Czech coach claims his side is as strong as in 2004


The Czech Republic squad for Euro 2008 is as strong as the one that reached the semi-finals in the 2004 competition, veteran Czech coach Karel Brückner said on Wednesday. The 68-year-old, who cancelled Tuesday’s press conference because he was taken ill, added that the squad had prepared as well for this Euro as the previous one, where their flowing football won many admirers but they lost on a silver goal to the more pragmatic Greeks. The Czechs, who have since 2004 lost the talents of Karel Poborský and Pavel Nedvěd and for these finals injured playmaker Tomáš Rosický, open their campaign against co-hosts Switzerland in Basel on Saturday.