The Czech Republic finished third in their continental qualification group and so failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The two countries have clashed five times, although the Czechs (usually known as Czechoslovakia) have never won, with the Brazilians winning three times and drawing twice. However, since the Czechs split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, they have never played each other at a World Cup finals tournament.
They did however reach the final of the 1964 Olympic football tournament, where they lost to Brazil after taking an early lead through Antonín Panenka. This was also the first time that both finalists were from South America.
However, it has to be said that reaching the final is not quite the same as winning it. The Czechs produced some great football during the 1960s and 1970s, but they were always up against it on foreign soil due to their economic situation. They did manage to beat Brazil 3-2 at home in 1968 but this was to be their only victory over the country that has dominated world football for several decades.
There have been calls for the Czechs to be allowed to join UEFA, but so far these have come to nothing. Instead, in 2010 they opened a new stadium called Stade de France in Paris, which is used by French club Saint-Étienne. This means that any future Czech World Cup games will take place there rather than in their own country.
The Czechoslovaks were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup by West Germany. Since then, the country has been divided into two: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Both of these countries have qualified as well. The Czechs will play Norway while the Slovaks will take on South Korea.
Czechoslovakia played their first official international match on 24 February 1920 when they defeated Switzerland 3-1 at home. This game marked the beginning of a long friendship between the two nations that would see them meet regularly for international matches up until the end of World War II. During this time, they also appeared together in several sports events including the 1936 Olympics where they won three gold medals. After WWII ended, Czechoslovakia became one country again - the Czech Republic. In 1992, it joined with another former communist country, Poland, to form the European Union. Today, both the Czech Republic and Slovakia are members of the EU, NATO, and the G7.
Their best result at the FIFA World Cup was in 1938 when they reached the final before losing to Italy.
After the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993, its players had different experiences after leaving the country. Some stayed in Europe, others went back to their native countries. Currently, many top players from the former Czechoslovakia live in England, France, and America.
The Czechs were easily the second-best team in their qualifying group, and although finishing six points behind England, they overcame them in Prague. Winners of the European Championship in 1968 and 1976, the Czechs are now led by current coach Josef Bladnik.
They have qualified for every World Cup since its first edition in 1954, except 1962 when they failed to obtain an invite from none of the other countries that had qualified. They have never missed out on the event because of lack of qualification rounds.
Competitively, the Czechs are known for their fast football with a high pressure defense. Their strongest match is probably also their only one against England - at Euro 1996 where they lost 1-4. Other than that, they usually get crushed by Germany (3-0 at 2014 World Cup qualifiers) or Italy (1-7 at 2010 World Cup qualifiers).
As for individual players, there are several names people know including Pavel Nedvěd, who is currently the manager of the Czech national team, Jan Koller, who is the oldest player ever at the World Cup, and Alfred Finnbogason, who is the first Icelandic player invited to the tournament. However, neither of them has made it past the first round.
The Czechs won gold in the 1998 Winter Olympics and three consecutive world championship gold medals from 1999 to 2001. The team did not win a medal in a global championship for the next three years, not even at home at the 2004 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships in...
Czech Republic has now won more than any other country. They are the most successful nation on the ice, having taken part in more world championships (18) than any other country. Their best result was in 1998 when they took home the gold medal.
Czechoslovakia had already proved its ice hockey prowess by winning the first ever Olympic gold medal at St. Moritz in 1928. But after the communist takeover in 1945, ice hockey became politically unacceptable and the sport was banned in Czechoslovakia until 1992 when it was allowed to be played again.
However, it wasn't until the mid-1990s that the country's ice hockey team started to show real talent, with players such as Milan Michálek, Vladimir Murečan, and Jan Havlíček being highly regarded by the international community. These three players were key members of the national team that won the gold medal at Nagano Japan in 1998. Since then, the Czech Republic has been one of the top nations in ice hockey.