first goal in his second spell at Sunderland in a 4-1 loss at Preston North End in October 2006.

His strong and powerful presence, ability in the air and no nonsense defending has made him a rising fan favourite at the Stadium of Light. Having to act as a substitute behind first choice centre half Nyron Nosworthy, the Slovakian chose a one month loan deal to Burnley on 4 January, 2008 to regain match-fitness. He was named in the Championship Team of the Week for his performance in Burnley's 1–0 win over Plymouth Argyle, his first league game for the club.

Sunderland released Varga at the end of the 2007–08 season.

References

  1. Keane Signs Celtic Pair Sunderland AFC Website 31 September 2006


External links




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