Czech football legend Antonin Panenka, known for his trademark penalty kick, has been released from hospital after a Covid-19 scare, his former club said Wednesday citing his son.
“I picked up dad at the hospital at 11 am today and took him home,” Tomas Panenka told the website of the Prague-based Bohemians 1905 club of which his father is the president.
A former Bohemians and Rapid Vienna playmaker, the 71-year-old Panenka was put in intensive care in a serious condition last week after testing positive for Covid-19.
“He has now tested negative. He is still suffering from pneumonia, but doctors said he didn’t have to stay in hospital and released him,” Tomas Panenka said.
Panenka gained fame after winning the Euro 1976 final for Czechoslovakia with a cheeky decisive penalty against Germany.
Instead of blasting it into the net, Panenka fooled the diving German keeper Sepp Maier by chipping the ball into the middle of the net.
The technique referred to as a “Panenka” has since been used by greats such as Zinedine Zidane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andrea Pirlo.
The Czech Republic — a successor state to Czechoslovakia alongside Slovakia — currently registers a record growth in Covid-19 infections and ranks among the EU’s worst-affected countries.
The EU member of 10.7 million people had more than 8,000 new cases on Tuesday. Since the March outbreak, it has registered almost 130,000 confirmed cases and 1,106 deaths.