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Football is a very popular sport in the Czech Republic.

 

One can trace the beginnings of football as far back as the 19th century. The first football match in the Czech lands took place September 29, 1887. Six years later, in 1893, one of the most famous Czech football clubs was established, AC Sparta Praha.

Another famous football club, Slavia, was created in 1895 from what was originally a literary and oratory association. It was then known under the name of SK Slavia.  

In 1901, the Czech Football Association was created as the supreme body for organized football, and it was accepted in 1907 as a regular member of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

Football survived both wars. The interwar years saw the rise of the football legend Josef Bican, who scored 644 league goals during his career.

The highest football league was established after the Second World War. Its overseeing body is the Bohemian-Moravian Football Association , which has 625 000 footballers registered.

Czechoslovak and later Czech football has earned world renown, thanks to its history and recent successes. Among its biggest achievements is the country’s second place finish at the 1934 World Cup in Italy, a silver medal in the World Championships in Chile in 1962 and the European Championship title in 1976. An independent Czechoslovakia won a great success at the 1996 European Championships in England with a second place finish, while the 2004 European Championships saw the Czech side take third.

Among the most famous Czech footballers are František Plánička, Svatopluk Pluskal, Josef Masopust, Ivo Viktor and Antonín Panenka .

Today, players of renown include Pavel Nedvěd of Juventus, who in 2003 was crowned European footballer of the year.  Tomáš Rosický , who played for Borussia Dortmund until moving to Arsenal London, is also well respected. Another Czech player playing for an English team is goalie Petr Čech , who was names the world’s best netminder in 2005.

 

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Added: 29.12.2009
 
 
 

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