Czech Republic captain Vladimir Darida retired from international football following his side’s defeat to Denmark in the quarter finals. The 30-year-old midfielder enjoyed a great international career wherein he played 76 times and scored 8 goals.
Vladimir Darida was leading a slightly unexperienced squad in the Euros. Nothing much was expected from them after being drawn in a hard group but after their 2-0 win over Scotland, they made it to the knockout stage of the tournament.
They defeated Netherlands in the round of 16 in one of the matches of the tournament as no one expected them to get the better of the Gin Wijnaldum-led side. Their run ended in the quarter finals as they were beaten by Denmark.
Darida led his side in all 3 group games. He missed the memorable match against Netherlands and came on as a substitute against Denmark which happened to be his final game.
Czech Republic had fallen from the highs of the 2004 Euros but they are looking like an exciting side again with the likes of Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal, Patrik Schick, Tomas Kalas, etc.
The retirement came as a shock as none of the Czech players were expecting it. He was one of their main players for several years but the new crop of players are more than able to carry the mantle of the national team.
“The national team bid farewell to the Euro. I then bid farewell to my teammates,” Darida said on the Czech Football Association’s website.
Darida, who began his career at Viktoria Pilsen, and broke into the national team just before Euro 2012, at which he was part of a squad that reached the quarter-finals.
“In this last Bundesliga and international season, I have spent 140 days out of home because of games and training camps,” Darida said.
“I want to spend much more time with the family and my little son,” he added.
Denmark, who beat Czech Republic in the quarter final, will now resume their tournament against England in the semi-final at Wembley on Wednesday.