Promising young Czech soccer player Matěj Vydra is about to sign with Udinese, the newspaper Sport reported. The 18-year-old striker joins the Italian Serie A club from Czech side Baník Ostrava, where he made a big impression in the second half of last season. Sport said Vydra would put pen to paper after a medical at Udinese on Thursday. The Italians are set to pay around EUR four million for the youngster, which is around seven times what Baník paid the Czech second-tier club Jihlava for him last January.
Football is, quite literally, the buzz these days, and no less so in Prague, where Czechs are following the 2010 World Cup wholeheartedly, despite their team’s absence from the pitches of South Africa. In the week since the tournament began, one Prague locale in particular stands out as “the” place to watch the games; not just for Praguers, but also for the tens of thousands of foreigners who inhabit the Czech capital. In a special feature for today, Christian Falvey reports from Prague’s epicentre of football fandom, Riegrovy sady.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech football league champions Sparta Prague strengthen with the signing of Daniel Zítka and Marek Matějovský, while also persuading wonderboy Václav Kadlec to extend his contract; up-and-coming Czech athlete Petr Frydrych (22) again comes second in the javelin at a Diamond League event; and Roman Kreuziger is second in the Tour de Switzerland.
In football, veteran midfielder Lukáš Jarolím is to return to Slavia Prague after three years with Italian league club Sienna. The 33-year-old announced his return to the club being managed by his father, Karel, on Thursday. A return to Slavia had first been mooted in February but the Italian club created obstacles to the move then. Lukáš Jarolím’s contract with the Tuscan club expires at the end of June.
The Czech Republic’s soccer players failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, and, like Czech fans, will be watching the football extravaganza on television. But with their own team not there, who will Czechs be supporting in South Africa? Well, Slovakia has finished top of a poll asking just that question: that despite the facts the Slovaks perhaps don’t always cheer for their one-time fellow citizens.
With just days remaining until the World Cup kicks off in South Africa, football fever is beginning to grip fans around the globe. The Czech Republic failed to qualify this year, but many will have fond memories of the 1990 World Cup in Italy, when supporters from Czechoslovakia were finally able to travel freely to a major soccer tournament.
Former manager of top flight football club Slavia Prague, Karel Jarolím, is to return to the club as manager. Jarolím, left the post only two months ago after a run of poor results but still has an ongoing contract with the club. Jarolím said that he had weighed up the comeback for several days and decided that it would not be fair not to accept the challenge of leading the club back to the top of Czech football and into European competitions. Slavia have just completed their worst ever season, ending seventh in the league and for the first time in 19 years they will not taking part in any European competition. Jarolím led the club to two league titles in the previous two seasons.
In Sports News : Tomáš Berdych has enjoyed a tremendous run in the French Open to equal his best ever Grand Slam performance; Czech handball star Filip Jícha has a European Championship medal with Kiel, and Ústí nad Labem have made it back to Czech football’s top competition after more than half a century.
The Czech football team beat the United States 4:2 in a friendly match to end a series of defeats and record their first win under manager Michal Bílek. The Czechs went behind early on but equalized before half time before going on to win the match. Goals were scored by Sivok, Polák, Fenin and Necid. The Czech team last won in October last year during the final stages of their ill fated attempt to qualify for this year’s World Cup in South Africa. The US have qualified for the World Cup.
The vice-president of the Football Association of the Czech Republic, Miroslav Kříž, was reported missing on May 22, a spokesman for the Prague police department said on Wednesday. Miroslav Kříž is said to have gone missing directly after a business meeting, which he attended with the owner of Ostrava’s Baník soccer club. According to unofficial information, he left the meeting after taking a phone call and has not been in contact with friends or relatives since. Police said they are investigating the case but cannot provide further details at the moment.
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