FC Viktoria Plzeň midfielder Vladimír Darida has been confirmed as a member of the Czech Republic squad for UEFA EURO 2012 in place of the left-sided Daniel Pudil.
Coach Michal Bílek, who yesterday agreed a new contract committing him to the national team until 2014, has elected to make the 21-year-old Darida a permanent addition to his selection, having initially called him up as emergency cover in the event that Arsenal FC playmaker Tomáš Rosický does not recover from a calf injury. However, he was impressed with the midfielder’s debut cameo in Saturday’s 2-1 unofficial friendly win against Israel and decided to make a late switch.
"In his half an hour he played very well, asked for the ball, made great passes and took shots," said Bílek appreciatively. "He looked like a player who had lots of caps, not one who was making his first appearance." A national team spokesman later confirmed the switch with Pudil, who was also withdrawn from the UEFA EURO 2008 squad late with a hand injury. Capped 22 times, the Granada CF player made five appearances in qualifying.
The Czech Republic take on Hungary in Prague in their final pre-UEFA EURO 2012 friendly on 1 June, before kicking off their Group A campaign against Russia seven days later.
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