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Matejovsky waits for his chance in Czech Republic's highly contested midfield

Matejovsky waits for his chance in Czech Republic's highly contested midfield

Marek Matejovsky is a candidate for the high profile spot in the middle of the Czech Republic's midfield line at the European Championship, and he said Monday he was ready to fight for the place left vacant by injured captain Tomas Rosicky.
"I'm 100 percent fit and ready," said Matejovsky, who has been bothered by a slight abdominal muscle injury. "The problem's gone."
Rosicky, the team's playmaker and captain, is unavailable for Euro 2008 following surgery on his left knee tendon last month. That caused a selection headache for coach Karel Bruckner, who is trying to find a replacement for a player he claims is irreplaceable.
Bruckner fielded David Jarolim in the opening Euro 2008 match against co-host Switzerland in Basel on Saturday, which the Czechs won 1-0 despite a performance that was widely considered to be a disappointment.
Jarolim was solid but lacked creativity and Matejovsky, who had also been tested in Rosicky's playmaking role, could step in the second group match against Portugal in Geneva on Wednesday.
"I'd be happy to play but it's up to the coach to select the lineup," the 26-year-old playmaker said.
Following Saturday's uninspiring performance, Bruckner, who typically doesn't reveal his selection plans until the last moment before a match, has indicated other players may get a chance.
"I'll likely make a change," he said without giving any details.
Yet, the statement boosted hopes for Matejovsky, who has scored one goal in his 10 internationals.
He said it doesn't matter who plays because the team's success is at issue at Euro 2008.
"It's not a fight between me and David," he said. "I trust David. ... Everyone would like to play. We're here as a team and we want to succeed."
Matejovsky's career took a turn for the better after the creative midfielder was signed in January by Premier League team Reading from Czech club Mlada Boleslav. That gave him a chance to watch or face on the field a number of stars who play at the tournament in Austria and Switzerland, including Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo.
"He achieved something unbelievable this season," Matejovsky said, but added there's no point in focusing just on the Manchester United star. "That wouldn't solve anything. We are good enough to beat (Portugal) anyway."


Updated : 2021-04-14 10:26 GMT+08:00