Happy Birthday Mino!
Everyone at PAOK FC wishes Miroslav Stoch a very happy 30th birthday, with health, happiness and lots of successes on both a personal and professional level.
Miroslav Stoch was born on October 19, 1989 in Nitra, Slovakia. ‘Mino’, a nickname from his sister which stuck because of his short, stocky body, started playing football from the age of six years old at the local Nitra academies.
The law in Slovakia does not allow footballers to have a professional contract before the age of 16, so team managers have to wait with the calendar in hand for when a wonderkid can join a club and help the senior squad.
His debut came 15 days after his 16th birthday in a match between Nitra and Spartak Trnava. He did not stay long though, as his form soon caught the eye of Chelsea, and he joined the English Premier League club’s development squads.
His excellent performances with the Chelsea Under-18’s saw him elevated to the first team, and in November 2008 he made his Premier League debut against Arsenal at the age of 19. That year he played four more times for the Londoners before leaving for the Netherlands, joining FC Twente on loan.
And it was in the Eredivisie where his career really took off. He made 45 appearances in all competitions, scoring 12 goals and contributing five assists. His name began to catch the attention of many scouts around Europe, and Fenerbahce paid an estimated 5.5m euros to take him to the club in 2010.
He made a strong start to life in Turkey where we enjoyed three full seasons having a leading role and winning one league crown and two cups. In 2012 he received worldwide acclaim for a stunning goal against Genclerbirligi which won him the Ferenc Puscas Award for the best goal of the season, beating off competition from Falcao and Neymar.
In the summer of 2013, Fener decided to loan him out and PAOK jumped at the opportunity. In that season he scored 10 goals and served up 12 assists in 50 games in all competitions.
The Turks renewed his contract in June 2014 but loaned him out again, this time to Al Ain, with his impressive stats registering double-digits in goals and assists, 10 and 11, respectively.
He ended the 2015-16 season at Bursaspor before returning to Fenerbahce in the final days of the season. He scored five goals and made three more, coming on mainly from the bench as his time in Istanbul came ran its circle.
Slavia Prague then paid a 1 million euros to Fener to bring him to the Czech Republic and his first season was impressive. As usual, he adjusted immediately, scoring six goals and producing six assists in 39 games in the 2017-18 season.
The diminutive Slovakian was one of the key protagonists of what was a magical season for Slavia in the 2018-19 season, as the team celebrated the domestic double and reached the last eight of the UEFA Europa League.
Stoch scored 14 goals and contributed 13 assists, and was one of the team’s most influential players. His performances did not go unnoticed by PAOK, who made their move over the summer to bring him back once more.
Mino was happy to return, and Slavia did not stand in his way, and so he re-joined the club last June.