While the Czech republic were featuring in their seventh consecutive Euro event, Scotland were playing in a major soccer event since the FIFA World Cup 1998 and the last time they played in a Euro event, was way back in 1996. Their presence was welcomed by the fans at Hampden Park, Glasgow – sadly it ended in a disappointment because of Patrik Schick’s double strike – the second goal is already part of Euro folklore.

The Prague-born forward, who is thought of possessing the same qualities as the tall and strong Czech forward Jan Koller – Schick’s talent was spotted by one of the Czech Republic capital’s premier teams, Sparta when Schick was just 11. He made his top-flight debut in May 2014 at the tail-end of a season in which his club won the domestic double. But four appearances over two campaigns meant Schick crossed town to join Bohemians on loan for the 2015-16 season, a switch that changed his career.

Eight goals in 27 top-flight outings convinced Sampdoria to sign him in summer 2016.

“I have friends here so I’m a bit sad,” Schick said as he waved goodbye to Sparta.

“On the other hand, I’m looking forward to going to Italy. Playing abroad has always been my dream.”

He happily lived that dream, for a season at least: Schick netted 11 in 32 Serie A matches, Juventus came calling in summer 2017, he was impressing for the Czech Republic at the U21 Euros in Poland, but his dream turned into a nightmare. Two failed medicals at Juve later, and Schick was ‘damaged goods.’

Concerns over a potential heart problem were soon dispelled though, and Roma signed him on loan for the 2017-18 campaign. The move was made permanent in a big-money deal the year later, but only eight goals in 58 appearances was hardly a return to shout about.

RB Leipzig presented the 6’2’’ forward another chance.

After an Achilles problem made his start to life at the Red Bull Arena difficult, the Czech Republic international quickly bounced into life. His superb spin and strike against Paderborn started a rash of three goals in four league appearances, including coming off the bench to complete the comeback against Borussia Dortmund in the Matchday 16 epic.

He hit double figures for the first time since his Sampdoria days, with 10 goals in 22 Bundesliga games, but his stay in Leipzig lasted only a year before Leverkusen snapped him up from Roma on a five-year deal. Schick was the preferred centre-forward for much of the 2020/21 campaign at the BayArena and finished with nine strikes across 29 league games before heading to Euro 2020 as the main man for the Czech Republic.

At Hampden Park, the game was just 52 minutes with the Czechs leading by 1-0.

Hendry attempted a shot from the distance but it was blocked and the ball rebounded straight to Schick, who spotted David Marshall way off his line and attempted one from just inside his own half and sent a   booming curler over the keeper and into the top left – Scotland discovered themselves trailing by -0-2 and Hampden Park became a part of history because Schick just scored one of the best goals in the history of Euro.

The Czech started the tournament with a win and at the moment, Schick is a household name around the globe.

 

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