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PersonalFullname: Stanislav Varga
aka: Stan Varga
Born: 8 Oct 1972
Birthplace: Lipany, Slovakia
Signed: 11 Feb 2003
International Caps: 54
International Goals: 2
BiogStanislav Varga arrived at Celitc in Feb 2003 to undergo a short trial (along with Croatia's Milan Rapaic) at the request of Martin O'Neill after fallling out of favour with his then club Sunderland. After a short term contract, a 2 year deal was offered and signed in July 2003 [BBC].
A further 2 year deal was agreed in July 2004 [BBC]. Varga re-joined Sunderland in combined transfer with Ross Wallace in August 2006. In total, he made 116 appearances for Celtic, chipping in with 14 goals.
Stanislav Varga already had a long professional in Slovakia as a tall, powerful centre-back before he came to the notice of British football. A regular in the international side with over fifty caps to his name, Varga had 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 Sunderland manager. He signed him from Slovan Bratislava for £650k in the summer of 2000.
Varga spent the end of 01/02 on loan with West Bromwich Albion. The following season he found himself out of favour at Sunderland and never really got himself back into the first team.
It was thought he was released in January 2003 and, after a week’s trial, Martin O'Neill had snapped up the defender on a short-term deal to the end of the season subject to a work permit. This was awarded but then his registration was held up by the English FA. When he came on trial he said he had a deal to go to Bolton which never came off. His arrival was subject of an enquiry into his original signing to Sunderland and the short term contract became a short term loan deal with Sunderland. With these details straightened he took his place in the first team squad to stiffen the defence with the absence of Mjallby. Varga proved to be a defender straight out of the Martin O'Neill mould – big and strong - but he was given little chance to show whether he was worthy of a further contract that first short loan season making only 2 appearances.
He had persuaded O’Neill though and in July 2003 he made a full signing to the club for free from Sunderland with a 2 year contract, though the second year was with a rider of making enough appearances in his first season. He was an ever-present in the side during the 2003–04 campaign, duly winning the second year, and helped Celtic to domestic glory winning the double. He never looked phased and was a rock at the centre of the defence getting stronger with each game. As such probably was the defender of that season. In May 2003 he was given a further 2 year deal to June 2007.
Success continued in the 2004–05 season where he looked the best of the central defenders available also contributing valuably at set pieces and scoring six times. As the season progressed he looked slower but he gave 100% commitment on the field. Through 05/06 his partnership with Balde meant that the central pairing was slow and fairly blunt. Both were prone to being undone by nimble, nippy, youthful attackers. In the January 2006 transfer window interest came from Kaiserslautern and Bayer Leverkusen, though Stan said he would leave only at the end of the season. Hibernian also expressed an interest in taking him on.
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.
His return to the Stadium of Light was treated initially with scepticism by the fans but his early performances still showed the strong presence and no nonsense defending which was Varga’s stock in trade and he gradually won the fans around. When he fell to second choice he went on loan to Burnley in January 2008.
Sunderland released Varga at the end of the 2007–08 season.
A relative unknown in the UK when he first arrived, Varga enjoyed nothing short of hero status in Slovakia where thousands of fans watched his every step in the Premiership and the Scottish Premier League.
|Fee||League||Scottish Cup||League cup||Other|
|Burnley||04/01/2008||05/05/2008||Loan||10 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Sunderland||31/08/2006||04/06/2008||Signed||20 (0)||1||1 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Celtic||11/02/2003||31/08/2006||Free||79 (1)||10||10 (0)||2||3 (1)||1||22 (0)||1|
|West Brom||25/03/2002||22/04/2002||Loan||3 (1)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Sunderland||27/07/2000||11/02/2003||£ 875000||18 (3)||1||5 (1)||0||5 (1)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Slovan Bratislava||01/08/1998||27/07/2000||Signed||56 (0)||12||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Tatran Presov||01/08/1992||31/05/1998||85 (2)||8||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Totals||£875,000||271 (7)||32||17 (1)||2||8 (2)||1||22 (0)||1|
|goals / game||0.11||0.11||0.1||0.04|
Honours with Celtic [needs checked]Scottish League
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, May 1 2010, 4:57 AM EDT
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