PATRIK SHICK – THE MAN IN FORM

Patrik Schick dominated the headlines in this year’s Euro’s tournament as his 5 goals led the Czech’s to an impressive quarter-final standing.  

The Czech Republic number 10 finished the tournament as joint-top scorer besides Cristiano Ronaldo, beating the likes of Mbappe, Lewandowski, Benzema and Harry Kane in the golden boot race. Schick is known to be a versatile attacking player, which was evident with his clinical performances and ruthless finishing for the national team. His goal from 50 yards out against Scotland, which gave the Czechs their first win of the group stages, was not only crucial for the momentum and confidence of the team but also won Schick the Goal of the Tournament award. The Czech star now has 16 goals in 31 appearances for his country, becoming their seventh-highest scorer at just 25 years of age.

Schick’s international campaign, however, was not simply a fluke. After a few struggling seasons with various clubs, the last few seasons were proving to be quite progressive for him. In 2020, Schick featured in a spectacular game for RB Leipzig in the Champions League, thrashing a strong, compact Jose Mourinho Spurs side, 3-0.  In the 2020-21 season, he had a great campaign for Bayern Leverkusen, followed by his exceptional Euro’s run. This attracted a lot of interest from some top clubs in England, with West Ham leading the race to give fellow countrymen, Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal, another Czech mate.

Patrik Schick of Czech Republic celebrates after scoring their side’s second goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship. (Photo by Petr Josek – Pool/Getty Images)

However, it wasn’t all sunshine for Patrik.

THE HIGHS AND LOWS

Patrik Schick was an ordinary football fan until he had the opportunity to watch Manchester United play live against his home team, Sparta Prague. Since then, he set his eyes on becoming a professional footballer, aspiring to be like Wayne Rooney, “he was running on the pitch in front of me,” Schick said. “I thought that I want to do this – never get a normal job, and earn a living like him.” However, his father was much against this idea and made it very clear, publicly discouraging and humiliating him at his matches, from the stands. This was an ongoing recurrence until, at the age of 12, where he had a mid-game row with his father while playing for a local youth team.

Schick started his career at Sparta Prague in 2014 in a season where Sparta won the domestic double, however, due to featuring only 4 times across 2 seasons, he decided to join Bohemians 1905 on loan. Although he managed to get 27 appearances here, he only managed to score 8 goals and returned to Sparta without succeeding to make a name for himself.

To revive his career, Schick moved to Italy to join Sampdoria where he recorded a goal every 137 minutes and gained interest from league champions, Juventus. Just when Schick thought this was his breakthrough to play at the top level, the move was called off due to a failed medical with concerns of heart inflammation.   

His dream transfer falling through not only ruined his chances to play for a top club but also affected his relationship with Sampdoria. Towards the end of the transfer window, a loan deal between Sampdoria and Roma was approved with the option to buy him for around £10 million. Upon signing, Roma sporting director Monchi described Schick as “one of the brightest prospects in international football.” However, the pressure to maintain his performances from the season before got the better of him. He not only struggled to get competitive minutes but was also struck with a series of injuries and was quickly labelled a ‘flop’ in Rome. He was Roma’s third-choice striker and scored only 8 goals in 58 appearances for the Italians. As a result, Roma opted out from signing Patrik Schick on a permanent transfer.

However, the Czech’s star player refused to give up. Another loan spell, this time to RB Leipzig, rekindled his form with 10 goals in 28 games as the club finished in third place in the Bundesliga and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

His top-class performances may not have got him a permanent deal with RB Leipzig, but he did manage to sign for Bayern Leverkusen and scored 13 goals for the German side in the 2020-21 season.

Statistically, Patrik Schick isn’t the best player globally, or even in the league, but his persistence, stamina, and resilience are definitely second to none. 

22 COMMENTS

  1. Very well-written, researched, and informative article. Will certainly be looking forward to reading future posts from Saarah.

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