EURO 2020 review: Czech Republic
Saturday, 3 July 2021
Team reporter Ondřej Zlámal was impressed by what he saw from the Czech Republic.
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Jaroslav Šilhavý's charges reached the UEFA EURO 2020 quarter-finals after qualifying from a tough group with a game to spare and outplaying the mighty Netherlands in the round of 16. The fans must be proud of the fighting team spirit and commitment they showed until the very last second against Denmark. Another memorable UEFA EURO tournament for the Czechs.
What were the positives?
The Czech Republic showed their style – teamwork, attacking football, pace, high-pressing and fighting, one for all and all for one. Every team needs a reliable scorer who transforms all the work into goals and Patrik Schick turned out to be the one for this Czech side. The 25-year-old forward equalled the national record of the legendary Milan Baroš by getting five goals at a EURO.
Watching Schick's long-long distance opener against Scotland flying like a guided missile was a pure pleasure. The idea and execution were touching perfection. Even so, to see the Czech footballers reunited with their fans in Budapest and celebrating a fine win against the Dutch would be even a more memorable highlight.
What the future holds
The new generation of Czech international has firmly stepped up – Tomáš Souček, Vladimír Coufal, Schick, Tomáš Holeš, Antonín Barák, Lukáš Masopust while youngsters like Adam Hložek and David Zima are waiting for their chance. Though the Czechs have been regulars at UEFA EURO final tournaments, their dream must be qualification for the FIFA World Cup. There is real promise for the future.
Predictions for the rest of EURO 2020
I predicted England to lift the trophy before the tournament and there is no reason to change that before the semi-finals. I presume that they will face Italy in the final at Wembley and it will be a very even game that will be a great peak of this tournament. It is so good that football is back at its best.