Czech Republic defender Tomáš Ujfaluši has vowed not to shirk from a tackle in Thursday's semi-final against Greece, despite knowing that another booking could keep him out of the final. "It's impossible to pull out of a tackle," the centre-back said.
Ujfaluši, Marek Jankulovski, and Pavel Nedved were all booked in the Czech Republic's quarter-final victory over Denmark and will be suspended from a possible final appearance should they pick up another yellow card against Greece. None, however, are willing to alter the aggressive style of play that has brought such success.
"I missed the game against the Dutch in qualifying and I know how unpleasant it is, but I'm not thinking about it at all," Jankulovski said. "I only want to win the semi-final, nothing else is important right now."
Nedved is no stranger to disappointment after missing the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League final through suspension, but despite that unpleasant memory the Juventus FC midfield player has no intention of curbing his combative instincts. "I don't want to miss another final because of yellow cards," the Czech captain said. "However I will not change my style of play. I cannot swerve from the fight."
Talk of the final might seem to play into the hands of Greece who have revelled in the underdog role en route to the last four, but assistant coach Miroslav Beránek has been careful to stamp out any complacency in the Czech squad.
"We have not won anything yet. There is no place for euphoria in our camp," said Beránek, who led the Czech Republic to victory in the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. The message is likely to have got through, as seven players from that squad are with the Czech Republic in Portugal now.
A carnival atmosphere pervaded the Czech base today at Sintra where the city was celebrating its 850th anniversary. Even local policemen were handing out wine, but the party ended when the Czech training session began behind closed doors. Coach Karel Brückner worked on set-pieces again but he was forced to reduce the session by an hour because of the hot weather.
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