Czechs face identity crisis after Euro exit

The days of the Czech Republic team having familiar faces from the top European leagues could be about to come to an end after their sorry exit from Euro 2016 on Tuesday.

A 2-0 defeat to Turkey meant they finished bottom of Group D with one point and were eliminated with a whimper.

Czech sides of old had names which all European football fans would recognize such as Pavel Nedved, Karel Poborsky or Patrick Berger.

Now only goalkeeper Petr Cech, 34, and captain Tomas Rosicky, 35, remain with the rest of the squad barely household names in Prague.

Coach Pavel Vrba said Cech and Rosicky had said nothing to him about international retirement but media reports have said announcements could come soon.

"Jaroslav Plasil said he wants to quit, I don’t know about anyone else," the coach told a press conference.

Media reports also said forward David Lafata, 34, was quitting the national team.

As for Vrba's own position after crashing out following two years in the job, he gave an ambiguous answer.

"I don’t have any other contract, only the contract with the national team. If you know anything, you can tell me," he said as he looked ahead to the World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018.

"International football is very different from the Czech league. Players in international football are on another level. It has been a good learning experience for our young players," he added.

Last update: Wed, 22/06/2016 - 12:08
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