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Cech, Rosicky to spearhead Czechs at Euro

Czech Republic coach Pavel Vrba on Tuesday named a 23-man squad for Euro 2016 in France, spearheaded by Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech and midfielder Tomas Rosicky, the team captain.

Vrba said at a training camp in Austria he had cut the squad to the required 23 men from an initial 25 by sending home Sparta Prague midfielder Lukas Marecek and Bohemians Prague striker Patrik Schick.

“These players already knew before the camp,” the 52-year-old Vrba told reporters.

As for the rest, “they are a hungry team,” Vrba said, adding all players were healthy and in full training.

“Many people perhaps don’t take our team as seriously as it deserves but I hope in the group stage we will already show the cohesion that is building now at this camp.

“I believe we are capable of making a surprise.”

The 34-year-old former Chelsea keeper Cech is the most experienced member of the squad after winning his 119th cap against Malta last week to set a new Czech record.

The 35-year-old Rosicky played only 19 minutes for Arsenal last season because of injuries but he has managed to recover in time for the Euros.

Rosicky will leave Arsenal in the summer as his contract has expired.

The Czech Republic are due to play friendlies with Russia in Austria on Wednesday and with South Korea in Prague on June 5 in their final game before kicking off their European Championship campaign against Spain in Toulouse on June 13.

Leaving for France on June 8, the Czech Republic will also face Croatia and Turkey in Group D.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Petr Cech (Arsenal/ENG), Tomas Vaclik (Basel/SUI), Tomas Koubek (Sparta Prague)

Defenders: Theodor Gebre Selassie (Werder Bremen/GER), Pavel Kaderabek (Hoffenheim/GER), David Limbersky (Viktoria Pilsen), Marek Suchy (Basel/SUI), Michal Kadlec (Sparta Prague), Tomas Sivok (Bursaspor/TUR), Roman Hubnik (Viktoria Pilsen), Daniel Pudil (Sheffield Wednesday/ENG)

Midfielders: Borek Dockal (Sparta Prague), Jiri Skalak (Brighton/ENG), Vladimir Darida (Hertha Berlin/GER), Daniel Kolar (Viktoria Pilsen), Ladislav Krejci (Sparta Prague), Josef Sural (Sparta Prague), David Pavelka (Kasimpasa/TUR), Jaroslav Plasil (Bordeaux/FRA), Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal/ENG)

Forwards: Milan Skoda (Slavia Prague), Tomas Necid (Bursaspor/TUR), David Lafata (Sparta Prague)


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