One of the most successful Czech sportsmen of 2004 is the international goalkeeper Petr Cech, who - at just 22 - is already being talked about as one of the best in the world. Cech, who set the clean-sheet record in the Czech league while at Sparta Prague, has had an amazing start at Chelsea: he has not conceded a goal in 14 of the English club's 19 league games this season. On Sunday the Pilsen-born goalie did it again, as Chelsea beat Aston Villa 1:0. Petr Cech had this to say after the game.
"As regards my own work, I had enough to do, and our opponents put in a quality performance. We didn't convert our chances, that's why the score was only one-nil. I think Chelsea have managed the first step. Over the next month and a half we have a game every three days. If we're still top of the league in the middle of February we will be in a great position to win the league."
Petr Cech's international team-mate Tomas Rosicky is also in the news, with speculation he may leave Borussia Dortmund for Champions League holders Porto. Porto are said to be keenly interested in signing the 24-year-old midfielder, who rejected an offer from the club in the summer.
Meanwhile, Czech international Marek Jankulovksi is reportedly the target of one of the biggest clubs in the world, AC Milan. Jankulovski, who plays for Italy's Udinese, has previously been linked to Juventus, whose Pavel Nedved has apparently been lobbying the club to sign him for some time.
Goaltender Tomas Vokoun has departed the ice hockey Extraliga for new club IFK Helsinki. But Vokoun's hopes of leaving Znojmo on a high were dashed when he conceded two goals in a 2:2 draw against Litvinov on Saturday. One of those goals was scored by Jan Caloun, who has - incredibly - scored nine times in six games for Litvinov since arriving after a stint in the Russian league.
Elsewhere in the 33rd round of the Extraliga, leaders Sparta Prague were beaten 3:1 by Pardubice, the first time this season Sparta have failed to pick up any points at home. Their slipup allowed second-placed Zlin to close the gap to just one point with a 3:0 away win over Jihlava.
St Stephen's Day saw the 58th annual swim in Prague's freezing Vltava River, with almost 100 "otuzilci" ("hardy fellows") braving water which was just 3 degrees Celsius. Among them was David Cech, who, at just 19, swam the English Channel this year in nine hours 45 minutes, setting a new Czech record. It was Cech's first Vltava swim, in contrast to Ladislav Nicek, who is 91 and has taken part a very impressive 55 times.
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