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Czech Republic national football team at the 2006 Football World Cup

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by user Bobo

These guys, as any team will testify, stand a good chance of almost anything. They had an exceptional run in the 2004 European Championship, where they finished in the Quarter Finals, but this surely pales into insignificance thanks to their runners-up spot in 1996. They have some great players amongst their ranks, including Vladimír Šmicer, Milan Baroš and Chelsea's awesome keeper Petr Čech.

With their glory days by no means past, the Czech Republic senior national team occupy position number two in the World Rankings, and the Under-21 team were victorious in the 2002 European Under-21 championship. They achieved their highest-scoring victory of all time last year against Andorra, and they still maintain a very secure lineup of players from various countries, including Germany and England.

The Czech Republic occupy group E along with Italy, Ghana, and the United States, and, with Italy virtual shoo-ins for one of the two top spots, it's up to the Czechs and the Americans to fight it out amongst themselves for what I see as a definite second-place finish. With Brad Friedel having retired from international duty in February of last year and Keller slowly advancing in years, the Czechs could pull off what I would still class as a shock for international soccer. However, with the unenviable possibility of meeting Brazil in the next round, I worry for whichever team manages to finish second in the group.

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