Czech Republic international and professional footballer Vladimir Coufal has been signed by West Ham United on a free transfer from Slavia Prague. The 29-year-old defender previously played for Bílovec, Hlučín, Opava, Slovan Liberec and Slavia Prague in his homeland, before moving to Turkey in 2014 with Elazığspor, where he stayed until 2016. His impressive performances earned him another move to Europe’s top leagues with the Hammers after they won promotion back to the Premier League at the end of last season. Czech professional footballer Vladimir Coufal joins West Ham United

What was your childhood like?

I was born in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic. I lived there until I was 7 years old and then moved to my grandparent’s house in Hlučín, where I grew up with my younger brother Jáchym. He is two years younger than me. My mum worked in a local health centre, my dad worked for Sarsko as a driver for 15 years and also played football as a goalkeeper. He didn’t play professionally though.Czech professional footballer Vladimir Coufal joins West Ham United

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Did you always know you wanted to be a footballer?

I’ve known since I was a little boy. It wasn’t something that came to me at 14 or 15 years old, it was something I knew early on in my life that I wanted to do. I think everybody likes football and as they grow up they realise they can maybe make a career out of it.

Were there any clubs interested in signing you as a youngster?

When I was playing for Slovan Liberec, then two Premier League clubs were interested in me, but they didn’t manage to push through a transfer. If my memory serves me right, it was Liverpool and Blackburn.

How long have you been playing football professionally?

I started playing football professionally back in 2004. Since then, I’ve had a lot of success as part of both my national team and in Europe with Slavia Prague. Recently, though, I felt it was time for a change in scenery; that’s why I’m looking forward to joining up with one of England’s most successful Premier League clubs, West Ham United. For me, football is all about enjoying yourself—and that starts from day one.

What are your personal ambitions at West Ham United?

I don’t have any personal ambitions. I just want to help my new club by all means necessary and I will try to bring something to it and contribute as much as possible. – said Czech Republic international defender Vladimir Coufal, who signed a two-year contract with Premier League club West Ham United on transfer deadline day.

Czech professional footballer Vladimir Coufal joins West Ham United
Czech professional footballer Vladimir Coufal joins West Ham United
  • Born: 22 August 1992 (age 29 years), Ludgeřovice, Czechia
  • Spouse: Hana Coufalová (m. 2017)
  • Position: Defender
  • Parents: Alena Dřevjaná
  • Current team: West Ham United
  • Number: 5
  • Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)

What do you like about the lifestyle here in London?

Czech Republic defender Vladimir Coufal is enjoying London life and has told The Gazette he’s loving being a Hammer. I really like it here, said 22-year-old defender, who joined from Slavia Prague in July 2017. It’s a very nice city. It’s quite close to Prague but still very different. I like that there are lots of parks and buildings which are historical and old – it’s a lot better than I was expecting!

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What do you think of the facilities at London Stadium?

I didn’t visit London Stadium before I signed but as soon as I got here I was very impressed. It’s a great stadium and our new home, so it’s good to be here. The training ground is also fantastic – we all use that and it’s a joy to train there every day. It feels like we’re a big club now.

How does it feel to represent the Czech Republic internationally?

It is an incredible feeling to represent your country. Everyone is so proud of you, and everyone knows about it in your country. It’s always been a dream for me, and I am very happy I can make it come true. It was a really big honour when Slavia Prague called me up for their national team squad, but playing for your own country is something special. And being here with Premier League winners West Ham United will only help me improve as a player, so I am delighted to be here.

Which part of your game have you been working on improving most recently?

I think one of my main strengths has always been heading. Recently I have been working on improving my passing game. But to be honest, I just try to work on everything in training every day – it doesn’t matter if it’s defending or attacking or heading or shooting or anything else – and I have to say that our coaches are really good at spotting where we need to improve and help us with that.

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Who is your favourite footballer and why?

You know me too well, I don’t follow football as I used to do when my favorite team was Slavia Prague. My favorite player is Lionel Messi.

In ten years time, where would you like to be?

The best thing you can do to find out where you’re headed in life is to take some time and think about it. Where would you like to be in 10 years time? Where do you see yourself living? What sort of work will you be doing? How many kids will you have, if any? Where do they go to school? Do they play sports? How much money will your family make a year?

Q. & A.

How did you make it to West Ham? And what are your first impressions of London?

How tall is Coufal?

6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)

How old is Vladimir Coufal?

Born 21 February 1990 (age 26) in Opava, Czech Republic. He has represented his country at every level from under-16 to senior level. Coufal is equally comfortable as a full-back or centre-back and is capable of playing on either side of defence as well as in midfield.

How much did Soucek cost?

The transfer fee is undisclosed, but it’s reported that it could rise to £2.6 million (approx. $3.5 million) depending on clauses in his contract with Slavia Prague.

How old is Tomas Soucek?

Tomas Soucek is 31 years old (Born on 1991-06-22) and his FIFA Nation is Czech Republic. He is now playing for West Ham as a Right Midfielder. His overall rating in FIFA 19 is 86 with a potential of 87. Soucek has got a 4-star skillmoves rating. He prefers to shoot with his right foot. His workrates are High / Medium.

How do you pronounce Coufal?

The u is silent, and it’s pronounced just like Kovál. Pronounce it like you would in English; there are no special combinations of letters to watch out for. Just remember: The last syllable is longer than all others, and that final consonant is a soft f. Don’t force your voice or tongue into an unnatural position—speak in a normal tone, and try to relax.

How many goals does Antonio have?

In September 2014, he signed a three-year contract with FC Viktoria Plzeň. In his first season in senior football, he made 16 appearances and scored eight goals for Plzeň’s under-21 team. In February 2015, he was promoted to the first team and made his league debut on 27 March against Mladá Boleslav. He featured as a substitute in that match but did not score.

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