Slovakia's Jan Popluhar dies at 75

Updated: March 7, 2011, 10:42 AM ET
Associated Press

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Slovakia soccer great Jan Popluhar has died. He was a member of the Czechoslovakia team that reached the final of the 1962 World Cup in Chile.

The Slovak soccer federation said in a statement that Popluhar died in a Bratislava hospital on Sunday. He was 75. The cause of death was not announced.

The central back anchored the Czechoslovak defense on its way to the 1962 World Cup final against Brazil, which Czechoslovakia lost 3-1. He also was on the team that won bronze at the 1960 European Championship and played at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

In 2002, Popluhar was chosen Slovakia's best soccer player of the 20th century.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press