Hearts legend Rudi Skacel will end his career today, after 20 years as a professional footballer.
The 39-year-old will play for FK Pribram in their relegation play-off second leg match against Zbrojovka Brno tonight. The tie is currently locked at 3-3 after the first leg.
He has scored 5 goals in 43 games for the Bohemian side and he will look to help extend their stay in the Czech Republic’s top tier.
Fondly remembered by Jambos fans everywhere, Skacel had some of the best moments of his career whilst playing in maroon.
Skacel is an undisputed Hearts legend
The Czech attacker has played for 12 clubs over his long career, but he perhaps isn’t as loved as much by anyone else than he is by Hearts supporters.
He started his career at FC Hradec Králové, before moving on to have spells at Slavia Prague, French giants Marseille and Greek outfit Panathinaikos. Still contracted to Marseille, Skacel was sent to Gorgie for first team football in the 2005/06 season.
Skacel started like a house on fire, scoring in his first seven league games, inspiring Hearts to seven wins on the bounce. He scored 16 goals that season, netting in the 2006 Scottish Cup final victory against Gretna.
George Burley, the man who brought him to Hearts, took Skacel to Southampton the following season. He returned to Tynecastle in 2010 though, cementing his legendary status during this spell.
Hat-tricks, stunning volleys and reaching 100 competitive appearances were just some the great things the Czech hero done during his second stint in the Scottish capital.
Perhaps most notably, he helped the Jambos sink Hibs in the 2012 Scottish Cup final, scoring two goals as Hearts thumped their city rivals 5-1. If he wasn’t a legend already, that game made him one.
Skacel has enjoyed a long and fruitful career. Jambos fans will always have a special place for him in their hearts.