NI v Czech Republic


Words: Roy Kitson

CLASSY KEEPER The 6ft 2ins stopper has taken over the Czech goalkeeper mantle from the legendary Petr Cech. Was in the squad for Euro 2016 but did not play. Has played for Basel since May 2014, signing from Sparta Prague, with whom he had just won the league and cup double. He has been a regular with the Swiss side ever since, winning three league titles (2015, 2016 and 2017) and one cup final (2017). Has a contract until June 2021 with Basel where he plays alongside fellow Czech international Marek Suchy, who is a central defender. Played at home against Northern Ireland U21s eight years ago when the Czechs won 2-0 against a team which included Josh Magennis. Also played in the return match at Ballymena which the Czechs won 2-1; Liam Boyce and Magennis were unused subs. Made his senior international debut in November 2012 in a 3–0 friendly victory against Slovakia. Played against Northern Ireland in Prague last September, and has been between the posts for all the WC 2018 qualifiers since. ATTACKING DEFENDER The 6ft defender occupies a right back or wing back role for club and country. Moved from Slovan Liberec to Bundesliga club Werder Bremen in June 2012, after playing in Euro 2012. Has since played almost 150 league games, scoring 12 goals. With Slovan Liberec he won the Czech League in 2012. Exceptionally gifted, he stands out with his skill, his marauding runs forward and pinpoint crosses. A good football brain sees him always join a forward move at the right time and track back again when needed. He became the first player of African descent to play for the Czech Republic, making his debut in June 2011 as a sub in a goalless draw against Peru in Japan. At Euro 2012 he started all four games as the Czechs won their group before losing to Portugal in the last eight. Scored his first international goal in October 2012 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Malta (3-1 win). Has played in three WC 2018 qualifiers, scoring two goals, against San Marino and Norway. A RUNNING BACK Kaderabek, an attacking right back, moved to Hoffenheim in 2015 from Sparta Prague. And he has played over 50 league games for the Bundesliga club to date. The 6ft 1ins defender made his senior international debut in May 2014 in a friendly against Finland. He scored his first goal for the Czech Republic in Plzen in a 2–1 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying win against Iceland in November 2014 and his second in October 2015 in Amsterdam in a 3-2 win over the Netherlands. Played in all three Euro 2016 group games. Played against Northern Ireland last September in Prague, and had played in four WC 2018 qualifiers up to the match at home to Germany last week.


Club FC Basel

Age 28

Caps 11

Goals 0

THEODOR GEBRE SELASSIE DEFENDER Goals 3 Club Werder Bremen Age 30 Caps 43

PAVEL KADERABEK DEFENDER Goals 2 Club 1899 Hoffenheim Age 25 Caps 25


Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker