One of the best strikers in the history of the Czech national football team, Jan Koller, has decided to end his professional career. The 38-year-old player for Cannes told the Czech Press Agency on Wednesday that growing health problems involving his leg muscles and heart were a warning sign that it was time to quit. Koller has played for Cannes in the third French league for the past year and a half and he had a contract for another season. He says he plans to attend a one-year course of French and then decide what to do next. Jan Koller played 91 matches on the national team in which he scored 55 times. He won the bronze medal at Euro 2004 in Portugal and has champion titles from the Czech, Belgian and German leagues.
The football club Baník Ostrava signed on Tuesday a five-year contract with their former striker Václav Svěrkoš. The 27-year-footballer returns to Ostrava after a stint with the French club Socheax and Greece’s Panathinaikos. Václav Svěrkoš said he chose Baník despite having been offered contracts from other clubs because he felt at home there.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech footballers fail in a friendly against Norway while at home, action continues in Gambrinus Liga; two Czech riders see mixed luck at motorcycle Grand Prix in Brno; Czech cross country rider wins 2011 World Cup; and three-time hockey world champion Oldřich Machač dies aged 65.
The Czech national football squad is readying for a friendly against Norway, its final international match before qualifying for Euro 2012 resumes in September. The Czechs will face the Norwegian squad in Oslo on Wednesday. Team coach Michal Bílek said that his side needed a good result to improve the atmosphere ahead of the upcoming qualification match against Scotland. New players nominated to the squad include Marcel Gecov and Tomáš Pekhart. Regulars like goalie Petr Čech and striker Milan Baroš are also on the roster for Wednesday.
In Sports News: Czech mountain bike racer Jaroslav Kulhavý clinches the European championship title for the second year in a row; tennis player Štepánek ends almost two-year drought, winning the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington; football’s Sparta defeat Jablonec, continuing their successful start to the season; top female ref Dagmar Damková oversees her last match in the top domestic league.
The Czech striker Tomáš Pekhart scored in his debut in the Bundesliga on Saturday, helping his club Nuremberg to a 1:0 victory over Hertha Berlin on the opening day of Germany’s football season. Peckhart, who is 22 and has previously had spells at Slavia Prague, Tottenham Hotspur, and Sparta Prague, joined Nuremberg last month. The tall forward has one cap for the Czech national team.
A Champions League draw in Switzerland on Friday determined that Czech football champions Viktoria Plzeň will play FC Copenhagen for a spot in the competition’s group stage. The first leg will take place in Denmark on August 16 or 17; the second is scheduled for Prague a week later. The Czech titleholders will have to play their Champions League games in Prague as the European football federation, UEFA, did not allow the club to play at its own stadium in Plzeň which is undergoing major renovation. Last season’s runners-up Sparta Prague will face Romania’s FC Vaslui for a spot in UEFA’s Europa League group phase.
Former government minister Aleš Řebíček has become the majority owner of the football club Slavia Prague, the news website ihned.cz reported on Wednesday. Mr Řebíček, who served as transportation minister between 2006 and 2009, bought a 70-percent stake in Slavia from the financial group Natland and now owns 98 percent of the club’s shares. During his term at the ministry, Mir Řebíček came under heavy criticism for lack of transparency and corruption allegations.
The Czech Republic’s national squad was defeated by Spain in the final
of UEFA’s European Under-19 football championship on Monday evening in
Chiajna, Romania. The final score was 3:2 after extra time. The Czechs
defeated despite playing an excellent match and twice holding the lead.
Krejčí opened the scoring in the 52 minute, shooting through two defenders to beat Badia. Spain soon had a chance to equalize but goalkeeper Koubek made an excellent reflex save to keep the Czechs ahead. Spain tied the match with only minutes remaining. In extra time, the Czechs scored first again: Krejčí sent the ball to Lácha who fired in. Soon after, however, Spain turned around the result: Alcácer scored twice, in the 108th and 115th minutes, to give Spain the victory.
Spain were undeniably the favourites to win their fifth UEFA European Under-19 Championship title going into Monday’s final – and in the end their team persevered, defeating the Czech Republic 3:2. Despite the loss, most would agree the Czech team gave the Spanish squad a run for the money. The Czechs repeatedly threatened, scored the opener and led twice, before Spain came from behind to seal the victory.
Jana Ciglerová: Americans say their lives are fantastic, Czechs say everything is terrible – neither is true
Czech IT specialists organize “hackathon” to give government online motorway vignette sales system for free
Minister: Czech Republic won’t take in 40 child refugees from Greek camps
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
EU, Russia row over WWII, with Poles and Czechs on front lines