Czech Republic Euro 2012 Roster: Analyzing Team's Starting 11 and More
The Czech Republic have a long and proud tradition in World Football. According to UEFA.com Czech Republic analyst Ondřej Zlámal, the last day of May marked the anniversary of the nation's historic run to the 1962 World Cup final.
This coming week will see the nation once again enter competition in the UEFA European championships. As an independent state, and previously as part of Czechoslovakia, the Czechs have never failed to qualify for Europe's highest-profile international competition.
The nation's best finishes came in 2004, when they finished third in Portugal, and as runners-up during the England-hosted 1996 competition, where they were defeated by Germany.
With the opening day of the tournament set to see Group A start the action, the Czechs face Russia for the first big test of their group on Friday, June 8th, 2012.
The Czech Republic were given a huge boost with national team captain Tomas Rosicky passing fit this week before the nation plays their last warm-up friendly against Hungary.
After defeating Israel 2-1 on May 26th, the Czechs will feel they did enough to win, but will have to be much more clinical against Hungary as they prepare for a huge opening match against Russia. The winner of the latter match will certainly be thought of as one of the two that will advance to the next round.
Lastly, national team coach Michal Bilek was awarded for his club's success with a new contract that will see him pick up an extension if his side qualifies for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Michal Bilek is most likely set to use a 4-2-3-1 for the Czechs' best chance of success.
The counter-attack will be their best method of going forward, as the team's qualifying run was typified by collective attacking and defending in numbers. Organization will be key for the nation, as they are stronger as a unit than individually, just like the majority of the smaller nations that have qualified.
Milan Baros will be up top, with Tomas Rosicky leading the supporting cast through the middle, while youngsters Tomas Pekhart and Vaclav Pilar are likely to be the biggest X-factors for their nation throughout the tournament.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
There is no questioning the starting position of Chelsea's Petr Cech.
After a frustrating yet glorious club season in England, the 30-year-old veteran will hope to see his side against all odds.
Right-Back: Frantisek Rajtoral
The right-back position is likely to be filled by Victoria Plzen defender, FrantiŠek Rajtoral.
Rajtoral is expected to be a strong counter-attacking force, much like his counterpart on the left side of defense, Michal Kadlec, and will be hunting for his first national team goal.
Right Centre-Back: Theodor Gebre Selassie
As the first black player to represent the Czech Republic on the national team, Theodor Gebre Selassie will be breaking barriers for the country in what is expected to be a very racially tense setting at the Euros.
A solid club season with FC Slovan Liberec has seen him earn his place.
Left Centre-Back: Marek Suchy
Marek Suchy is likely taking the place of Roman Hubnik, who was dropped from the final 23-man squad.
The 24-year-old Suchy has been in top form in the Russian Premier League with Spartak Moscow, and will hope to make a huge impact for his nation this summer.
Left-Back: Michal Kadlec
Michal Kadlec led the Czech Republic in scoring throughout their European Championship qualifying campaign.
The fact that a defender led the national team with four goals is a good and bad sign for the Czechs. Nonetheless, it shows that Kadlec will definitely be effective on the counter-attack.
Central Defensive Midfielder: Tomas Sivok
The versatile Tomas Sivok is equally likely to deputize in the center of defense and as a holding midfielder, just as he does for his club team Besiktas in Turkey.
Sivok has been a member of the national team since 2005 and has experience to pull from in giving the Czechs the best chance to advance.
Central Midfielder: Tomas Rosicky
National team captain and Arsenal regular Tomas Rosicky came to life in the last few months of the English Premier League campaign, showing off the skills that had prompted Arsene Wenger to sign him years ago.
If the Czech Republic have any hope of making a good run through the tournament, they will have to have Rosicky at his best, quarterbacking the offense and hoping to provide the killer passes that will put his team in front.
Right Winger: Vaclav Pilar
Czech Republic's 23-year-old winger Vaclav Pilar is one of the most anticipated talents in the coming summer tournament.
The highly rated winger is the poster child for the up-and-coming generation of Czech players, and he has a major call to answer this summer.
Central Attacking Midfielder: Tomas Pekhart
Young attacking midfielder Tomas Pekhart is thought to be a massive candidate to make a splash at the Euros.
The talented youngster scored nine goals for FC Nuremburg this past campaign in Germany, and although primarily a striker, he could drop into a supporting role behind Milan Baros.
Left Winger: Milan Petrzela
Victoria Plzen winger Milan Petrzela is one of several candidates to take the left wide position.
A newer addition to the national team, Petrzela looks to be a promising addition to the first 11.
Striker: Milan Baros
Former Liverpool hitman Milan Baros has scored only three goals since 2009 with the Czech national team.
However, he is still the most talented striker they can deploy, and at the age of 30, he is still in the prime years of his career.
Baros has 41 international goals in 88 appearances, which is a very respectable haul, but his only eight goals from 29 appearances with Galatasaray this past season cause a slight worry about his finishing form.