In Sports News this Monday: Milan Baroš, 31, returns to Czech league and boyhood club Ostrava; Martin Růžička sets Extraliga regular season points record; and over 200,000 attend first Czech-held Biathlon World Championships held.
Former international soccer star Milan Baroš has returned to the Czech national league – and to the club where his career began, Baník Ostrava. Baroš, who is 31, was the top scorer at Euro 2004, has the second highest goal tally in the history of the Czech international side and won a Champions League medal with Liverpool. However, after becoming the Turkish league’s top scorer in his first season at Galatasaray, he fell from favour and for some time was not a member of the club’s first-team squad.
Following protracted talks, the Turkish giant dissolved Baroš’s contract, leaving him free to rejoin his boyhood club, which he did on Monday morning. Ostrava’s captain Martin Lukeš welcomes the news.
“A personality like him can only bring benefits on all fronts. He’s a player who scored nearly 50 goals for the national team – that speaks for itself. He’s a Champions League winner, so on the football front the difference should be visible. His presence should push Baník Ostrava forward a bit, because people have wanted something like this to happen. It will add to the atmosphere, the madness.”
Ostrava, only two points clear of the relegation zone, are in financial difficulties and Baroš’s small salary and bonuses will go towards a youth fund at the club. The “madness” surrounding a player who will surely be the biggest star in the domestic league is set to begin next Saturday, when Baník welcome České Budějovice in the first round of the spring half of the season.
Třinec forward Martin Růžička has set a new regular season points record in domestic ice hockey’s Extraliga. His tally rose to 78 when he scored one goal and provided one assist in the club’s 2:4 defeat at Zlín on Sunday. That figure put him one point ahead of the previous record set by Richard Král in the 1999–2000 season. Růžička – who has only missed one game for Třinec this term – outlines the secrets of his success.
“First you have to be healthy. Your teammates are also important – it has to go well in the front line. You also have to have the confidence of the coach. And mainly things have to go well for the team – when you win then the mood is better, thing so better for everybody and individuals can stand out.”
The Biathlon World Championships are being regarded as a great success for the Czech Republic, after more than 200,000 fans visited the resort of Nové Město na Moravě in a 8-day period for the first such competition ever held in the country. The Norwegians dominated the championships, taking 11 medals, while the hosts, not considered a biathlon power, took one, bronze in the mixed relay.
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