The Czech Republic Euro 2020 squad for this summer has been revealed, with some familiar faces to British football fans.
West Ham pair Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal are both in the team, as is Burnley's Matej Vydra and Bristol City's Tomáš Kalas.
Czech Republic Euro 2020 squad
- GK: Tomas Vaclik (Sevilla)
- GK: Ales Mandous (Sigma Olomouc)
- GK: Jiri Pavlenka (Werder Bremen)
- DF: David Zima (Slavia Prague)
- DF: Vladimir Coufal (West Ham United)
- DF: Ales Mateju (Brescia)
- DF: Jan Boril (Slavia Prague)
- DF: Pavel Kaderabek (Hoffenheim)
- DF: Ondrej Celustka (Sparta Prague)
- DF: Tomáš Kalas (Bristol City)
- DF: Jakub Brabec (Viktoria Plzeň)
- MF: Antonin Barak (Hellas Verona)
- MF: Tomas Holes (Slavia Prague)
- MF: Vladimir Darida (Hertha Berlin)
- MF: Lukas Masopust (Slavia Prague)
- MF: Alex Král (Spartak Moskva)
- MF: Petr Ševčík (Slavia Praha)
- MF: Jakub Jankto (Sampdoria)
- MF: Tomas Soucek (West Ham United)
- MF: Adam Hložek (Sparta Prague)
- MF: Jakub Pesek (Slovan Liberec)
- MF: Michal Sadílek (Liberec)
- FW: Michael Krmencik (PAOK)
- FW: Matej Vydra (Burnley)
- FW: Patrik Schick (Bayer Leverkusen)
- FW: Tomas Pekhart (Legia Warsaw)
Czech Republic Euro 2020 squad: Team profile
Back in England for another major tournament a quarter of a century after their incredible run to the Euro 96 Final, the Czechs travel to the UK with a buoyant mood and a settled squad. They’re unencumbered by expectation, and bring a team of promising young players and hungry internationals from Europe’s top five leagues, so another underdog showing remains a possibility for coach Jaroslav Silhavy.
Perhaps more than most, he has benefitted from the tournament’s postponement. Tomas Soucek – he of the granite forehead and Marouane Fellaini-esque elbows – and full-back Vladimir Coufal already delivered solid performances for Slavia Prague, but not even the most ardent red-and-whites fan would have expected the level both have reached in West Ham’s excellent 2020-21 Premier League campaign.
Meanwhile, the Czechs’ best forward, Patrik Schick – on loan at RB Leipzig last term – has finally sorted out his future by leaving Roma for Bayer Leverkusen. The 25-year-old looks settled, and by mid-April he had scored 13 goals in 29 appearances for his new club.
Then there’s the youngsters. Many were only on the verge of the squad last June, but have progressed rapidly over the past 12 months. Sparta Prague winger Adam Hlozek ended the 2019–20 season goal-hungry and earned a first senior cap in September’s Nations League win away to Slovakia, before fracturing a metatarsal a month later. Though the highly-rated 18-year-old – who, obviously, is interesting West Ham – was ruled out until March, he has time to re-find his top form.
That being said, no Czech side has ever been about individuals, not even in Pavel Nedved’s era: the blond assassin made his first big transfer after Euro 96, not before, as did Karel Poborsky and Vladimir Smicer. Team spirit, tactical preparation, defensive organisation and a well-balanced squad tend to trump all.
Boosted psychologically by their promotion to Nations League A, Silhavy’s troops also know what to expect in this group: they’d already beaten England in qualifying when they pipped Scotland to top spot in their Nations League division. Their football is unlikely to be beautiful, but they will be tough to beat. Just ask anyone who has had to mark Soucek...
Czech Republic Euro 2020 squad: Who is the Czech Republic's best player?
A year ago it would’ve been Patrik Schick, with Soucek one to watch, but after the tireless midfielder’s stunning 12 months, it had to be him. The 26-year-old covers every blade of grass, wins aerial duels and scores regularly, netting his first ever
hat-trick in March. His never-say-die spirit is as vital to the Czechs as it is the Hammers.
Czech Republic Euro 2020 squad: Who is Czech Republic manager?
Calm, diligent and respected, 59-year-old Silhavy has reversed the team’s freefall under predecessor Karel Jarolim. In charge since 2018, Silhavy has restored his players’ pride in the shirt, and fans no longer die of boredom watching their country.
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