Smicer hangs up his boots

On Monday 9 November, 36-year-old former Czech international star and Slavia Prague veteran Vladimir Smicer said he was hanging up his boots after a spate of injury problems.

"I am not able to help Slavia on the field. I can no longer give it 100 percent," explained Smicer, who won the 2005 UEFA Champions League with Liverpool.

"My head and my heart want me to carry on but my body says no," added Smicer ruefully after playing the first half of a goalless draw with Viktoria Pilsen.

Smicer scored 27 goals in 81 games for the Czech national side from 1993-2005, featuring for the squad which finished runners-up to Germany at UEFA EURO 1996.

In 1998 he won the French league title with Lens and after joining Liverpool won the 2001 UEFA Cup before finding the net during the 'Miracle of Istanbul' in 2005.

Two years ago he returned home to Slavia, with whom he had won the 1996 league title before adding two more championships in his second spell. But recurrent cartilage problems this year has restricted him and he will now join the national side's backroom staff under new coach Michal Bilek.