Southeast Asia Indonesia

Persija’s Kudela Set to Lock Horns with Ronaldo in Nations League Action

Persija Jakarta defender Ondrej Kudela found himself as being one of the 20 players being called up by the Czech Republic national team for this weekend’s UEFA Nations League matches against Portugal and Switzerland. Former Slavia Prague defender Kudela is currently participating in the Czechs’ training camp before Sunday’s match against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, with the 35-year old taking time off to hand a Persija jersey to Libor Secka, a Czech diplomat overseeing the Indo-Pacific region.

Having been left out of the Czech national team following his racial abuse controversy against Glasgow Rangers’ Glen Kamara whilst being a Slavia player back in 2021, injuries to defenders Tomas Holes, Tomas Kalas, Ondrej Celustka, Lada Krejci and Tomas Petrasek meant that head coach Jaroslav Silhavy had to call upon Kudela to bolster his defense for this weekend’s UEFA Nations League matches.

Despite admitting to have struggled in keeping track of Kudela following his move to Persija, Silhavy knew that Kudela’s experience would be vital in preparing his Czech side for the two tough matches ahead of them, thus leading to the decision to include the 35-year old in his 20-man squad.

Kudela will slide into a Czech squad that include notable names such as West Ham United duo Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek, Schalke 04’s Alex Kral, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Adam Hlozek.

Amidst his preparations for Sunday’s match against Portugal in Prague, Kudela met up with Secka at the latter’s office, presenting a Persija jersey to the diplomat during the occasion. Secka took to Twitter to post the moment with a picture of himself accepting the jersey from Kudela, writing “With Ondrej Kúdela and his current @Persija_Jkt shirt on @ceskarepre_eng camp in #Prague during September International break.”

Persija fans everywhere will be hoping that Silhavy will pick Kudela as his starting defender in Sunday’s clash against a Portugal side containing stars such as Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Rafael Leao, Diogo Jota, Vitinha, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, and Joao Cancelo.

Kudela wasn’t the only Liga 1 Indonesia foreigner on international duty this week. Persija striker Abdulla Yusuf Helal was called up by the Bahrain national team to feature in Friday’s friendly against Cape Verde, while Dewa United’s Lebanese midfielder Majed Osman will participate in a training camp with his national team between September 19th and 27th.