Šmicer celebrates his 45th birthday
24.05.2018, Redakce

Šmicer celebrates his 45th birthday

Slavia Legend and first Czech footballer to win the UEFA Champions league was born 45 years ago.

 
Future Slavia legend Vladimír Šmicer was born on 24th May 1973 in the North-bohemian city of Děčín. He appeared in the red-white jersey for the first time in the year 1987 and started his senior career in Slavia in 1992. After a successful European championship 1996 in England (silver medal for the Czech Republic) Šmicer signed a contract with French club Racing Lens. In 1997-98 he helped the team to lift their first ever French title.

In June 1999 Šmicer left Lens to move to Liverpool. In 2000-01 “Vladi” contributed to Liverpool’s treble and appeared in the UEFA Cup Final. Nevertheless, he gained his biggest fame in the UEFA Champions League finals in 2005. Despite being 0-3 down on half-time against AC Milan, Liverpool managed to equalize to which Šmicer contributed with second goal and after the extra-time scored the decisive penalty. A year earlier he was a member of successful Czech team on EURO 2004 (3rd place).

Šmicer – together with Milan Baroš – became first ever Czech player to win the Champions League, but the Final was also his farewell game in Liverpool as his contract was not renewed by manager Rafael Benitez. Šmicer then returned to France to play for Bordeaux. Later suffered a serious knee injury that sidelined him for more than a year and made him miss the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In July 2007 Šmicer returned to Slavia whose fans nicknamed him “the Lucky one” earlier. The following season the red & whites won their first title after 12 years and Šmicer won “Personality of the league” award. Slavia repeated their success in 2008-09 and on November 2009 Šmicer played his very last game against Viktoria Plzeň. He made his official farewell to the active career in May 2010 with a beneficiary game between Slavia and Sparta teams featuring legends of both clubs (including Pavel Nedvěd and Patrik Berger).

Later Šmicer became sports manager of Czech national team and in 2014 he shortly worked as an assistant coach of Slavia first team under the Dutch manager Alex Pastoor.

Šmicer in Slavia: 212 games (105 league games), 62 goals
In the Czech national team: 72 games, 25 goals

Czech First league title: 3x (1995-96, 2007-08, 2008-09)
Ligue 1 title: 1x (1997-98)
Coupe de la Ligue: 2x (1999, 2007)
FA Cup: 1x (2001)
Football League Cup: 2x (2001, 2003)
UEFA Cup 2001
UEFA Champions League 2005

EURO 1996: Runner-up
EURO 2004: 3rd place

 

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