Birthdate: 28 October 1981
Birthplace: Valasske Mezirici, Czech Republic
Other clubs: Banik Ostrava (1998-2001), Aston Villa (2005-07), Lyon (2007-08), Portsmouth (loan 2008), Galatasaray (2008–13), Banik Ostrava (2/ 2013), Antalyaspor (2013-14), Banik Ostrava (3/ 2014-15), Mlada Boleslav (2015-)
Bought from: Banik Ostrava
Signed for LFC: £3.2m, 26.07.2001
International debut: 25.04.2001 vs. Belgium
International caps: 93/41 (38/23 at LFC) - 21.06.2012
Liverpool debut: 13.03.2002
Last appearance: 20.08.2005
Debut goal: 14.09.2002
Last goal: 09.03.2005
Contract expiry: 23.08.2005
Win ratio: 48.15% W:52 D:22 L:34
Games/goals ratio: 4
Honours: League Cup 2003; Champions League 2005
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 3 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 68 / 19
Total LFC games/goals: 108 / 27
Player profileCaretaker manager Phil Thompson was excited by Baros' potential as he was unveiled along with loan signing Nicolas Anelka: "Gérard and our European scout, Alex Miller, first saw him three years ago in a youth tournament when the Czech side was outstanding. We've wanted him since then, and in the same way as Gregory Vignal and the two French boys from Le Havre, Milan is a signing who makes the future of the club very bright. I would describe him as a strong, fast player. He is a goal poacher with a lot of pace." To be fair Baros looked out of shape when arriving at Anfield, but to his credit he arrived at the start of 2002/03 leaner and meaner. He scored two goals on his Premiership debut at the Reebok in a 3-2 win over Bolton. He won admiration for his sheer determination to stamp his authority on the game and his energetic runs up field with the ball at his feet were a joy to behold.
The goal-hungry striker scored 12 goals in 42 matches in his first full season but the game against Blackburn at Ewood Park on 13 September 2003 proved costly. Baros broke his ankle and was out for five months. He returned in fine form but was then dropped by Houllier who left in the summer. Baros was on the verge of quitting the club as he said Houllier had knocked the confidence out of him. In a curious way Baros' lengthy lay-off worked in his favour as he was hungry for action with the Czech Republic in the European Championships in the summer of 2004. Baros was the top-scorer of the Euros with five goals in five games as the Czech Republic reached the semi-finals. He was expected to be firing on all cylinders when he returned to Anfield with a new manager at the helm, Rafa Benítez. He scored 11 goals in the first four months of the season but then added only two goals in the remaining 24 as Liverpool won the Champions League for the first time. Rafa decided to cash in on Baros towards the end of August 2005. His greatest fault being too focused on scoring himself instead of passing to a teammate in a better position. Aston Villa paid £6.5million for the Czech star and he repaid them with disappointing 14 goals from 51 matches in a 17-month spell in the Midlands.
Baros rather curiously rejoined Houllier at French champions Lyon on 22 January 2007, considering their uneasy relationship at Liverpool. Although his new club won their sixth league championship in a row Houllier was replaced by Alain Perrin and the Czech forward played significantly less under the new manager. Towards the end of the January 2008 he was unveiled as a Portsmouth player, initially on loan until the end of the season. Baros helped Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final and he received a winners' medal after coming on as a substitute for Kanu with three minutes remaining of the final against Cardiff City. However he hadn't impressed Harry Redknapp to sign him permanently and he returned to Lyon after failing to score in 16 appearances for Pompey. Baros joined Harry Kewell at Turkish giants Galatasaray in the summer of 2008. He enjoyed a very successful first season in Turkey, scoring 20 goals from 31 league games. This was the highest total of league goals he had scored in a single season since becoming a professional footballer. He has since then taken his combined club total to close to one hundred league goals. In 2011/12 Galatasaray became Turkish champions for the first time since 2008. He scored a total of 61 goals in 116 matches in Turkey. In February 2013 the 31-year-old returned to Banik Ostrava, where he started his career. Baros finished the season with five goals for the club where he had started his professional career. The club from Ostrava ended the season in fourteenth position, just above the two relegation places. Baros returned to Turkey in July 2013 when he joined Antalyaspor.
The return to Turkey was initially positive for the Czech forward, who scored twice in 13 league matches in the first half of the 2013/14 season with two more goals coming in three domestic cup-ties. Unfortunately, he received a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury in December 2013 which cut his stay in Turkey short as he returned to the country of his birth for treatment and recuperation. He signed for Banik Ostrava but managed just eleven appearances during 2014/15, leading to his release and he joined fellow Czech 1st League club Mlada Boleslav. In 2015-16 he was used mainly as an impact player, with fifteen of his 21 appearances coming from the bench, scoring a respectable six goals.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|1||West Ham United|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|1||West Ham United|
|1||45||14.09.2002||Bolton Wanderers||Reebok Stadium||League|
The Telegraph report on Blackburn - Liverpool on 13.09.2003.More
The Telegraph report on WBA - Liverpool on 26.04.2003.More
The Telegraph report on Bolton - Liverpool on 14.09.2002.More
The Guardian on Liverpool 2 - 0 FBK Kaunas on 2 August 2005.More
Fortunately it's not too common for footballers to break their legs. One game this season saw two leg breaks. Back in the 1986/87 season, two Liverpool players broke their legs destroying their Liverpool careers.More
"If you look at the number of goals he scores for every minute he's been on the pitch, then phew! Seriously, his ratio is fantastic. Nobody knew, but I was sure that he would come here and do that. He's really coming on strong now."
Gerard Houllier in 2002 on Baros
When he first arrived I think some of my staff had thought I was already ill when I signed him! But I knew what I was signing. For the first three or four months none of my staff dared come up to me and tell me I had made a mistake in buying him, but I think in the back of their minds that is what they thought.
Gerard Houllier on Milan Baros
Milan's attitude was right from when he arrived, he just needed time. He was a young boy who had come from a small club in Czechoslovakia, with all respect to Banik Ostrava, to a big club and a big environment in Liverpool. The big difference has been in his weight and in learning English. He lost maybe three or four kilos over the summer and has looked sharp since then. We played AC Milan and he scored against them and played very well against Paolo Maldini. Maldini came to me after the game and said 'who is he? I've never heard of him.' That's how good he was. We allowed Jari Litmanen to leave because of Milan's improvement. Jari's in his 30s while Milan is still only 20, and maybe the best of Milan will not come while I am in charge.
Houllier on Milan Baros pre-season 2002
"As a striker it's always difficult to say what your targets are, but I think if I could score between 10 and 15 goals this season it would be fantastic."
Baros before the 2002-2003 season in which he scored 12 goals.
Houllier knocked the confidence out of me. I wasn't being picked and I thought it would be best to leave Liverpool in the summer. I was very hurt at not being in the side. I was fit and felt it was an injustice.
But a new coach has come in now and the situation has changed. Every player will start next season from the same point under Rafael Benitez and we will all have something to prove.
With the old manager gone, I now want to stay and be a part of it. I had lost my motivation at Liverpool and it was only when I met up with my national team-mates that I lost weight, gained some mental belief and got my motivation back."
Baros in the summer of 2004
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|Banik Ostrava||2000-2001||Czech Republic 1||26||5||26||5|
|Banik Ostrava||2001-2002||Czech Republic 1||16||11||16||11|
|Aston Villa||2005-2006||England Premier League||25||8||30||12|
|Aston Villa||2006-2007||England Premier League||17||1||21||2|
|Portsmouth||2007-2008||England Premier League||12||0||16||0|
|Banik Ostrava||2012-2013||Czech Republic 1||12||5||12||5|
|Banik Ostrava||2014-2015||Czech Republic 1||9||2||9||2|
|Mlada Boleslav||2015-2016||Czech Republic 1||21||6||21||6|