The Czech Republic’s national football team plays Russia later on Friday in its first appearance at the EURO 2012 championships in Poland and Ukraine. Team managers said that striker Milan Baroš, who experienced a thigh muscle problem earlier in the week, is fit for the game. Likewise, squad captain and key playmaker Tomáš Rosický is also ready after returning to action on Monday following a three-week layoff. The Czechs are hoping for at least a draw in Friday’s match; bookmakers, however, are largely favouring Russia. The game starts at 8:45 PM CET.
Friday night at 8:45 p.m., the Czech national team meets Russia, its first opponent in the group stage of the EURO 2012 soccer championships, hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. The Czechs will also be playing Greece and Poland in the group stage. Ahead of the kick-off, we spoke to Czech soccer star Pavlína Ščasná-Nováková, who previously has played with FC Bayern Munich as well as other international teams, about the Czechs’ chances, the health of the squad’s star players and the strengths of the national team.
The Czech football association has denied the winners of the second division, FK Ústí nad Labem, a license to play in the top division. The association said that the club had failed to reconstruct its stadium which did not meet the requirements for the Gambrinus Liga. Ústí will therefore remain in the second division in the next season. Second division runners-up Jihlava will be promoted along with Zbrojovka Brno which finished fourth as FK Baník Sokolov, which came in third, did not have the funding to play in the top division.
Striker Milan Baroš withdrew from Tuesday’s training session of the national side in Poland over problems with his thigh muscle, the news agency ČTK reported. The 30-year-old international cut the session short by some 10 minutes; the team’s physical therapist said should the pain persist, the footballer will have to be examined in hospital. However, the national team managers said they believed Baroš will be fit for the team’s first EURO 2012 game against Russia on Friday.
Some 3000 fans came to watch the Czech national team during their first training session in the Polish city of Wrocław ahead of the UEFA Euro 2012 football championship which kicks off on June 8. Fans cheered as the national team entered the field of the stadium, which has a capacity of 8000. Among the members on the squad is team captain Tomáš Rosický, as well as Chelsea’s goalie star Petr Čech. The Czech Republic faces Russia on June 8, Greece on June 12, and Poland on June 16.
In Sports News: the Czech national football team arrives in Poland ahead of Euro 2012; in hockey, the L.A. Kings have won the first two games of Stanley Cup finals against the New Jersey Devils, lessening the chance the cup will travel to the Czech Republic this year; in tennis, world No. 4 Petra Kvitová and fellow Czech player Klára Zakopalová have both made it to the fourth round at the French Open.
The Czech national football team lost its final friendly on Friday in the run-up to the European Championship in Ukraine and Poland which begins next week. On Friday evening the squad – minus team captain Tomáš Rosický (still recovering from injury) - faced Hungary at Letná stadium in Prague. Hungary opened the scoring after just six minutes: Balazs Dzsudzsak's free kick from just outside the penalty area caught the Czechs out as they organised their defence. The hosts, who created a number of chances, equalized with a Michal Kadlec penalty midway through the first half after striker Milan Baroš was brought down inside the area. Although the Czechs largely dominated, Hungary struck again late in the game with a goal by Adam Gyurcso. The Czech’s first game at Euro 2012 takes place next Friday against Russia.
The Czech national football team faces Hungary at Prague’s Letná stadium on Friday evening – the squad’s final friendly ahead of Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland. The squad is playing exactly as nominated with the exception of team captain Tomáš Rosický who is recovering from a calf injury. He is to resume training on Monday to be ready in time for the tournament. The Czech squad has had a good run up to the European Championship, winning four of its last five games.
Czech soccer star Petr Čech has extended his contract with Chelsea until the year 2016. Commenting on his new contract, Čech said he hoped the next four years with his club would be as successful as the last eight had been. Since joining the Premier League in 2004, Čech has made over 360 appearances, won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups. In the recent Champions League finals, Čech helped secure Chelsea’s victory by saving three penalties, one in extra time and two in the shootout. His new contract makes him one of the 20 best-paid soccer players internationally.
Czech national team coach Michal Bílek on Tuesday presented his picks for the European Football Championship. Among the 23-man squad are Arsenal midfielder Tomáš Rosický as well as Chelsea’s Petr Čech. Rosický is still recovering from a calf injury but the national team coach says he is confident that his condition will have improved by the time the championship, co-hosted by Poland and the Ukraine, kicks off on June 8. The Czech Republic faces Russia in their first game on June 8, followed by Greece and Poland in the group level of the tournament.
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