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Darida joins Czech squad at Pudil's expense

Published: Monday 28 May 2012, 9.23CET
Vladimír Darida has replaced Daniel Pudil in the Czech Republic squad after making an impressive debut, with coach Michal Bílek noting: "He looked like a player who had lots of caps."
Darida joins Czech squad at Pudil's expense
Vladimír Darida made his debut for the Czech Republic against Israel on Saturday ©AFP
Published: Monday 28 May 2012, 9.23CET

Darida joins Czech squad at Pudil's expense

Vladimír Darida has replaced Daniel Pudil in the Czech Republic squad after making an impressive debut, with coach Michal Bílek noting: "He looked like a player who had lots of caps."

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 A national team spokesman later confirmed the switch with Pudil, who was also withdrawn from the UEFA EURO 2008 squad late with a hand injury.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.

Last updated: 28/06/12 14.58CET

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