Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Gebre Selassie: 'I am glad I am different'
by Paul Kennedy, June 21st, 2012 4:51AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  european championship

MOST COMMENTED

[EURO 2012 PORTRAIT] One of the revelations of Euro 2012 has been Czech right back Theodor Gebre Selassie. The son of an Ethiopian father who settled in then-Czechoslovakia after attending medical school, Gebre-Selassie has toiled in obscurity in the Czech league, but a move from Slovan Liberec is likely. He'll face the biggest test of his career when he takes on Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in Thursday's quarterfinal.

Gebre Selassie’s father met and married a local Czech woman who was a schoolteacher.

Education was important to Theodor's family, and he almost gave up soccer to return to college when he moved to Velke Mezirici in the fourth level of Czech soccer in 2005.

But two years later, he became the first player of African descent to play for the Czech Republic when he debuted for the U-21s.

Football Against Racism in Europe claimed Gebre Selassie was subjected to racist insults from Russian fans in the Czech Republic's opening game against Russia.

But he has taken the attention directed at him in stride.

“I am glad I am different," he said before Euro 2012. "At least, I am more visible. On the other hand, that is a disadvantage when I play badly."

The Czechs lost the Russia game, 4-1, but recovered with a 2-1 win over Greece -- Gebre Selassie set up the first goal --  and 1-0 victory over co-host Poland to win Group A.

The 25-year-old Gebre Selassie's biggest test will come against Ronaldo, who scored both goals in Portugal's 2-1 win over the Netherlands to reach the quarterfinals.

"Gebre Selassie is performing very well, he's fit and of course it's a very interesting challenge for him because Ronaldo can score 40-50 goals in one season and you have to play exceptionally to defend against him," said Czech coach Michal Bilek. "But to defend well the emphasis is not just on Theo, we have to close the defense and not give him space because if Ronaldo runs at you it's impossible to stop him."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Roster: U.S. U-20 women head to England & Germany     
Coach Jitka Klimkova is taking a U.S. U-20 women's national team squad of 24 on a ...
Datebook: Open Cup round-of-16 schedule (streaming)    
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup moves into the round of 16 on Tuesday when FC ...
What They're Saying: Massimo Busacca    
"Up until now, decision are made in the heat of the moment. This is a new ...
NASL Rewind: Miami edges closer to Spring title    
Miami FC extended its unbeaten streak to 13 games and its win streak to four games ...
NASL: Demba Ba is part owner of new San Diego team    
The NASL has announced the addition of a San Diego-based club, which will begin play in ...
Video Pick: Back-heel, Bike and Oh My! Volleys    
MLS Goal of the Week candidates include an acrobatic semi-bicycle kick by Kansas City's Ike Opara, ...
Confederations Cup: Host Russia exits quietly    
Host Russia fell to Mexico, 2-1, in a must-win game and exited the Confederations Cup in ...
What They're Saying: Caleb Porter    
"We have to have more guys that are finding ways to f***ing win games. Excuse my ...
MLS: Timbers' Cascadia draw latest in worrying pattern    
The Portland Timbers were coming off two tough losses on the road in the last week ...
By the Numbers: Galaxy's upside-down home-away form    
Since 2000, only 10 MLS teams have finished the season with a worse record at home ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives