May 14, 2006
Random World Cup Facts: Czech Republic
Times Qualified: 1
The Czech Republic's Top Current Political Issue: The Czech Republic was also inducted into the UN's Human Rights Council this past week, and they have a much better human rights record. The government recently took in fifteen political refugees from Uzbekistan.
The Sport in the Czech Republic: Since the breakup of Czechoslovakia, both nations have struggled to capture their former glory. Czechoslovakia was indeed a power in world football as they finished second in the World Cup on two occassions. The Gambrinus Liga, the Czech top division, is consistently a one horse race with Sparta Prague seemingly perennial winners of the competition. EU membership has contributed to a state where almost all of the national teams players play abroad.
Players to Watch: The Czechs real chance to win a major competition was two years ago in Portugal. The national team continues to rely on the performances of an aging core of players like Pavel Nedved (Juventus) and Jan Koller (Borussia Dortmund). The younger players on the team have not shown that they can flourish at a high level.
Chances: The Czechs landed in the Group of Death and they will probably have to beat Ghana convincingly to get out of the group.
Prediction: Eliminated in the Group Stage (3rd)