Birthdate: 24 May 1973
Birthplace: Decin, Czech Republic
Other clubs: Slavia Prague (1987-96), Lens (1996-99), Bordeaux (2005-07), Slavia Prague (2 / 2007-09), Dolni Chabry
Bought from: Lens
Signed for LFC: £3.75m, 24.05.1999
International debut: 27.10.1993 vs. Cyprus
International caps: 81/27 (38/10 at LFC) - 16.11.2005
Liverpool debut: 07.08.1999
Last appearance: 25.05.2005
Debut goal: 15.01.2000
Last goal: 25.05.2005
Contract expiry: 13.06.2005
Win ratio: 55.43% W:102 D:40 L:42
Games/goals ratio: 9.68
Honours: FA Cup 2001; League Cup 2001, 2003; Champions League 2005; UEFA Cup 2001
LFC league games/goals: 121 / 10
Total LFC games/goals: 184 / 19
Player profileOne of Czech Republic's brightest football stars. Smicer was a success in France with Lens after leaving his native country. He was a key player as Lens captured the French title in 1997/98 making 28 appearances and scoring seven goals. Smicer's progress at Liverpool was certainly not helped by the numerous injuries he picked up that disrupted his run in the side, but on the whole he lacked consistency. Even though he regularly outshined everybody at the training ground he didn't show off his talents at a regular rate in competitive matches.Truly the nicest fella' you could ever meet but that doesn't count on the field. Of the 184 matches he played he was substitute on no less than 74 occasions and he was taken off in 83 of the 110 matches he started.
A highlight of Smicer's Liverpool career was his sensational last-minute winner against Chelsea on 24 March 2002 that sent the Reds top. "Vladi" seemed totally to have lost his way at Liverpool following the 2002/03 season when he sat on the bench 11 times without making an appearance and admitted his future was bleak. "I would not have been surprised had the manager said there was no place for me. Now I have one more chance - the last one. I think a few of the fans don't like me. Sometimes when you lose the ball you can hear that they are not happy," Smicer said. As Houllier departed the following season Smicer hoped for a second chance under Benítez, but he underwent an operation on a fractured cartilage in the summer of 2004 and wasn't ready for action until February 2005. He made only two starts in the 16 matches he featured in under Rafa, but ended his Liverpool career in style in the Champions League final against Milan by scoring Liverpool's second goal and in the penalty shoot-out. Smicer enjoyed the moment and lit up a celebratory cigar. "This one was enormous - it was the biggest in the world - as big as the room!," Smicer said smiling. "Every time I went to relight it, it seemed to be the same size - it lasted all night!"
As Smicer's Liverpool contract had expired he moved to France with Bordeaux where he also unfortunately struggled with injuries as well after his return to his first club in the Czech Republic, Slavia Prague. While Smicer's contribution was minimal Slavia won the national title two years running. In November 2009 Vladi Smicer announced his retirement as a player at the age of 36 and became the assistant of the Czech Republic's head coach, Michal Bilek. "My heart wants to play on, but the body will not have it," he said. Smicer still enjoys a run-out with his local team, Dolni Chabry, which is situated in the suburbs of Prague and plays in the Czech Republic's sixth division. Smicer's role with the national team has since been changed from assistant to sports manager working alongside coach Bilek.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|5||West Ham United|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|1||West Ham United|
|50||10.01.2001||Crystal Palace||Selhurst Park||League Cup|
Vladi Smicer's chat to fans on UEFA.com prior to the Champions League final in 2007.More
Liverpool Daily Post match report on Sheffield Wednesday - Liverpool on 07.08.1999. More
An interview with Vladi Smicer from UEFA.com on 28th of September 2006.More
An article by Paul Marshall from Soccernet on 11th September 2006.More
There has been a lot of activity on Liverpool's behalf in the transfer market in the summer and we wanted to refresh your memories how Liverpool has done in the market in recent years.More
Match report from Liverpool - Chelsea on 24.03.2002 from The Telegraph.More
BB, the former editor of Teamtalk sent us a good story of Vladi and Paddy celebrating the Worthington Cup final win in unusual style in 2001! More
"I played some bad games, there were games when I was so disappointed with myself and for the supporters because I know I could play better.
I thought my best games were in a more central position but it's hard for the manager because since I've been at Liverpool every midfield player has wanted to play in the centre. I understand that but for the Czech team I play behind one or two strikers."
"Last season was a nightmare for me. I would not have been surprised had the manager said there was no place for me. Now I have one more chance - the last one. I have to show that I'm good enough. Harry has arrived and it's a challenge but sometimes you can perform better in those circumstances. As long as I feel I can give something to the team I'll carry on. I think a few of the fans don't like me. Sometimes when you lose the ball you can hear that they are not happy."
Smicer in 2003
"If you are feeling down in the dumps Vladdy will cheer you up. He is exactly the same off the field as he is on it — always bubbly and smiling."
Owen in 2001 on Smicer
"I like it here and don't want to leave. It's just down to getting fit and playing as much as I can before the end of the season. I must not set too many questions for myself at once. I just need to be patient and the manager will decide. It's difficult for Benitez because he has only seen me for a short period of time in pre-season training, which is not enough. Hopefully my luck will change and I can stay fit and start enjoying my football again because it was a really sad year for me."
Smicer in Feb 2005
"It's sad for me to be leaving because when you spend six years of your life at a club, it will always be in your heart. Liverpool is one of the biggest and best clubs in the world so I'm sorry to be leaving. I was sad I didn't get the chance to play for the final time at Anfield, but perhaps I will be back next season with a different club. I would like to stay here because, for me, the Premiership is the best league in the world.
The highest point was obviously winning five winners' medals in 2001. That was a great season for us. My biggest regret is my injuries. I had a difficult start and it seemed every time I was finding some form I was injured. I know not everyone liked me as a player, but I had a lot of supporters and good friends here and I just wish I hadn't suffered so many injuries because then I could have shown more consistency. I feel my best games came when I played in a more central position where I could get involved more. I was never a winger."
Smicer on 18.05.2005
"This one was enormous - it was the biggest in the world - as big as the room! Every time I went to relight it, it seemed to be the same size - it lasted all night!"
Vladimir Smicer, who scored a goal and a penalty in Liverpool's defeat of AC Milan, recalls his giant celebratory cigar
"Vladi was really funny and he is a really good player who did really important things for this club. He was always smiling and despite him being injured for a long time he always had a great attitude and he brought a smile to the changing room. He is a really nice guy."
Alonso on Vladi Smicer in October 2006
"Vladi was a bit unlucky in his time here. Maybe he left it all to the last game and peaked in Istanbul. He scored a very good goal for us and then scored a penalty. He did tremendously well. He was one of the nicest guys you could meet, always friendly and always having a laugh. He was a top man."
Didi Hamann on Vladimir Smicer