The Czech Republic’s footballers have been packing their bags after a hugely disappointing European Championship in France. Pavel Vrba’s men exited the competition on Tuesday night following a 2:0 defeat to Turkey left them with just one point from three group games. Where did it all go wrong for the Czechs at the Euros? And what does the future hold for the team’s manager? I put those questions to soccer journalist Michal Petrák on the line from France.
The Czech Republic have been knocked out of football’s European Championship in France. With one point from two games going into their final group match with Turkey, the Czechs needed a win to keep their hopes of progress to the knockout stage alive. However, they lost 2:0 after conceding one goal in each half and failing to reply. Manager Pavel Vrba said he saw no reason why he should step down after the country’s poor showing at Euro 2016. Jaroslav Plašil and David Lafata have announced their international retirements and there is speculation that Petr Čech and Tomáš Rosický have also played their final games for the national side.
The Czech national football squad knew coming into their opening match at Euro 2016 they were facing a powerhouse and an uphill battle: Spain, two-time defending champions and one of the best sides in Europe. The pressure was intense throughout; even so the Czechs remained in it until the dying minutes.
In football, the Czech Republic lost 1:O to Spain in the opening match of the Euro 2016 competition. The goal was scored by Pique in the 87th minute after intense pressure. The Czechs had a chance to equalize in the closing minutes with a shot from Vladimír Darida. Czech manager Pavel Vrba had named the Czech team he is seeking to field against Spain in the Euro 2016 group match on Monday afternoon. The names contain few surprises apart from the fact that Tomáš Necid is preferred as striker to start the game in preference to David Lafata. Necid performed well in the second half of the pre-tournament warm up game against Russia, setting up one goal for Tomáš Rosický and scoring himself in the closing minutes.
This Friday sees the much-awaited start of Euro 2016 in France. Twenty-four national teams will try and advance in the tournament and one, on July 10th, will be crowned European Champion. Tipped as possible favourites are the hosts but also Germany and the defending European champions Spain; that doesn’t mean there can’t be upsets - in the past, underdogs in the competition have also surprised.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague has issued recommendations for Czech football fans going to the European Championship in France, which begins on Friday. The ministry pointed out that security had been stepped up in the country following terrorist attacks in November and recommended that fans register with a database of Czech citizens travelling abroad. It said they should follow all instructions from local officials closely and arrive early for games. A team of Czech police officers will be in France for the tournament.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech has warned that Spain’s 1:0 loss in their last warm up game against Georgia will serve as a wake up call for the Czech team’s first opponents in the Euro 2016 competition. Čech said he would have preferred if the Spanish would have calmly won 5:0. The defeat means they will focus on any problems and be determined not to repeat them again, he said. The Arsenal goalkeeper pointed out though that Spain often had a stuttering start to big competitions with one draw and two defeats in the opening games in the last three major tournaments. The Czech Republic faces Spain on Monday. The Czech squad arrived at their French base outside the city of Tours on Wednesday afternoon and have already held their first training session.
Czech footballers this morning departed for France and the start of the Euro 2016 competition. They were due to land in the city of Tours, which they have chosen as their base, in the afternoon. Manager Pavel Vrba and his squad will be staying in a four star hotel converted from a 17th century castle. The Czechs’ first match is against Spain in Toulouse on Monday. Spain surprisingly lost 1:0 against Georgia in a warm up match on Tuesday night.
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