The Czech Republic national football team is a continuation of the Czechoslovakian team after the country’s dissolution in 1993. Since the split, the Czech half has been far more successful than their Slovak counterparts, despite not winning any trophies. The early World Cups saw Czechoslovakia twice become runners-up – joining Hungary and the Netherlands as the only teams to lose multiple finals without winning one. They also beat West Germany in the 1976 European Championship final, with Antonin Panenka’s famous dinked penalty.
Czechoslovakia’s first international match was a 7-0 victory over Yugoslavia in 1920 and their record win is 8-0 against Thailand. Altogether, the Nároďák have competed in 9 World Cups – only 1 of which has come after the split. The European Championships seem to be their tournament of choice these days, having qualified regularly and they came agonisingly close to winning in 1996. An Oliver Bierhoff ‘Golden Goal’ forced the Czechs into a runners-up spot. Since then, it’s been a tale of failed potential and they’ve took out their anger on European minnows Andorra (8-1 in 2005) and San Marino (7-0 in 2006 and 2009). Their most capped player is ex-Manchester United midfielder Karel Poborsky and all-time leading scorer is six foot seven inch giant Jan Koller.