There is no such thing as an international break for Tomáš Souček.
West Ham United’s Czech Footballer of the Year has joined up with his national squad for three high-profile matches over the coming week.
First, Souček, clubmate Vladimír Coufal and his compatriots tackle one of the most difficult challenges in international football when they take on Germany in a prestige friendly in Leipzig on Wednesday evening.
For the midfielder, who scored the Hammers’ winner in Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Fulham, meeting the four-times FIFA World Cup winners is an opportunity to prepare for next summer’s UEFA European Championship finals, where the Czechs have been drawn in the same group as England and Croatia.
On the pitch, we want to play against the best teams in the world and show, if we can play against them, we can play against anyone
“Yeah, it’s a very easy game!” joked Souček, who previously faced Germany in a 2-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying defeat in Prague in 2017. “But I am glad, because the last game we played Cyprus in a friendly game, and now it will be a friendly against Germany. We will enjoy preparing because we will look at how we can play next summer. There will be similar teams, for example, England, so when we come up against Germany it is a friendly, but every man will treat it like a normal game.
“We can play maybe with friends in the garden and win 10-0, but it is only fun. On the pitch, we want to play against the best teams in the world and show, if we can play against them, we can play against anyone.”
A squad depleted by COVID-19 lost 1-0 in Scotland last time out, meaning Souček, Coufal and company need to collect six points out of six and hope the Scots fail to win either of their closing two fixtures if they are to secure top spot.
The odds may be against them but, after experiencing Saturday’s climax at London Stadium, the West Ham star is not ruling out another dramatic finish.
“We talked together when we finished the last [round of] games,” he revealed. “It will be hard but still, we have a chance. And when there’s a chance, we will believe.
“We want to win two games and, if we will be first or second, it’s time to show. We want to win and hopefully it’s going to happen that Scotland will lose or draw their two results, and we have the chance to get promoted.”
The Czech Republic's two Nations League ties, to be played on Sunday 15 November and Wednesday 18 November, will be broadcast in the UK on Sky Sports via the Red Button.