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Vladimír Smicer



Vladimír Smicer
Do not be fooled by Smicer's fitful contributions to Liverpool's Premiership campaign this season - he is an established international with the record to prove it.

You do not score 16 international goals unless you can play a bit.

Whereas he plays wide midfield at club level, he prefers a Paul Scholes-style role for the national team, pushing forward just behind the front two, or playing as an out-and-out striker alongside Jan Koller.

It was in such a role that he scored three goals in qualifying, not to mention the last-minute equaliser against Russia in Euro 96 that sparked his side's run to the final.

Not that he was entirely happy.

He had to postpone his wedding, scheduled for two days before the final, only to find himself playing against Germany for the grand total of three minutes.

Smicer's delicate ball skills (do not expect too many crunching tackles) first came to light with Slavia Prague, although he really came to prominence post-Euro 96 at Lens, where he won the French championship in 1997.

If he can steer clear of the injuries which have dogged him so far at Anfield, he could have a major impact in Group D.



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