Martin Škrtel (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈmartin ˈʃkr̩cel]; born 15 December 1984) is a Slovak professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Fenerbahçe and captains the Slovakia national team.

He previously played for Trenčín and Zenit Saint Petersburg, before joining Liverpool for £6.5 million in January 2008. After eight-and-a-half years with Liverpool, where he played 319 official games and scored 18 goals, he joined Fenerbahçe. He has won the Russian Premier League and the League Cup, as well as being named Slovak Footballer of the Year four times.

Škrtel made his international debut for Slovakia in 2004, and has since earned 83 caps. He represented the country as they reached the last 16 at both the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016.

Club career


Škrtel started his professional career at Trenčín, where he played 44 games for them between 2001 and 2004.

Zenit Saint Petersburg

Škrtel made his debut for Zenit Saint Petersburg in a Russian Cup match on 31 July 2004. He said that the presence of Slovak and Czech players helped him to adjust to his new team. He played 113 times and scored 5 goals for the club, winning the Russian Premier League title in the 2007 season. Valencia, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Newcastle United were all reported to be interested in his services, but he ended up signing for Liverpool in the January 2008 transfer window.


2007–08 season

Škrtel joined Liverpool on 11 January 2008 on a four-and-a-half-year contract for a transfer fee of £6.5 million. On completion of the deal, then Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez said of Škrtel:

"He is aggressive, quick, is good in the air and I think he's a very good player for the future and also for the present. He is very competitive, but his mentality for me is very good".

He made his league debut against Aston Villa, wearing the number 37 for Liverpool. Benítez also compared Škrtel to legendary Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

On 26 January 2008, Škrtel played in Liverpool's FA Cup fourth round tie against non-league side Havant & Waterlooville, when he gave away a corner which put Liverpool 1–0 behind, and was also involved in a goal mouth scramble which saw Liverpool go 2–1 down after having equalised, before Liverpool eventually won 5–2. But he put in a solid display in the league game against Chelsea, making several good clearances and interceptions, and was voted man of the match by the Liverpool supporters on their official website. Škrtel was again voted man of the match for his performance in the 1–0 derby win over Everton at Anfield on 30 March 2008, his first ever appearance in a Merseyside derby.

2008–09 season

Škrtel made a bright start to the 2008–09 season, starting in all but one Premier League match and displacing out of favour Daniel Agger to the bench. He put in a number of strong performances with defensive partner Jamie Carragher against many top teams, notably Manchester United, Everton and Marseille in the Champions League. On 5 October 2008, however, Škrtel suffered a serious knee injury after falling awkwardly when challenging Ched Evans late in a game against Manchester City. Liverpool went on to win the game 3–2 but it was later confirmed the central defender had torn the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and would face up to eight weeks on the sidelines.

On 28 December 2008, Škrtel returned from injury as a late substitute in Liverpool's 5–1 away win at Newcastle. He was a regular starter for Liverpool during the second half of the season, as the team finished second in the Premier League with 86 points.

2009–10 season

On 21 November 2009, Škrtel scored his first goal for Liverpool in a 2–2 draw with Manchester City. On 26 February 2010, it was confirmed that he had broken his metatarsal in his right foot while playing in the 3–1 UEFA Europa League victory over Unirea Urziceni the previous day. On 18 August 2010, Škrtel signed a two-year contract extension with Liverpool, committing his future to the club until 2014.

2010–11 season

During the 2010–11 season, Škrtel played every minute of every Premier League match. On 28 November, in a match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, Škrtel scored both his second career goal for the club and his first Premier League own goal as Liverpool lost 2–1. On his 26th birthday, he captained Liverpool in the Europa League against Utrecht. On 2 April 2011, he scored a header against West Bromwich Albion, and played the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 defeat at The Hawthorns.

In May 2011, Škrtel stated that he felt the 2010–11 season had been his best for the club to date.

2011–12 season

On 27 August 2011, Škrtel scored a headed goal for Liverpool against Bolton Wanderers in his first league appearance of the season from an unfamiliar right-back position. On 18 September, he was sent off in a 4–0 away defeat against Tottenham.

On 18 December, Škrtel scored Liverpool's second goal in a league match away at Aston Villa in a 2–0 win. His first goal of 2012 came in a FA Cup fifth round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion, opening the scoring within five minutes of kick-off with header from a corner kick.

On 26 February 2012, Škrtel scored against Cardiff City in the 2012 Football League Cup Final. Liverpool won 3–2 on penalties after the match had ended in a 2–2 draw, giving Škrtel his first trophy as a Liverpool player.

At the midway point of the season, Liverpool had the best defensive record in the Premier League. Liverpool left back José Enrique described Škrtel and Daniel Agger as "the best defensive partnership in the Premier League". The Slovakian's increasing standard of performances led to him becoming a fan favourite at Anfield, and earned him the nickname "The Terminator".

On 10 April 2012, Škrtel captained Liverpool for the first time in the league, leading his club to a 3–2 win over Blackburn Rovers and playing a major part in the first goal with a long pass to Craig Bellamy, who subsequently squared for Maxi Rodríguez to make the score 1–0. On 5 May, he started for Liverpool in the 2–1 2012 FA Cup Final defeat to Chelsea.

Škrtel was awarded Liverpool Player of the Year Award in May 2012.

2012–13 season

After Kenny Dalglish parted company with Liverpool he was replaced by Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers. On 20 August 2012, Škrtel announced that he would commit his future to Liverpool by signing a new contract.

Škrtel's season got off to a bad start, giving away a penalty in a 3–0 loss to West Brom on 18 August 2012. A week later, he scored the club's first goal of the season in a 2–2 draw against Manchester City. Later in the match, his poorly executed backpass to Pepe Reina was intercepted by Carlos Tevez to equalise for Manchester City.

In January 2013, Škrtel was dropped from the Liverpool team after a poor performance in an FA Cup defeat to Oldham Athletic. After starting only four Premier League matches in the second half of the season, Škrtel called 2012–13 "one of the worst seasons in my career and certainly the worst during my time at Liverpool".

2013–14 season

In August 2013, it was reported that Liverpool had rejected a £10 million offer for Škrtel from Rafael Benítez's Napoli.

After missing the first two matches of the season, Škrtel helped Liverpool keep a clean sheet in 1–0 home win against Manchester United on 1 September. On 9 November, he scored his first goal of the season in a 4–0 defeat of Fulham. On 29 December, he gave Liverpool a third-minute lead against Chelsea in a 2–1 loss at Stamford Bridge.

On 8 February 2014, Škrtel scored twice in the first ten minutes against Arsenal, to help Liverpool to a 5–1 win. On 22 March, he scored another brace in a 6–3 win over Cardiff City. On 13 April, he scored Liverpool's second goal in a crucial 3–2 win over Manchester City at Anfield to reach seven goals in the 2013–14 Premier League season.

On 11 May, he scored a record fourth own-goal of the Premier League season in a 2–1 win against Newcastle United. Despite those four own goals, Škrtel scored some decisive goals for Liverpool in some matches. Since his return against Manchester United in the third game of the season, he played every minute for Liverpool in the Premier League.

2014–15 season

On 4 November Škrtel captained Liverpool in a Champions League match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium as captain Steven Gerrard and his vice-captain Jordan Henderson were both on the bench; Liverpool lost 0–1. After a poor beginning to the season, manager Brendan Rodgers switched to a three-man defensive line in October, with Škrtel playing a crucial part. His pace, athleticism and ball-playing abilities were key in this formation.

On 21 December, in a league game at Anfield against Arsenal, Škrtel received a head wound from an accidental collision with Olivier Giroud; the treatment added nine minutes onto the end of the match, in which Škrtel headed a 97th-minute equaliser for a vital 2–2 draw. In a League Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea on 27 January 2015, Škrtel was stamped on by Chelsea forward Diego Costa. Referee Michael Oliver did not penalise the incident, but Costa was retrospectively banned for three matches by The Football Association (FA).

On 8 March 2015 in a sixth round FA Cup match against Blackburn Rovers, Škrtel was substituted and then taken to hospital after a collision with Rudy Gestede. Later that month, Škrtel was given a three-match ban for violent conduct by the FA for a stamp on Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea. He unsuccessfully appealed, claiming it to be unintentional.

2015–16 season

On 10 July 2015, Škrtel signed a new contract with Liverpool. On 23 September 2015, he played his 300th match for Liverpool in a League Cup penalty shootout win over Carlisle United. Škrtel scored his first goal of the season on 21 November 2015, scoring the fourth goal in a 4–1 win away at Manchester City with a thunderous volley from the edge of the box off of a corner. The goal came exactly six years after Škrtel had scored his first goal for Liverpool against the same opponents. On 6 December 2015, Škrtel joined his former defence partner Jamie Carragher in second position on the All Time Premier League Own Goals list by scoring his seventh in a match against Newcastle. On 20 December, Šrktel suffered a tear in his hamstring and tendon which kept him on the sideline for six weeks.


On 14 July 2016, Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe announced that Škrtel had signed for the club, for a reported fee of £5 million.

International career

Škrtel played international football for Slovakia youth teams, before making his debut in the senior squad in 2004. He was selected in Slovakia's squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the country's first as an independent nation. He played a crucial part in the side's 3–2 win over reigning champions Italy as he played in every match of their World Cup campaign, which saw Slovakia reach the round-of-16, where they lost to the eventual runners-up, the Netherlands. Škrtel captained Slovakia through UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying which saw the Slovaks defeat defending champions Spain en route to qualifying for the final tournament in France.

International goals

Scores and results list Slovakia's goal tally first.
1.2 September 2006Tehelné Pole, Bratislava Cyprus
Euro 2008 qualifier
2.7 February 2007Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz Poland
3.24 March 2007GSP Stadium, Nicosia Cyprus
Euro 2008 qualifier
4.13 October 2007Mestský štadión, Dubnica San Marino
Euro 2008 qualifier
5.6 September 2008Tehelné Pole, Bratislava Northern Ireland
2010 World Cup qualifier

Career statistics

As of 15 May 2016
Club performanceLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalTotal
2004Zenit Saint Petersburg702050140
EnglandLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
Career Total3161939315163043223



Zenit Saint Petersburg