It’s mostly football in this week’s sports news: five Czech football clubs get ready for the next round of Europa League play-offs; Chelsea’s Petr Čech saves two spot-kicks in the Community Shield’s penalty shootout; Czech top division’s 3rd round brings underdogs to the top of the table; and the Czech national basketball team beats Hungary in a key relegation battle.
In Sports News this Monday: Sweden’s Oskar Henningsson win’s the Czech Republic’s biggest golf tournament, the Moravia Silesia Open; Roman Kreuziger comes agonisingly close to winning cycling’s Classic San Sebastian; Czech tennis player Lucie Hradecká reaches, and loses, the third WTA final of her career; and favourites Slavia and Sparta have both made an unconvincing start to the Czech football league.
Pavel Nedvěd has just picked up the Golden Ball award for Czech footballer of the season, a prize decided by sports journalists. The 2008-2009 season was Nedvěd’s last: he retired after his final game for Juventus in May. But has he really hung up his boots? The veteran midfielder says he is still mulling over his future – and even hinted on Thursday that he could play for the Czech national team again.
In Sports News this Monday: Roman Kreuziger becomes the first Czech ever to finish in the top ten in cycling’s Tour de France; Slavia and Sparta, the two main contenders for the Czech football league title, draw their opening games – not the best preparation for Champions League qualifiers this week; Pavel Nedvěd says his career is definitely over, at least as far as Europe is concerned; and Tomáš Fučík set a new Czech record in the 100 m backstroke in Rome.
Specialists in Brno have presented a new emergency transport system aimed at saving horses that suffer tendon injuries or fractures. In the past, rescuers had to improvise to save injured horses in the Czech Republic, but now a new vehicle modified to make transport easier is going into use. The first such specialised service in central Europe should help save horses which would otherwise have to be put down.
The Czech Republic’s Gambrinus football league gets underway on Friday evening, when Teplice host last season’s runners-up Sparta Prague. Both will be hoping to overtake reigning champions Slavia, who the bookies have backed to retain their title. Otherwise, the new season comes with a number of interesting talking points.
In Sports News this Monday: Sparta Prague will face Panathinaikos yet again for a place in the Champions League group stage – captain Patrik Berger says any opponent in Sparta’s part of the draw was going to be tough; Tomáš Rosický says he is a footballer reborn after his first game in a year and a half; Jan Koller (36) is reportedly ready to come out of international retirement; and Austria’s Sybille Bammer wins tennis’s Prague’s Open.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic triumphs over Argentina in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup; Czech footballer Pavel Nedvěd, recently retired, turns down offers from Juve, Mourinho, Hašek; cyclist Kreuziger is in 14th spot after the first nine stages of Tour de France; Knapková triumphs in Lucerne to become women’s single-scull World Cup Champion; hockey goalie Hašek is reportedly unhappy over his new helmet.
The head of the Czech FA Ivan Hašek announced on Tuesday he was taking an unusual but necessary step: in addition to his current responsibilities, heading the national football squad. The team has floundered in World Cup qualifying and is now at risk at failing to make the tournament in South Africa in 2010 - unless someone turns it fortunes around. It is hoped that Hašek, a highly-respected former player and coach, could be the right man for the post.