Illustration photo – Italian Fiorentina footballer Antonín Barák.
Prague – Fiorentina footballer Antonín Barák did not want to comment on his absence in the nomination for the June meeting of the Czech national team before Wednesday's final of the European Conference League in Prague's Eden against West Ham, in which, according to national team coach Jaroslav Šilhavy, he is absent due to inappropriate behavior in the team. The 28-year-old attacking midfielder is 100% focused on winning the first European trophy with the Italian team since 1961. Barák stated this for Czech Television.
“I won't comment on the national team now, I'm only concentrating on the final. I don't want to disturb Fiorentina or my teammates. Now for me it's as if it didn't happen. I've only had this match in my head for a few days,” said Barák, who the national team's “A” started 37 matches and according to the number of starts, he belongs to the most experienced players of the current squad.
After six years at the club level, he will return to Eden, where he played for Slavia. “It's beautiful, I'm so glad that the final is being played in Eden. It's a great advertisement for Czech football, we managed to get three Czech players here. I really appreciate it, it's great,” said Barák, noting that Midfielder Tomáš Souček and defender Vladimír Coufal play for the opponent from West Ham.
“I feel a lot of emotions. I'm proud of the whole way we've come, both with the team and myself, going through all these years. It's a culmination, a point that means a lot to me. I'm going to have a lot of acquaintances here, friends, family. I'm enjoying the whole time we're living in the final,” added Barák.
Fiorentina made it to the final of the European Cup for the first time since 1990, having won the trophy so far only in the 1960/61 season in the then Cup cup winners. “Expectations are huge. We reached two finals this season, the first one we didn't succeed, we lost to Inter Milan in the Italian Cup. The favorite was clear, on the other hand, we didn't deserve to lose that match, we should have at least gone to extra time, ” said Barák.
He doesn't mind that the final will be played in a stadium with a capacity of just under 20,000 seats. “From the beginning, there were comments that the stadium was not big enough for a European final, which I can agree with. Especially teams like West Ham and Fiorentina, who have been waiting for success for a long time and have a fan base, would definitely fill a bigger stadium. On the other hand it's a beautiful, cozy and modern stadium. The fans can create a great atmosphere here. Even if the capacity is smaller, it doesn't matter at all. It won't spoil the credit of the final, on the contrary,” Barák added.