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Czech Republic

Published: Friday 1 July 2011, 15.56CET
Having performed excellently to finish third in 2010, the Czech Republic are in their sixth consecutive UEFA European Futsal Championship final tournament.
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic finished third in 2010 ©Sportsfile


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Published: Friday 1 July 2011, 15.56CET

Czech Republic

Having performed excellently to finish third in 2010, the Czech Republic are in their sixth consecutive UEFA European Futsal Championship final tournament.

The former Czechoslovakia were among the earliest nations to play futsal competitively, and in recent years the Czech Republic have risen to the highest European level. Czechoslovakia's first international was an 8-2 defeat by Belgium in 1983, but they were never a top-class force.

The Czech Republic, however, began life in futsal terms in October 1992 by winning an international tournament against Russia, Poland and Latvia, and indeed were victorious in their first six matches. However, it was not until Michal Stříž became coach that they qualified for a major event, the 2001 UEFA European Futsal Championship, and in Russia they drew 3-3 with the Netherlands before losing to Italy and the hosts. Two years later they reached the semi-finals, losing 5-1 to Ukraine yet qualifying for the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Cup. As European hosts in 2005, they missed out on the last four, but they also qualified in 2007 and for the 2008 World Cup before a fine run to UEFA Futsal EURO 2010 bronze.

Qualifying round: Norway 4-3, Slovakia 5-3, Romania 0-1 (Group 4 winners)

Key players
Lukáš Rešetár, Roman Mareš, Michal Mareš, David Frič

Coach: Tomáš Neumann

Date of birth: 22 September 1970
Playing career
: FK Viktoria Žižkov
Coaching career:
FK Viktoria Žižkov, Czech Republic Under-21s, Czech Republic

Neumann was one of the most popular futsal players in the Czech Republic before becoming a respected coach. A former AC Sparta Praha football trainee before his switch to futsal, he played for Viktoria Žižkov from 1991 to 2000, winning the league title in 1996 and 1999. Neumann was Czech player of the year in 1993, 1995 and 1997, capping that a couple of years later when he was named Czech futsal player of the century. The top Czech league goalscorer in 1994, 1995 and 1996, he struck 288 goals in 195 domestic games, and 26 in 46 international appearances.

Neumann retired from playing to step up to become Viktoria coach in 2000, and two years later was appointed to the helm of the Czech Under-21 team. In 2005, he succeeded senior coach Michal Stříž after the UEFA European Futsal Championship and at his first attempt guided his country to the 2007 European finals, a tournament he never graced as a player. The next year, they travelled to the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup before a superb run to take UEFA Futsal EURO 2010 bronze, Neumann moulding a fine team spirit.

Qualifying top scorers
Michal Belej, Lukáš Rešetár 2

Tournament record
2010: Third place
2007: Group stage
2005: Group stage
2003: Semi-finals
2001: Group stage
1999: Did not qualify
1996: Did not qualify

Last updated: 15/11/11 10.41CET

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