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- The Czech Republic participate in their fourth FIFA Futsal World Cup
- Captain Seidler: “Aimed at the knock-out phase”
- Coach Neumann: “Must be stronger mentally”
In a nerve-wracking November penalty shootout, the Czech Republic edged out Croatia to reserve their ticket to the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 ™. It was 24-year-old Jiri Vokoun who converted the eighth and final penalty (taken from a distance of six meters in futsal) that saw the Czechs qualify for their fourth World Cup after 2004, 2008 and 2012.
“I was nervous before I took my punishment,” he said of his golden goal. “I tried not to think too much about what was at stake. I just told myself to close my eyes and hit it, and luckily it went in. I saw the ball behind the net, I did not really know what to do. but then I realized that my teammates were running over to me and I felt an incredible sense of joy coming over me. ”
However, should there be penalties in Lithuania, the versatile AC Sparta Prague player will not necessarily be in front and in the center and says: “I can not say with certainty that I will definitely take one, but if I am asked, I will it “I step up. “
In their last World Cup in Thailand eight years ago, the Czechs went through to the last 16 before bowing to Russia – their best performance to date. “Since the 2004 World Cup in Taipei, China, we have only missed once in Columbia, but we are happy to be back again now,” said coach Tomas Neumann.
This will be the third World Cup with the Czech Republic for the 50-year-old Neumann, who has full confidence in his team. “We have some exceptional players who have a real sense of team spirit and that’s our main strength,” he explained. “To take it up a notch, we have to work on our mental strength, and that’s it. , we go to do. My players need to build more confidence and transfer it when they go out and play. “
For Captain Michael Seidler, trust does not seem to be in short supply. “We are all looking forward to the World Cup,” he said. “We will continue to play our own style of futsal when we are there and go through the knockout phase.”
Should they get this far, the Czechs are likely to face some of the big hitters of futsal, both in terms of players and countries where Seidler selects some of the best candidates. “I think Brazil, Spain and Russia will fight for the title,” he said as his personal favorite player appeared for Portugal. “To me, Ricardinho is the best in the world.”
The Czechs currently do not have anyone with that kind of individual flair in their ranks, but for the 30-year-old who plays on the wing for AC Sparta Prague, that should not be a problem. “Our team is very well balanced and we all know each other from the inside because we have been playing together for a while now. We are not the type of team that anyone enjoys playing and we become a tough opponent for everyone we face. “
The World Cup in Lithuania starts on September 12, 2021, and it will be exciting to see how well the Czechs do.