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Ujfalusi named Czech captain for Euro

SoccerNews in European Championships, Serie A 27 May 2008

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Veteran Czech defender Tomas Ujfalusi was on Tuesday named captain of the national side for the upcoming European Championships, which are being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland and gets underway on June 7.

The 30-year-old replaces injured playmaker Tomas Rosicky and came after national coach Karel Bruckner had consulted with other senior players.

“It is a great honour. I will lead the national team during Euro-2008 as well as the two preparatory matches ahead of the championships,” Ujfalusi said.

Ujfalusi, who has just terminated his contract with Italian club Fiorentina after playing an integral role in their winning a Champions League place for next season ahead of AC Milan and also reaching the UEFA Cup semi-finals, insisted it was only a temporary measure.

“After his return, Tomas Rosicky will again wear the captain’s armband,” added Ujfalusi, who has been capped 66 times and scored two goals since making his debut in 2001.

The Czechs, who with Ujfalusi in the side reached the semi-finals in 2004 where they lost to eventual champions Greece, continue their championship preparations with a friendly against Lithuania in Prague on Tuesday to be followed by a match against Scotland on Friday.

They open the tournament against Switzerland on June 7, followed by games against 2004 finalists Portugal and Turkey.

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