Vladimír Smicer has been speaking to Czech newspaper DNES about his career and choices made in it.
In 2005, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez decided that it wasn’t the best idea to renew the player’s contract and that he’d be allowed to leave the club on a free transfer.
There was just the matter of a Champions League final to get through, and then Smicer would find himself a free agent. Turning 32 years of age the day before the match against AC Milan, Smicer was named on the bench and hoped he’d get the chance to come on.
That happened more quickly than he’ll have expected, with Harry Kewell forced to leave the pitch after picking up an injury. When Smicer came on it was 1-0 to Milan but they soon made it 3-0 before the comeback started.
Steven Gerrard scored, then Smicer soon followed before Xabi Alonso got the equaliser. The former Czech international also scored the decisive penalty, his last kick for Liverpool.
Then it was a matter of choosing where to go, and West Ham and Fulham were interested.
Despite the chance to stay in English football, the veteran wanted to go somewhere calmer, so chose Bordeaux.
“I didn’t want to go to England after the end of Liverpool, although I was wanted by West Ham and Fulham.”
He stayed at the French club for two seasons, before ending his career at his first club Slavia Prague.