Slavia take on Oxford University in exhibition match at new Eden stadium
The official opening of Slavia Prague's new stadium on Wednesday night was a momentous occasion for the football club, who for seven years had no ground of their own while a reconstruction project dragged on at their traditional home at Eden in Prague 10. Fourteen thousand red-and-white fans turned out to see the ultra-modern stadium, and an exhibition game between Slavia and Oxford University - the two sides having first played each other in 1899.
"The club has been associated with us for over a hundred years. The first match was back in 1899 and there are details in the clubs history again in 1907, and the final match until tomorrow was in 1936. We walked around the stadium this morning and it is marvellous. It is such a wonderfully small but modern stadium; I think there will be many fine matches there."
Oxford University student and player Lucian Weston said that playing at the stadium opening was an experience to remember.
Vladimír Šmicer - who last year returned to the club where his career began - scored the opening goal in Slavia's 5:0 win over Oxford, not that anybody was really keeping score.
So you think it's a stadium that the club and the fans can be proud of?
There is speculation that Šmicer's good friend Patrik Berger may also return to the club this summer. In any case, he was clearly glad to be back where his career started.
"It was a massive day for the Slavia Prague fans, they'd all been waiting for this day for years; it was a massive occasion. And for me it was great to be here and be part of this; I'm very proud of that."
Is it nice to be back in the Czech Republic for a while, playing football here again?
Do you think it's the sort of stadium that the club and fans can be proud of, maybe moving with it into a new era for Slavia Prague?
"I think so. I think this new stadium could be like a twelfth player for Slavia Prague. Without a doubt, this is the place where they belong; for the last few years the club has playing in different stadiums, and they never felt like they were at home. I'm sure they do feel at home now though, and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to the new season"