Jiri Hanke, the only Czech footballer to have played for FC Barcelona

Jiri Hanke, the only Czech footballer to have played for FC Barcelona
Jiri Hanke, Ferdinand Daucik and Ladislao Kubala (FC Barcelona)

The story of Jiri Hanke It is one of those that is worth telling. Born on 12 from December to 1924, the czech footballer began his career as a professional in the Slavia de Praga.

But nevertheless, World War II caused that Jiri Hanke I had to change the ball for the rifle for a while. In fact, the 5 May 1945, at the start of the Prague Insurrection, the entire Slavia squad defended the club stadium against German Wehrmacht troops. That ‘party’ got lost and the SK Slavia Stadium it ended in flames.

The end of the warlike conflict did not bring calm for the good of Hanke. The arrival of communism in Czechoslovakia caused him to have to flee for fear. The government of Prague drafted very severe racial laws and it was speculated that our protagonist was a German born in Czechoslovak territory..

Heartbroken from not being able to wear the club shirt of his life anymore and without permission from the Czechoslovak Federation to play soccer, Jiri Hanke he left his country and emigrated to Germany. There he joined the ranks of the St. Pauli, a club characterized by its left-wing ideology, back in 1950. He also played in Colombia, in the rows of the Union Magdalena (1951) and later in France in the Racing Club de Lens. It was in 1952 when Jiri Hanke came to FC Barcelona thanks to the culé coach of that time, his compatriot Ferdinand Daucik.

The central defender wore the culé shirt during four seasons in which he managed to win a League, two Spanish Cups and two Eva Duarte Cups. Although his demarcation was that of defender, a Hanke he likes to lavish himself in attack and, According to chronicles of the time, he was quite adept with the ball on his feet. In fact, in his first season in the Spanish League he was able to score 5 goals in 11 matches.

Hanke Barcelona
Hanke in a match played at Les Corts (FC Barcelona)

In his time as a Barcelona player he shared costumes with great soccer players such as Ramallets, Segarra, Basra or the very same Kubala. After these years in Barcelona, Jiri, who was also known as Jorge Hanke or Georg Hanke, hung the boots in Switzerland in the ranks of the FC Biel-Bienne and he established his residence in the Swiss country where he died in 2006.

His story has seemed interesting and worthy of a few lines. The only czech footballer of the history of Barça that, like so many others, had to flee his country because of the war.

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