Czech Republic

2006-06-01 12:52

Berlin - Thirty-two teams have qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals which take place in Germany from June 9 - July 9.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Honours:

World Cup appearances: 8 (1934, 1938, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1970, 1982, 1990)

World Cup best: Runner-up (1934, 1962); Quarter-finalists (1990)

European champions: 1 (1976)

Fifa world ranking: 2

Odds: 33/1

Coach: Karel Bruckner

The 66-year-old will retire after the World Cup and his place in Czech football history is assured after guiding the Czechs to their first World Cup since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

Came under pressure during the Czechs' difficult qualifying campaign but remains a popular figure amongst the squad and fans.

Key player: Pavel Nedved

Lured out of retirement to help the Czechs qualify, the 2006 World Cup will almost certainly be Nedved's last major tournament at international level.

A skilful playmaker, Nedved has been an integral part of the Czech national team over the past decade, giving the side a mental toughness that it visibly lacked during his 14-month absence following Euro 2004.

Squad:

Goalkeepers:

Petr Cech (Chelsea/ENG), Jaromir Blazek (Sparta Prague), Antonin Kinsky (Ramenskoye/RUS)

Defenders:

Zdenek Grygera (Ajax/NED), Marek Jankulovski (AC Milan/ITA), Martin Jiranek (Spartak Moscow/RUS), Pavel Mares (St. Petersburg/RUS), Radoslav Kovac (Spartak Moscow/RUS), David Rozehnal (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Tomas Ujfalusi (Fiorentina/ITA)

Midfielders:

Tomas Galasek (Ajax Amsterdam/NED), David Jarolim (Hamburg/GER), Pavel Nedved (Juventus/ITA), Karel Poborsky (Ceske Budejovice), Jan Polak (Nuremberg/GER), Jaroslav Plasil (Monaco/FRA), Tomas Rosicky (Dortmund/GER), Vladimir Smicer (Bordeaux/FRA)

Forwards:

Milan Baros (Aston Villa/ENG), Marek Heinz (Galatasaray/TUR), Jan Koller (Dortmund/GER), Vratislav Lokvenc (Salzbourg/AUT), Jiri Stajner (Hanover/GER).

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