The name of Josef Bican was practically unknown to football fans in the world and if it weren’t for the record of all-time top scorer that Cristiano Ronaldo recently equaled, that situation would have probably remained the same. But the truth is quite different: we are talking about a lethal striker like no one in history and one that has been forgotten too soon.
Born in Vienna on September 25, 1913, his father was a football player before going to World War I, a young Josef Bican decided to follow that path in his life. His professional debut would be in 1931 with SK Rapid Wien in his hometown where, from the first day, Josef Bican began to demonstrate a scoring ability that would be his calling card throughout his career.
Josef Bican would be part of the Austrian national team of the 30s known as Wunderteam, one of the best football teams at the time. After his stint at SK Rapid Wien, Bican would have a stint at SK Admira Wien before moving to the most important club of his career and where he would reach almost impossible scoring records, SK Slavia Prague. In Prague, Josef Bican scored 529 goals in 271 matches, that is, an average of 1.95 goals per match. Simply amazing.
Because of his appreciation for Czechoslovakia and the fact that Austria had been annexed to Nazi Germany, Josef Bican decided to play for Czechoslovakia’s national team. They say that Germany had offered Bican citizenship so that he would play with their national team, however the Austro-Czech refused and chose to defend the Czechoslovakian colors, with which he scored 12 goals in 14 games, although it is worth mentioning that during that period World War II occurred, which did not allow him to play international matches for 7 years.
In 1948, communism came to Czechoslovakia and classified SK Slavia Prague as an enemy of the state and this led the striker to play in the second tier of Czechoslovak football two clubs known as FC Vítkovice and FC Hradec Králové. After his retirement, Josef Bican worked as a manager for several teams being the promotion from the forth tier to the second tier of Belgian football with KSK Tongeren his greatest success. The goal figures vary depending on the sources. Even Bican himself stated that if he had counted his goals in the same way that Pelé (including friendly matches and so on), he would have reached five thousand goals. He was also affected by other factors such as World War II or Russian Communism and this perhaps prevented his record of goals from being even higher. Either way, Josef Bican was a legendary player whose legacy must be upheld and remembered to take the magnitude that he deserves.