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Gunner Siegl on the battle with the Rangers: Quality is on Sparta’s side, we can do it for Scottish teams!

You retired to Glasgow with a score of 1: 0 as your followers after thirty years. The winning goal was scored by the holiday shooter Jiří Němec …

He didn’t really give those goals much, but if they were worth it … This great curve, maybe it was a failed center, fell under the crossbar exactly to the far pole.

In Glasgow, you lost in the overtime already 0: 2 and you could have finished, in the end you were at the goal that decided Sparta’s progress, even though they denied it to you in some statistics …

Máňa Mistr sent the ball from the right side, but I found it, their stopper (Robertson) flew into it and crossed the ball into my own goal over my leg. In some statistics this goal is managed as my own, in others I am its author. It is not important. The important thing was that we lost 1: 2, but thanks to the goal on the opponent’s field, we advanced and the great journey of competitions began. In the 2nd round we eliminated Olympique Marseille, the finalist of the previous year and the winner of the next year, to whom I gave a promotion goal. In the semifinal group, I scored probably my most famous in Letná, with which we defeated Barcelona 2: 1. Great!

Can a certain hostility be reflected in the atmosphere, whether as a reflection of the Rangers’ spring conflict with Slavia or the autumn duel in Letná, after which the then coach Gerrard accused Czech children of racism?

It can manifest itself. Sadly, a footballer like Steve Gerrard will be reduced to throwing blame on the children and insulting them, instead of acknowledging the quality of the opponent. He looked elsewhere for the reason for the defeat. Maybe our fans will be afraid there. Gerrard, on the other hand, annoyed Scottish fans with his flight to Aston Villa, which they find bad and they even write that they wish him a descent. He said he didn’t say goodbye to the players either … I talked to him about Vlada Smicr, we agreed that he was an excellent player, but even for Smicca, his behavior on the Rangers bench was disappointing.

What atmosphere did you encounter then?

Amazing, which can only be experienced in Scotland and the British Isles. When we came to warm up, there were about three thousand spectators in the auditorium of Ibrox Park. The atmosphere was fantastic during the match. They cheered for themselves, but she squeezed the maximum out of us. I wish the boys would experience that now. I remember the match very much, it was dramatic with a happy ending for us.

How do you see the chances of the current Sparta on the Rangers lawn?

Pretty positive. The Czech teams, and not only Sparta, know the British ones, especially the Scottish ones. In my opinion, quality is on our side. Sparta knocked Rangers home, then Bröndby arrives at Letná. He wants to add a few points. I believe that Sparta will advance to the next stage of the European League.

Will there be a lot of injuries on Pešek and Hložek?

They certainly will be key players for Sparta. Even Tailor may not be younger. Still, I believe he can handle the match. There are Nita, Haraslín, Hancko, Dočkal, Pavelka, Panák, and others. Coach Vrba will definitely find an adequate replacement and the team will prepare well.

What do you think the current Sparta has?

He wins at home, keeps within reach of the league. The performances are not absolutely great, but you can feel more power than a few years ago. Despite the debacle in Slovakia, I believe that he can still fight for the title.


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