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Flag of Czech Republic
Following the First World War, the closely related Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, the new country's leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). After World War II, a truncated Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize Communist party rule and create "socialism with a human face." Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of harsh repression. With the collapse of Soviet authority in 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution." On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
Map of Czech Republic
More about Czech Republic:
|Association||Football Association of the Czech Republic|
|Coach||Karel Brückner, 2002-|
|Most caps||Karel Poborský (115)|
|Top scorer||Jan Koller (42)|
Hungary 2 - 1 Bohemia
(Budapest, Hungary; 5 April 1903)
Turkey 1 - 4 Czech Republic
(Istanbul, Turkey; 23 February 1994)
Czech Republic 8 - 1 Andorra
(Liberec, Czech Republic; 4 June 2005)
Switzerland 3 - 0 Czech Republic
(Zürich, Switzerland; 20 April 1994)
|Appearances||1 (First in 2006)|
|Appearances||3 (First in 1996)|
|Best result||Runners-up, 1996|
The Czech national football team is the national football team of the Czech Republic and is controlled by the Football Association of the Czech Republic.
Before World War I, Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic), while being part of Austria-Hungary, played seven matches between 1903 and 1908, six of them against Hungary and one against England. Bohemia also played a match against Germany in 1939 while being the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
When the Czech Republic was part of Czechoslovakia, the national team had runner-up finishes in World Cups (1934, 1962) and a European Championship win in 1976. After Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the national team was reformed, and played its first match against Turkey in 1994.
Now, the Czech Republic is continuing its football tradition, finishing second in Euro 96 and making the semifinals of Euro 2004. They made their first World Cup as an independent country in 2006 and they currently are the second-ranked country on Earth according to the FIFA World Rankings behind only powerhouse Brazil.
The Under-21 national team of Czech Republic won the European championship in 2002.