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Scoring at the Euros and winning Kalou’s watch – Duda’s story so far

14 January 2020

The first of Norwich City's January signings, Ondrej Duda made a name for himself from a young age in Slovakian football.

Duda began his youth career at hometown club MFK Snina who, funnily enough, play in yellow and green!

He made the jump from the third tier to the first to join FC VSS Košice, for whom he’d go on to make his senior debut at the age of 17 in 2012, going on to score five goals in 33 games before leaving the club midway through the 2013-14 season.

The midfielder left Slovakia for the first time when Legia Warsaw came calling, giving Duda the opportunity to compete at the highest level of Polish football. Between 2014 and 2016 he made 67 appearances for the club, scoring ten goals.

He became part of the Polish Championship-winning side in 2013-14 – the highest accolade in Polish league football.

A callup from Slovakia’s Under-17s to the senior national team coincided with the awarding of the Peter Dubovský Award to Duda in 2014, which is given to the best Slovakian footballer under the age of 21.

duda kalou.jpg

Success in Slovakia and Poland earned Duda a switch to the Bundesliga in 2016, when Hertha BSC signed him on a five-year deal. Due to injury, it was seven months down the line when he made his debut for the club.

UEFA Euro 2016 experts may recall Duda’s involvement in Slovakia’s 2-1 defeat to Wales, when he scored his first goal for his country with the equaliser in that game. Duda has become a regular Slovakian international since then, having scored five goals in 35 games.

After scoring in a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich, Duda really began to make a name for himself during the 2018-19 season, in which he played 32 out of 34 matches, scored eleven goals (including against Schalke, Wolfsburg and Bayern again) and got six assists, reportedly bringing about the interest of Sevilla at the end of the season. Duda has scored a handful of goals from the penalty spot and with free-kicks throughout his career.

Hertha teammate Salamon Kalou had to buy Duda a watch after losing a bet on how many goals he would score in the Bundesliga! “Salomon spurred me on with his bet,” he told Bild. “I’ll give it away as a present or donate the money.”

Since signing for Hertha BSC, Duda has scored twelve goals in 59 appearances, but was attracted by a loan offer to Norwich City in a bid to help retain the club’s Premier League status.

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