COACH: Michal Bilek
WORLD RANKING: 26
QUALIFIED: Through playoffs
BEST EURO FINISH: Runners-up (1996)
PLAYING STYLE: Passing
STRENGTHS: Since their independence, the Czechs have qualified for every European Championships – that experience could be vital.
WEAKNESSES: Their star names are getting old and their youngsters aren’t yet good enough.
Cech was the world’s best keeper five years ago, and while he’s failed to reach those heights consistently since, his big game experience will be crucial to organizing the Czech backline.
Key stat: He’s made 163 saves for Chelsea this season
The 31-year-old Arsenal midfielder knits everything together for the Czechs in the middle of the pitch.
CZECH REP. FACTS:
Population: 10.5 million
Official language: Czech
Best ever player: Pavel Nedved
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