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Patrik Berger



Patrik Berger
Liverpool's resurgence this season has owed more than a little to Patrik Berger's new-found appetite for hard work.

Gerard Houllier always knew that the long-haired pin-up boy possessed one of the best left feet in Europe, but often had reason to question his commitment.

Former Anfield boss Roy Evans was rumoured to view Berger as a luxury player after his initial burst of goals in 1996-97 fizzled out in a series of inconsistent displays.

Berger had arrived in Liverpool as one of the stars of Euro 96, scoring in the final and overjoyed at joining the team he supported as a boy.

But until his renaissance under Houllier his career had seemingly stalled.

A rift between Berger and the Czech management saw him miss out on international selection until the qualification game against Estonia, when he marked his return with two free-kick goals.

He went on to score three more in the qualifiers and boost his impressive record at international level - 17 goals from 36 caps - although he uncharacteristically was sent off in the final qualifier against the Faroe Islands.

This red card means he will be suspended for the Czechs' opening two games, against Holland and France - a major blow to both player and country.



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