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Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel
Date of Birth:Dec 15, 1984 (Age 29)
Place of Birth:Handlova
Nationality:Slovakia
Height:191 cm.
Weight:81 Kg.
Position:Defender
Squad Number:37
National Team Page: Slovakia
Martin Skrtel - Liverpool (PA)
Martin Skrtel – He began his career at the tender age of six with FK Prievidza's youth team in Slovakia. He then joined FK Ozeta Dukla Trencin (now FK AS Trencin) in 2001. Skrtel tried a number of different positions before becoming comfortable as a centre half and won the youth Champions of Slovakia with Trencin at a very early stage, the result of which got him in the A-team at the age of 17, but the injuries sustained by him reduced the number of starts he could have had in the first division at that time. Skrtel caught the eye of scouts at the Kirin Cup tournament held in Japan and was eventually bought by Zenit St. Petersburg in 2004.

Skrtel received a career boost when he won the Russian Premier League in his last season with Zenit in 2007, winning the Slovakian Player of the Year Award in 2007 and in the following year as well.

Skrtel who had signed for Zenit as a 19-year old was ranked third as a left-central defender in the 2006 Russian Premier League. He was also awarded as the Youth champion of Slovakia in 2001 and U-18 Player of the Year in 2002-03 besides being a holder of the Peter Dubovsky Prize in 2005 for the best U-21 Footballer (came second in 2004).

Tottenham, Everton, Newcastle United and Valencia all flocked for his signature but it was Liverpool who eventually attained his services during the January 2008 transfer window and the no-nonsense centre-back made his league debut for the club against Aston Villa as a second-half substitute on January 21, 2008. Skrtel signed a four-and-a-half year contract with Liverpool that runs until 2012 for a whopping £6.5 million.

Skrtel was named among the Slovak national team players in May 2004, when he was just 20 years old, subsequent to his experience with the U-15 and U-21 youth teams. He scored five times for his country, which includes the first in a narrow 2-1 win over Northern Ireland in the 2010 qualifiers.

Did You Know?

Skrtel was a competent ice hockey player before he chose to pursue his career in football, following the footsteps of his father who played for FK Prievidza.

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