Win over Kosovo secured the Czech Republic qualification for EURO 2020. Overall 9 Slavia players started in European qualifiers for the Czechs.Despite the initial 0-5 loss in England the Czech Republic managed to qualify from the Group A with 15 points (5 wins and 3 defeats). The Czechs secured their second spot behind England in their second to last game home against Kosovo when they managed to come from behind and win 2-1. England won the group with 21 points and impressive record of 7 wins and only 1 defeat – in October against Czech Republic at Sinobo Stadium (1-2). It was first qualification defeat for England in last 10 years. Kosovo finished third with 11 points before Bulgaria (6) and Montenegro (3).
Overall 9 Slavia players started in qualification games together with 5 former Red & Whites. Tomáš Souček and Lukáš Masopust both started in all 8 games (both also scored one goal). Jan Bořil made 5 caps, Vladimír Coufal 3 caps. Petr Ševčík and Josef Hušbauer appeared in 2 matches, Milan Škoda, Ondřej Kúdela and goalkeeper Ondřej Kolář played one game. Slavia are thus the biggest supplier of players for the Czech national team.
Five ex-Slavia players also started in European qualifiers: Ondřej Čelůstka (Antalyaspor), Jakub Jankto (Sampdoria), Marek Suchý (Augsburg) and Jaromír Zmrhal (Brescia). Alex Král made 7 caps, two of them as Slavia player, the rest after his transfer to Spartak Moscow.
Slavia players’ position in the Czech national team lead by our former coach Jaroslav Šilhavý (Czech title with Slavia in 2017) increased over time thanks to Slavia double in 2018/19 and successful games in Europa League and Champions League. In the initial game in England (0-5) there was only one Slavia player (Souček) in starting line up with two more from the bench (Masopust and Škoda). During the key victory home against Kosovo, 4 Slavia players made it to starting XI and one more came from the bench. The same number – 4 Red & Whites – were in starting line-up home against England (2-1).