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Czechs name Rosicky as new captain

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PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky has been elected captain of the Czech Republic team by his team-mates for the duration of the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

The 25-year-old succeeds Czech great Pavel Nedved, who retired from international football following the 3-1 friendly defeat by Serbia a fortnight ago.

"Football is a team game and our common objective is to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals," said Rosicky, who has scored 17 goals in 57 appearances for the Czechs.

Rosicky was an integral part of the Czech side that reached the Euro 2004 semifinals but disappointed at the World Cup finals going out in the first round.

Rosicky scoring a superb individual goal in their sole victory over the United States.

Rosicky, who will debut as captain in Saturday's opening Euro 2008 qualifier at home to Wales, is the sixth player to captain the Czech side since it achieved independence in 1993.

The previous five were Vaclav Nemecek, Miroslav Kadlec, Jiri Nemec, Tomas Galasek - who is still in the squad - and Nedved.

Rosicky helped the Czechs reach the Euro 2004 semifinals.

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