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I scored up to six goals, recalls Černý. He knows five languages, he won’t teach his daughter football

He has dynamite in his leg. Václav Černý scares opponents’ defenders with his speed and kicking technique. As one of the few Czech footballers, he can twist the ball exactly where he intends. Why not, when he was already receiving lessons at the famous Ajax Amsterdam academy as a teenager. Now he is 27 years old, he is active in Wolfsburg, yet he does not forget his first club, Příbram.

The Czech international grew up in Příbram, under the supervision of his father, a former footballer and coach.

The organizers of the McDonald’s Cup have chosen you as the patron of the 25th edition. Were you hesitant to accept this role?
At all. I played the tournament myself. I have a great relationship with him, I was on the school team Football holiday. It had a different atmosphere to matches at club level, I enjoyed it.

In Uherské Hradiště, the final match - Football Day - of the 24th edition of the McDonald's Cup, a school football tournament, took place.  The second, Tuesday game day.

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You come from Příbram, where a lot of footballers got into big football. Is it a coincidence, or what is it that this district town defeats more populous localities?
I wouldn’t say it’s a coincidence. I don’t know if I will accidentally forget someone, but Barák, Slepička, Matějů, Jedlička, Wágner, and the late Rajtoral also grew up there in the last period. I think school and attitude play a big part. We already had training in the morning. It wasn’t just football, everything from gymnastics to swimming. I know it’s still there today.

Do you mean ZŠ Březová hory, which won the entire McDonald’s Cup in 2022?
Yes, right here. It is a specific school that lives by football and is linked to a local club. From the fifth grade, you can choose a sports class that has a modified program and extra training. The girls played basketball, we played football.

I looked at your career in the pupils and apparently you commuted to Prague because you played for Krč. What was it?
No way, that’s a mistake on Wikipedia. We only played for that club because we stood out. It was about playing with better opponents and not just a competition where the games would end 20-0 for us.

Football on artificial grass.  Illustrative image

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Speaking of wild results, can you remember the game when you scored the most goals?
Not from the youth. I just remember that I often scored four to six goals (smile).

Zbyhněv Hložek, Adam Hložek’s father, recently in an interview for Deník he remembered and it happened to you too. He saw you get slapped by your dad for a deliberate yellow card. Was your dad strict with you?
He was, but I don’t regret it, he was fair. I don’t even remember this moment. As far as I remember, it was a match when we lost and I didn’t shake my opponent’s hand. I was biting the loss hard, I was bad about it. And he gave me an educational ass.

This only happened once, so you’ve already mastered Latin?
I guess. I dare say I’m a good guy, others had problems. Dad was just guiding me.

Besides your dad, who has been a major influence on your career?
Class teacher. He was Tonda Barák Sr.

You left the Czech Republic after elementary school. You have been chosen by the famous Dutch club Ajax. While pursuing your career is well known, I don’t know much about studying.
It wasn’t that easy, I started studying tourism individually at a distance, but it couldn’t be combined with working in Ajax. I had to cut it short. I still have it today.

But you definitely won’t get lost. I know that in addition to Dutch, you speak English very well, now German has been added…
And you don’t know yet that I also started learning Spanish as a self-taught person. I was always good at languages, I stood out in them.

Let’s go to football. Your teammate at Ajax was Matthijs de Ligt. He went to Juventus, now he plays like you in Germany, for Bayern. Are you still connected?
When we play against each other, we like to talk for a while after the game. Maybe I’m even more in touch with Donny van de Beek, he’s the same year 1997 as me, he’s in Frankfurt.

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Speaking of stars. Who was your role model when you were devouring football as a teenager?
Ronaldo the most, then Messi.

These two are beyond the zenith, out of the mainstream of Europe. Who do you think is the best soccer player in the world right now?
Tough question, Kevin De Bruyne had health problems but the quality is at a high level. Then of course Vinicius Junior, Kylian Mbappé.

Would your fiancee tell you?
I don’t know (smile).

Watch Václav Černý’s last goal for Wolfsburg:

He comes from Opava, where people’s interest is divided between football and basketball. How are things in their family?
The future father-in-law is not quite into football, the mother a little more. Just in April they were with us and we watched together the match between Opava and Sparta.

You have a daughter. Are you already picturing how you will one day kick a balloon with her?
This is premature. In addition, football is forbidden to me at her place…

What would you advise boys, girls and their coaches regarding football and the tournament?
Football is, in my eyes, the most beautiful sport ever invented. It should bring a smile to everyone. This includes lust, combativeness, but above all joy, fun and unforgettable experiences.

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