Atletico Madrid’s Czech defender Tomáš Ujfaluši apologized on Monday for injuring Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and putting him out of action for some two weeks. The incident occurred in the overtime of Sunday’s game between the two Spanish top division clubs; as the Argentine forward advanced in full speed, Ujfaluši tackled him from the side and caught his ankle; he got a red card and was sent off the pitch. The Czech defender reportedly wished Messi a speedy recovery.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech men’s team fail to reach the final of the Davis Cup, despite having been 2:1 up against Serbia after day two of their semi-finals clash; Lukáš Konečný (32) becomes the first Czech boxer to win a European professional title; and it’s a weekend to forget for current and former Czech soccer captains Tomáš Rosický and Tomáš Ujfaluši.
The Czech title holders Sparta Prague had a great start in their Europa League on Thursday when they beat Italy’s Palermo 3:2 in the Czech capital. After a nervous start, Bony Wilfried scored the home side’s first goal in 17th minute. Palermo managed to draw before halftime, but Jiří Kladrubský and Václav Kadlec put Sparta back in the lead in the second half. Palermo’s Hernandez set the final score with some ten minutes left of the game. Sparta manager Josef Chovanec said the hosts owed the victory to their team spirit. The Czech champions will face CSKA Moscow on their turf at the end of the month, before hosting Lausanne in October.
The Czech title holders Sparta Prague will face Italy’s Palermo in the first game of Europa League’s Group F in the Czech capital on Thursday. Sparta, which only won 1:0 in the latest round of the top Czech division on Saturday, will miss three key players in the midfield due to red and yellow cards. In the UEFA Cup three years ago, the Italians were knocked out by another Czech club, Mladá Boleslav.
Midfielder Radek Šírl has left the Russian club Zenit St Petersburg for Mladá Bolesav in the Czech football league. The 29-year-old joined Zenit from Sparta Prague in 2002, helping the club win the Russian league title in 2007 and the UEFA Cup the following year. However, after problems with injuries he was recently released by Zenit. Šírl, who can also play as a full-back, has eight caps for the Czech national side.
In Sports News this Monday: the biggest Czech team ever at the European Rowing Championships takes home a bagful of medals, with gold for Ondřej Synek confirming his dominance this season; football league leaders Viktoria Plzeň wallop Ústí nad Labem in front of their first sell-out home crowd in years; and a battle of two Czech ice legends sees Jágr’s Omsk beat Hašek Spartak Moscow.
The Czech football manager Michal Bílek says he has not given any thought to standing down. Bílek, who was appointed last October, lost his first competitive game in charge of the national team on Tuesday, when the Czechs were beaten 1:0 at home by Lithuania in the first game of their campaign to qualify for Euro 2012, and there has been criticism of the coach in the media. However, Bílek said that while the result had been a huge disappointment, he had not for a moment considered resigning. The Czech Republic need to beat Scotland in Prague next month to keep alive their hopes of reaching the next European Championship.
The Czech national football team will open their campaign for the 2012 European Championships as they face Lithuania in the eastern city of Olomouc on Tuesday. In the first competitive match under the new manager, Michal Bílek, the Czechs will rely on midfield Tomáš Rosický, who has overcome health problems and is fit for the game.
The Czech national under-21 football team beat that of Iceland 3:1 in Jablonec on Tuesday and secured the top spot in their qualifying group for the Under-21 European Championship 2011 in Denmark. The Czechs first scored in the 20th minute, and two more strikes followed in the second half. The Icelanders were only able to hit the net in the 79th minute, and set the final score to 3:1. The Czechs secured top spot in the qualifying group 5, and will advance into play-offs for seven spots to join hosts Denmark at the final tournament next June.
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