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Most national teams have a golden era that dates back to the mid-1900s or slightly later.
But not the Czech Republic.
For a national team that only played its first friendly in 1994, the Czech Republic's golden era is much more recent.
After just barely missing out on World Cup 2002 qualification, the Czechs began to develop a national team filled with world-class talent.
Veterans like Pavel Nedved and Jan Koller provided the Czechs with veteran leadership and ability, while Tomas Rosicky, Milan Baros, Marek Jankolovski, Tomas Ujfalusi and Petr Cech ensured that the team was loaded with talent across the pitch.
The team was unbeaten in 2002 and 2003, scoring 53 goals in 19 games, and easily qualifying for Euro 2004 in the process. The Czech Republic went on a 20-game unbeaten streak that finally came to an end in Dublin on March 31st, 2004, in a friendly match against the Republic of Ireland.
At Euro 2004, the Czech Republic secured three come-from-behind victories in the group stage, including wins over both the Netherlands and Germany, but was eventually stopped by the ultra-defensive Greece side that would go on to win the entire competition.
The high point of the Czech Republic's golden era arrived in 2005, when the team finished second in Group 1 in UEFA FIFA World Cup qualification, and beat Norway 2-0 in the playoffs to compensate for their loss to Belgium in the 2002 World Cup playoffs.
Unfortunately, injuries to star strikers Koller and Baros severely hurt the team's ability to score goals in the tournament, and a loss to Italy in the final match of the World Cup group stages in 2006 meant the Czechs exited the competition early.
The team's golden age would come to a close at the end of the 2006 World Cup, when Pavel Nedved decided to call time on his international career.
Though it wasn't a golden age as bright as the golden age of the bigger countries of Europe, it was highly impressive. The Czech Republic were ranked as the second-best national team in the world in 2005 and 2006 by FIFA, and ranked No. 1 by the Elo rating system in June 2004 and 2005.