Selassie makes mom proud
Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie is making his mother proud at Euro 2012, just not in the way she originally wanted.
Selassie's schoolteacher mum was dismayed when the gifted right back traded in his school books for football boots but the Czech team could not be more pleased he did not listen to her.
"Maybe she is a little happier now," Selassie said with a laugh about his decision to give up studying civil protection after one year to focus on football.
"But I'm sure she is still a little bit upset I left university."
Selassie, whose father is a doctor and hails from Ethiopia, also stands out as the first black player to play for the Czech national team but it is his performances on the pitch over the past year that are making people really take notice.
His penetrating runs and pinpoint crosses provide the Czechs more attacking options and he gave a lesson in doing just that in the 2-1 win over Greece when he charged down the pitch and delivered the ball perfectly to Vaclav Pilar for the second goal.
The 25-year-old is part of a young core of players whose addition to the Czech squad helped the team turn around a slow-starting qualifying campaign to reach Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
His play in qualifiers against top opponents like Spain has also attracted the attention of bigger clubs, making it possible that Selassie will ply his trade abroad next season.
The defender, who is writing a blog for the Czech daily newspaper Sport, added he may make his mother happy by returning to university one day but for the moment he plans to concentrate on a promising football career.
"I would like to move forward with my career and play for a bigger club," said Selassie, who won the Czech league with Liberec last season.
The Czechs face Poland on Saturday in their final Group A match in which a win would put them through to the knock-out stages.