Friday, January 21

Patrik Schick: The son of the pastry chef who thrashed in the European Championship | Soccer Eurocup 2021


Patrik Schick celebrates the goal against Croatia.
Patrik Schick celebrates the goal against Croatia.Paul ELLIS / AP

Czech striker Patrik Schick’s parents are pastry chefs in Prague, but he never wanted to know anything about sweets. He also did not like much that they went to see him play as a child, especially his father, who did not stop making gestures of disappointment after each failure of his on the field. The situation destabilized him so much that one day he exploded. “I was 12 years old, I was a Sparta player and we were in a tournament. My father kept shaking his head and, when he finally yelled at me, I couldn’t hold it any longer, I turned to him and pulled my finger out, “he recalled in 2017 in a magazine in his country, Reporter. Who is playing soccer here? He or I? My father never did it again ”, he settled.

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That boy with character is 25 years old today, he is a 1.87 and has become, for the moment, the top scorer in the Eurocup, with three goals, just like Cristiano Ronaldo. The production in these first two days has placed his team with four points, second in the group after England, with which he faces this Tuesday (9:00 p.m., Telecinco), and ahead of Croatia and Scotland, who add one and cross to the same time (Be Mad). His were not just any targets either: the Balkans were punished with a penalty with a bloody nose for an elbow from Lovren that the VAR sneaked about and the 0-2 against Scotland got him from the furthest distance (45.5 meters) of which there are records. “I had studied it before. I knew that his goalkeeper stayed very high, so, when the ball was going towards me, I looked at it and threw it ”, he explained later to disprove the theory of chance.

The big events elevate teams and players, crush others, and also serve as a gateway for footballers who in the interwar periods do not transcend beyond their ecosystem. Patrik Schick is an example of this. Monchi said of him, when he signed him in 2017 for Roma, that it was “perhaps the operation of which he was most proud and satisfied” in his entire career as a sports director. 42 million cost him, the highest figure under his mandate. However, at the Olímpico it did not work: just eight goals in two seasons, very much in the shadow of Edin Dzeko.

Roma, in fact, had fallen on the rebound. Juventus had agreed to him with Sampdoria for 30 million, but medical tests detected a small problem in his heart that undid the signing. Schick was a gamble bianconera after standing out in the Samp, a team in which the coach (Marco Giampaolo) received him in the first training session with the demoralizing phrase of “What’s your name?” and where he scored 13 goals despite starting only in 14 Serie A matches. Vindication and fury alternated in equal parts that season in Genoa. There were several days of frustration, as the player later recognized, in which he came home, locked himself upside down in his room and called his people in Prague to vomit his rage. However, he attracted enough attention that Juve, through a call from his compatriot Pavel Nedved, tried unsuccessfully to buy him.

With his arrival in Turin aborted due to health issues and his stage in Rome closed due to insufficient performance, Patrik Schick now joins the German. And, without fanfare, he does it better than the Italian. In 2019 he went on loan to Leipzig, where he scored 10 goals, and a year ago Leverkusen paid 26.5 million for him, with a contribution in the first season of 13 goals. The Eurocup has sweetened his career.

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