Reports are out claiming that Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech acknowledges that Euro96 inspired an entire generation of footballers in the Czech Republic.
The Czech side lost the tournament final to Germany’s extra-time golden goal at the old Wembley two decades ago and the 33-year-old gloveman wishes to get somewhere near repeating the feat in the upcoming European Championships.
He told Arsenal Player: “It had a big impact on the players’ careers.
“(Pavel) Nedved went to Italy after that game because he scored, (Karel) Poborsky went to Manchester United, and there were plenty of others going to big clubs. Once you have this opportunity for the players to go to play at top teams, it opens doors for everyone else.
“It’s amazing how tournaments like that can open up opportunities, not only for the players who played but also for younger players and the new generation.
“This [summer’s tournament] is a huge opportunity for those guys who dreamed about going abroad, playing in big leagues. We have some in Germany, some in Turkey, me and Tomas are the only ones currently in the Premier League.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us to show that we can play at the highest level. Maybe it can help open more doors for the younger generation.”
Cech and his national teammates will take on Spain, Turkey and Croatia in Group D of the UEFA showpiece which takes pace in France in June and July.