Nedved's Bad Republic Image

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), March 28, 1999 | Go to article overview

Nedved's Bad Republic Image


Byline: SCOTT DAVIE

CRAIG BROWN may be checking the bloodline of any non-Scottish born player with a taste for shortbread in a quest to boost his squad, but the Czech Republic, who beat Lithuania 2-0 yesterday, arrive for Wednesday's meeting at Parkhead hoping their old selection problems are not about to resurface.

In the days before the collapse of communism, Czechoslovakia prevented the free movement of players, fearing the same sort of defections that saw Martina Navratilova and Ivan Lendl switch allegiance to the free-market economy of the west.

The contrast since splitting into two nations could not be more starkly illustrated than by the fact that coach Jozef Chovanec will have just three home-based players in the party travelling to Glasgow.

The rest are scattered throughout the top leagues in Europe with the likes of Radek Bejbl at Atletico Madrid, Jiri Nemec with Schalke, Vladimir Smicer at Lens and, of course, Patrik Berger of Liverpool all making big money.

Topping all that is the earnings of Pavel Nedved, who is in line to win the Serie A title with Lazio and has already been linked with an incredible [pounds sterling]15million move to rivals Juventus in the summer.

But the country's golden boy has tarnished his image back home as it has been revealed he has applied for Italian citizenship.

The 26-year-old midfielder refused to speak to journalists on his return to Prague earlier this week after being portrayed as a modern-day defector but, unfortunately for Brown, the Czechs' problems are all behind the scenes.

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