Patrik Berger is a retired Czech footballer who played as a midfielder. He started his career in his own country with Slavia Prague and spent a season in Germany playing for Borussia Dortmund, he moved to England in 1996, where he spent seven years with Liverpool, winning six trophies in his time there. This was followed by spells at Aston Villa and Stoke City, he spent the last two years of his career back in his native Czech Republic playing for Sparta Prague. Internationally, Berger played in two major tournaments for the Czech Republic, he played an important part in his nation's Euro 1996 campaign, scoring in the final as the Czech Republic finished runners-up to Germany. He took a 17-month break from the national team between 1997 and 1998 after a dispute with manager Dušan Uhrin, returning to the setup following Uhrin's departure from the post, his second and final major tournament was Euro 2000, but due to suspension and his country's early exit, he only played one match. He retired from the national team in 2002 at the age of 28 with a total of 44 senior international caps and 18 goals.
Capable of occupying midfield and forward positions, Berger became noted for his powerful strikes, surging runs, strong left foot. Berger was beset with injuries throughout his career and received specialist treatment in the United States, he retired on 6 January 2010 due to knee injuries. Berger was born in Czechoslovakia, his uncle is the Czech footballer Jan Berger. He married wife Jaroslava, has two children, son Patrik and daughter Valentýnka, he gained a British passport in 2001 after having spent five years playing club football in England. This enabled him to play without needing a work permit, which he had required due to the Premier League's rules on non-EU players, he began his footballing career as a youth player at Sparta Prague in 1989, securing a professional contract two years with rivals Slavia Prague. Establishing himself as a senior regular, Berger competed in Europe and earned selection for Czechoslovakia and, following its establishment, the Czech Republic. After 90 league appearances and 24 goals, Berger was purchased by Ottmar Hitzfeld's Borussia Dortmund in 1995 for a reported £500,000.
In August 1995 he played in the DFL-Supercup, as Dortmund beat Borussia Mönchengladbach to win the title. While Dortmund went on to win the Bundesliga title in the 1995–96 season, Berger was used as a substitute, making 12 of his 25 league appearances from the bench. Hitzfeld preferred to employ Berger as a defensive midfielder as he considered him to be most suited to the role. Liverpool's interest in Berger was stimulated by the performances of the Czech Republic during Euro 1996, organised in England, where he scored a penalty in the final; the club approached both Berger and Karel Poborský, who elected to transfer to Manchester United after the competition's conclusion. Berger did accept Liverpool's contract offer and completed his transfer in August 1996 for £3.25 million. Berger and his family settled in Southport, where they resided near retired players Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen. Debuting as a substitute in a 2–1 home win against Southampton on 7 September 1996, Berger performed well in his first month with the club, endearing him to supporters and earning praise from colleagues.
In his second match, he replaced Stan Collymore as half time substitute, going on to score two goals in a 3–0 win against Leicester City. A second double was registered against Chelsea in the latter's 5–1 defeat at Anfield, which he followed with a fifth goal in four matches in a Cup Winners' Cup match against MYPA; the series of displays were recognised in October 1996 with the FA's Player of the Month award for September. First-team opportunities became limited in Berger's second season. Despite scoring a hat-trick against Chelsea in October 1997, he found himself named as a substitute, his dissatisfaction at manager Roy Evans placed his Liverpool career in jeopardy. Evans criticised Berger's perceived indifference to teamwork and publicly expressed a willingness to sell after he refused to be used as a substitute against Bolton Wanderers in March 1998. Berger was linked with a move away from Liverpool in May 1998, with Italian club A. S. Roma, the manager of, his countryman Zdeněk Zeman, Portuguese club Benfica both mentioned as possible destinations.
The appointment of Gérard Houllier as co-manager before the 1998–99 season and subsequent departure of Evans proved to be pivotal in Berger's decision to remain with the club. Playing in his first season under Houllier's reign, Berger scored nine goals and improved as a player. An injury sustained in a 4–3 defeat to Leeds United in November 2000 rendered Berger unavailable for much of the 2000–01 season and required specialist treatment in the United States from knee surgeon Richard Steadman. By March 2001, Berger had recovered and he went on to feature in the final of both the UEFA Cup and the FA Cup, with Liverpool winning both trophies. In the 2001 FA Cup Final he provided the assist for Michael Owen to score the deciding goal against Arsenal, he appeared in the 2001 FA Charity Shield, coming on as a substitute as Liverpool won the competition. He underwent knee surgery in August 2001, ruling him out of the 2001 UEFA Super Cup. Recurring injuries between 2001 and 2003 continued to disrupt Berger's career and deprived him of a presence in the first team, resulting in his decision to leave Liverpool after the expiration of his contract following the conclusion of the 2002–03 season.
Berger had been confined to the bench for the duration of his final season when selected, limiting him to four appearances. He left Liverpool. Newly pro
The Czech Republic known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with a temperate continental climate and oceanic climate, it is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen; the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe. It is a developed country with an advanced, high income export-oriented social market economy based in services and innovation; the UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic is a welfare state with a "continental" European social model, a universal health care system, tuition-free university education and is ranked 14th in the Human Capital Index, it ranks as the 6th safest or most peaceful country and is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance.
The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire along with the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Beside Bohemia itself, the King of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, holding a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor. In the Hussite Wars of the 15th century driven by the Protestant Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom faced economic embargoes and defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary.
The Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism and reimposed Catholicism, adopted a policy of gradual Germanization; this contributed to the anti-Habsburg sentiment. A long history of resentment of the Catholic Church followed and still continues. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the German Confederation 1815-1866 as part of Austrian Empire and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period. However, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became the Slovak Republic.
Most of the three millions of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and market economy was reintroduced. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia; the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. The traditional English name "Bohemia" derives from Latin "Boiohaemum", which means "home of the Boii"; the current English name comes from the Polish ethnonym associated with the area, which comes from the Czech word Čech. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia, to settle on Říp Mountain.
The etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning "member of the people. The country has been traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east, Czech Silesia in the northeast. Known as the lands of the Bohemian Crown since the 14th century, a number of other names for the country have been used, including Czech/Bohemian lands, Bohemian Crown and the lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas; when the country regained its independence after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the new name of Czechoslovakia was coined to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak nations within the one country. After Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992, the Czech part lac
Czech First League
The Czech First League, known as the Fortuna liga for sponsorship reasons, is a Czech professional league for football clubs. At the top of the Czech football league system, it is the country's primary football competition, it is contested by 16 clubs, operating a system of promotion and relegation with the Czech National Football League. Since 2018/19 seasons run from July with teams playing 30 games each. Teams are divided into three groups playing superstructure for final positions; the league is ranked 11th in Europe in the UEFA league rankings. The history of the Czech football league began at the end of the 20th century, it was reorganised for the 1993–1994 season, after the dissolution of former Czechoslovakia and therefore of the Czechoslovak League. Having won more than half of league titles, Sparta Prague are the most successful team in Czech First League history. Other clubs who have won the title are Slavia Prague, Slovan Liberec, Baník Ostrava and Viktoria Plzeň. There are 16 clubs in the league.
During the course of a season, which lasts from August to May, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 30 games. In the inaugural season, two points were awarded for a win, before switching to three points for a win in 1994. Teams receive one point for a draw and no points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, in the case of two or more teams finishing with equal points, the head-to-head record between the teams is used for ranking, counting points in relevant games goal difference and goals scored; the two lowest placed teams are relegated to the second tier Czech National Football League. The following 16 clubs are competing in the 2018–19 Czech First League. In 1997 the league started a sponsorship deal with Plzeňský Prazdroj, a. s. and became known as the Gambrinus liga. In 2008, the sponsorship was extended until the end of the 2013–14 season. In May 2014, the league announced a four-year sponsorship deal with betting firm Synot, becoming the Synot liga.
However, in January 2016 the company announced that their deal would conclude at the end of the 2015–16 season. In July 2016 a new two-year sponsorship deal was announced, with the league partnering ePojisteni.cz, an online insurance company. The league subsequently became known as the ePojisteni.cz liga. Due to a government subsidy scandal and the arrest of FAČR chairman Miroslav Pelta, ePojisteni.cz terminated the contract prematurely in May 2017. In October 2016 FAČR, LFA and Czech betting company Fortuna signed a 6-year partnership deal. In accordance with this deal, the Czech First League will be called Fortuna liga from the 2018–19 season. Last update: 21 March 2019 1993–94 – 2017–18 Point deductions: 2004–05: 1. FC Slovácko −12 2004–05: SFC Opava −6 2004–05: Slovan Liberec −6 2009–10: Bohemians Praha −15 2011–12: Sigma Olomouc −9 The following data indicates Czech coefficient rankings between European football leagues. Bold names are of those, who are active in the Czech First League. For example: A player only, if he is still playing and not, if he is, for example, coaching at the moment.
Highest number of received yellow cards: 98 by Admir Ljevaković, 97 by Pavel Horváth, 89 by Tomáš Hunal, 86 by Rudolf Otepka, 82 by Miloslav Penner Highest number of appearances for a foreign player: 279 by Karol Kisel for Bohemians 1905, FC Slovan Liberec, AC Sparta Prague and SK Slavia Prague Lowest age for a player to appear: 15 years and 322 days by Dominik Mašek for 1. FK Příbram Highest number of scored goals: 198 by David Lafata Lowest age for a player to score: 16 years 7 months and 15 days by Adam Hložek for AC Sparta Prague První fotbalová liga English site Official website of Czech football fotbal.iDNES.cz První fotbalová liga at eFotbal.cz League321.com – Czech Republic football league tables, records & statistics database. Czech Republic – List of Champions, RSSSF.com
Petr Švancara is a former Czech football player who last played for Zbrojovka Brno. Švancara started his football career in his native Brno, he played for the local side 1. FC Brno and for several other Gambrinus liga clubs. In 2008 his goal for FK Viktoria Žižkov in a match against Bohemians Prague was voted Gambrinus liga goal of the year. In June 2012, Švancara, the captain of Brno, signed a two-year extension to his contract to keep him at the club until 2014. Petr Švancara – Czech First League statistics at Fotbal DNES Petr Švancara at FAČR Profile at FC Zbrojovka Brno website Profile at 1. FC Slovácko website
Penalty kick (association football)
A penalty kick is a method of restarting play in association football, in which a player is allowed to take a single shot on the goal while it is defended only by the opposing team's goalkeeper. It is awarded when a foul punishable by a direct free kick is committed by a player in his or her own penalty area; the shot is taken from the penalty mark, 12 yards from the goal line and centred between the touch lines. In practice, penalty kicks result in goals more than not against the best and most experienced goalkeepers; this means that penalty awards are decisive in low-scoring games. Similar kicks are made in a penalty shootout in some tournaments to determine which team is victorious after a drawn match; the ball is placed on the penalty mark, regardless of. The player taking the kick is to be identified to the referee. Only the kicker and the defending team's goalkeeper are allowed to be within the penalty area; the goalkeeper must stand on the goal line between the goal posts. Lateral movement is allowed, but the goalkeeper is not permitted to come off the goal line by stepping or lunging forward until the ball is in play.
The assistant referee responsible for the goal line where the penalty kick is being taken is positioned at the intersection of the penalty area and goal line, assists the referee in looking for infringements and/or whether a goal is scored. When the referee is satisfied that the players are properly positioned, he/she blows the whistle to indicate that the kicker may kick; the kicker may make feinting moves during the run-up to the ball, but once the run-up is completed he/she may no longer feint and must kick the ball. The ball must be stationary before the kick, it must be kicked forward; the ball is in play once it is kicked and moves, at that time other players may enter the penalty area. Once kicked, the kicker may not touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player of either team or goes out of play. In case of an infringement of the laws of the game during a penalty kick, most entering the penalty area illegally, the referee must consider both whether the ball entered the goal, which team committed the offence.
The following infringements committed by the kicking team result in an indirect free kick for the defending team, regardless of the outcome of the kick: a teammate of the identified kicker kicks the ball instead kicker feints kicking the ball at the end of the run-up kick does not go forward kicker touches the ball a second time before it touches another player In the case of a player infringing the laws during the penalty kick, the referee may caution the player for persistent infringement. Note that all offences that occur before kick may be dealt with in this manner, regardless of the location of the offence. If the ball touches an outside agent as it moves forward from the kick, the kick is retaken. A two-man penalty, or "tap" penalty, occurs when the kicker, instead of shooting for goal, taps the ball forward so that a teammate can run on to it and shoot. If properly executed, it is a legal play since the kicker is not required to shoot for goal and need only kick the ball forward; this strategy relies on the element of surprise, as it first requires the goalkeeper to believe the kicker will shoot dive or move to one side in response.
It requires the goalkeeper to remain out of position long enough for the kicker's teammate to reach the ball before any defenders, for that teammate to place a shot on the undefended side of the goal. The first recorded tap penalty was taken by Jimmy McIlroy and Danny Blanchflower of Northern Ireland against Portugal on 1 May 1957. Another was taken by Rik Coppens and André Piters in the World Cup Qualifying match Belgium v Iceland on 5 June 1957. Arsenal players Thierry Henry and Robert Pires failed in an attempt at a similar penalty in 2005, during a Premier League match against Manchester City at Highbury. Pires ran in to take the kick, attempted to pass to the onrushing Henry, but miskicked and the ball hardly moved. Lionel Messi tapped a penalty for Luis Suárez as Suárez completed his hat-trick on 14 February 2016 against league opponents Celta de Vigo. Defending against a penalty kick is one of the most difficult tasks a goalkeeper can face. Owing to the short distance between the penalty spot and the goal, there is little time to react to the shot.
Because of this, the goalkeeper will start his or her dive before the ball is struck. In effect, the goalkeeper must act on his best prediction about; some goalkeepers decide which way they will dive beforehand, thus giving themselves a good chance of diving in time. Others try to read the kicker's motion pattern. On the other side, kickers feign and prefer a slow shot in an attempt to foil the goalkeeper; the most fruitful approach, shooting high and centre, i.e. in the space that the goalkeeper will evacuate carries the highest risk of shooting above the bar. As the shooter makes his approach to the ball, the goalke
Finland national football team
The Finland national football team represents Finland in international football competitions and is controlled by the Football Association of Finland. Although the Finnish national team has never qualified for a finals tournament of the World Cup or the European Championships in spite of its long history, the Nordic nation made remarkable progression in the 2000s, reaching a peak of 30th on the Elo Rankings. Under coach Roy Hodgson they achieved notable results against much more established European teams. After a few years of poor results, they dipped to a FIFA ranking of 110, the lowest in their history. However, in the autumn of 2017, Finland began to rise up the FIFA rankings and, as of September 2018, they sit at 58th. Finland has participated on two occasions in the European sub-regional Baltic Cup championship, which takes place every two years between the Baltic countries of Estonia and Lithuania. Finland's best result in the Baltic Cup tournament was in 2012. In 2014 Finland finished the tournament in third place.
The Football Association of Finland was founded in 1907 and became a member of FIFA in 1908. At the time, Finland was an autonomous grand duchy of the Russian Empire. Finland played its first international on 22 October 1911, as Sweden beat the Finns at the Eläintarha Stadium in Helsinki. Finland participated the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, beating Italy and the Russian Empire, but losing the bronze medal match against the Netherlands. After the 1918 Civil War, the Finnish sports movement was divided into the right-wing Finnish Gymnastics and Sports Federation and the leftist Finnish Workers' Sports Federation, Finnish Football Association was a member of the SVUL. Both sides had their own championship series, between 1919–1939 the Finland national team was selected of the Football Association players only; the Finnish Workers' Sports Federation football team in turn, participated the competitions of the international labour movement. However, since the late 1920s several top footballers defected from TUL and joined the Football Association to be eligible for the national team.
During the 1930s, these ″defectors″ formed the spine of the national team. For example, the Finland squad at the 1936 Summer Olympics was composed of eight former TUL players. In 1937, Finland participated the FIFA World Cup qualification for the first time, losing all three matches against Sweden and Estonia. Since 1939, TUL players were selected to the national team and in 1956, the TUL and Football Association series were merged; the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki saw. Finland did, win the unofficial Nordic championship in 1964 and 1966. Finland took part in European Championship qualifying since the 1968 event, but had to wait for its first win until 1978; the results of the team improved somewhat in the 1980s. Finland missed out on qualification for Euro 1980 by just a point and for the 1986 World Cup by two points. Finland was invited to take part in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow after many Western countries announced they would boycott the games, but failed to progress from its group.
By the mid-1990s Finland started to have more players in high-profile European leagues, led by the Ajax superstar Jari Litmanen. In 1996 Danish Euro 1992 winning coach Richard Møller Nielsen was hired to take Finland to the 1998 World Cup; the team enjoyed mixed fortunes in the campaign, high points of which were a draw and a win away to Norway and Switzerland respectively. Going into the last match, Finland would have needed a win at home to Hungary to earn a place in the play-offs, they led the game 1–0 going into injury time, but scored an own goal, once again the dreams of qualification were over. Møller Nielsen tried to lead Finland to Euro 2000. In this campaign the Finns recorded a sensational win away to Turkey, but couldn't compete with Germany and Turkey in the long run. Antti Muurinen succeeded Møller Nielsen as coach in 2000, he had arguably the most talented group of Finnish players at his disposal, including players such as Antti Niemi, Sami Hyypiä, Teemu Tainio and Mikael Forssell in addition to the legendary Litmanen.
The team performed quite well under him in qualification for the 2002 World Cup despite a difficult draw, earning two draws against Germany and a home draw with England as well as beating Greece 5–1 in Helsinki. In the end, however and Germany proved too strong, the Finns finished third in the group, but were the only team in that group not to lose at home. Hopes were high going into qualification for Euro 2004 after the promising last campaign and friendly wins over the likes of Norway and Portugal. However, Finland started the campaign by losing to Yugoslavia; these losses were followed by two defeats by Italy, a 3–0 home win over Serbia and Montenegro was little consolation, as the Finns finished fourth in the group. In qualification for the 2006 World Cup Finland failed to score a single point in six matches against the top three teams in their group, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Romania. Muurinen was sacked in June 2005, he was replaced by caretaker Jyrki Heliskoski, but results didn't improve.
In August 2005, it was announced that Roy Hodgson would become the new Finland coach in 2006, he started in the job in January of that year. Hodgson stepped down as manager after they failed to qualify for Euro 2008, his replacement was a Scotsman, Stuart Baxter, who signed a contract until the end of the 2012 European Championship qualification