Veteran Czech coach Karel Bruckner, 68, said on Thursday that he would step down following the UEFA European Championships in June.

"After 34 years as a coach I have decided to change my way of living," Bruckner told a press conference at the Czech federation (CMFS) headquarters in Prague.

Bruckner was at the helm when the Czechs reached the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2004 only to go down to surprise eventual winners Greece. At the FIFA World Cup™ in 2006 in Germany, the team crashed out in the opening phase.

This summer the Czechs will face co-hosts Switzerland in Basel to open up the event on 7 June before facing Portugal on 11 June in Geneva and then Turkey on 15 June, also in Geneva, to complete their Group A schedule.

Bruckner took over in 2002 after three years in charge of the youth squad and also managed Czech sides Sigma Olomouc, Banik Ostrava and FK Drnovic and Slovak outfit Inter Bratislava.

The popular coach is nicknamed 'Klekhi Petra' after the character of a missionary in a popular 1960s western on Czech television.

Media reports make his assistant Karel Rada his likely successor but other names include Karel Jarolim of Slavia Prague and Ivan Hasek, currently in charge of Al Ahly in the United Arab Emirates.