Struggling to sell out home stadiums against Germany, Spain, and the like, the national team has not been popular with the general people for a long time. The amazingly uniform Michal Bilek era (2009-13) and later Karel Jarolim’s wild experimental era (2016-18), which began with a 0-0 home stalemate with Azerbaijan, have sapped much of the energy and appetite of casual fans. With the nearing of UEFA Euro 2020, we have noted a preview of the Czech Republic in Group D of the European Championship.
This team is unlikely to come close to being every neutral’s favorite Euro 2004 side, despite being well-balanced, disciplined, and somewhat rich in the recent forms of key players. On the other hand, the Czechs have a history of thriving in the face of hardship and underestimate, as evidenced by their performance in the 2020/21 Nations League.
After four matchdays the Czechs were four points behind Scotland, but they finished their season with two strong victories and two clean sheets, securing promotion to League A. In 2012 the Czech Republic faced a crushing 4-1 loss but came back to win their group in Euros 2020. They’ve also lately stood their ground against Belgium and England, deserving the four points they received.
Since their gleaming 1996 tournament debut, the Czechs have followed a typical trend of excellent Euros, dismal Euros, and good Euros. For the first time in their (admittedly brief) Euro history, they failed to win a single game last time out.
Czech Republic team
Goalkeepers: Aleš Mandous (Olomouc), Jiří Pavlenka (Werder Bremen), Tomáš Vaclík (Sevilla)
Defenders: Jan Bořil (Slavia Praha), Jakub Brabec (Viktoria Plzeň), Ondřej Čelůstka (Sparta Praha), Vladimír Coufal (West Ham), Pavel Kadeřábek (Hoffenheim), Tomáš Kalas (Bristol City), Tomáš Holeš (Slavia Praha), Aleš Matějů (Brescia), David Zima (Slavia Praha)
Midfielders: Antonín Barák (Verona), Vladimír Darida (Hertha Berlin), Jakub Jankto (Sampdoria), Alex Král (Spartak Moskva), Lukáš Masopust (Slavia Praha), Jakub Pešek (Sparta Praha), Michal Sadílek (Liberec), Petr Ševčík (Slavia Praha), Tomáš Souček (West Ham)
Forwards: Adam Hložek (Sparta Praha), Michael Krmenčík (PAOK), Tomáš Pekhart (Legia), Patrik Schick (Leverkusen), Matěj Vydra (Burnley)
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