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Rosicky gets emotional Sparta Prague welcome

Prague (AFP) – Tomas Rosicky on Saturday played his first game since leaving Arsenal in the summer and since stumbling off the pitch in the Czech Republic’s draw with Croatia at Euro 2016.

The 35-year-old midfielder last month signed up with Sparta Prague, the team where he had grown up.

On Saturday he came onto the pitch in the 72nd minute as Sparta drew with Mlada Boleslav 2-2 in his first game in the Czech top flight since December 2000.

“I feel well with the ball but I’m not… physically fit to play a full game,” Rosicky said after a loud welcome from 14,000 Sparta fans in the stands.

“I need another week of training. I’m very unlikely to play at Southampton” in the Europa League on September 15, he added.

The injury-prone Rosicky moved from Sparta to Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga in 2001 before moving on to Arsenal in 2006.

Rosicky captained the Czech Republic, for whom he scored 23 goals in 105 games. He quit international football after Euro 2016.

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