Vladimir Smicer was born on May 24, 1973 in Decin, Czechoslovakia. In a 17 year career he represented Slavia Prague, Lens, Liverpool, Bordeaux and Slavia Prague again. He played a total of 344 games, scoring 60 times. He also played once for Czechoslovakia and then 81 times for the Czech Republic, scoring 27 goals.
Vladimir Smicer was always a fans' favourite at Liverpool but when he lifted the Champions League trophy in 2005 he went down in the history books as one of the club's true legends.
The 2005 Champions League final was Smicer's highpoint in a Liverpool shirt. The Merseysiders went in at half time 3-0 down to a rampant Milan side. But a goal from Steven Gerrard saw them pull back to 3-1 before Smicer struck a 20-yard shot past Milan keeper Dida to make it 3-2. A goal from Xabi Alonso brought the scores level at 3-3 after extra time and Liverpool won on penalties to complete the most astonishing comeback ever in a Champions League final.
Smicer then scored the decisive penalty in the ensuing shoot-out. He celebrated his converted spot kick with a kiss of his shirt's badge in front of the Liverpool fans. Moments later, Jerzy Dudek saved Andriy Shevchenko's penalty to win both the shoot-out and the final for Liverpool.
Smicer's penalty was his very last kick as a Liverpool player as he moved to Bordeaux that summer.
Smicer first shot to prominence in 1996, helping Slavia Prague reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, and winning the Czech league with them, and then starring for the Czech Republic during their run to the final of Euro 96. He signed for French club Lens, where he won a league championship in 1997-98.
He signed for Liverpool in June 1999 for £4.2 million and was part of the side that won a treble in 2001. First was a League Cup victory over Birmingham City, then an FA Cup win over Arsenal, then an extraordinary 5-4 victory over Alaves in the UEFA Cup. Late in his career he returned to Slavia Prague where he became the only player in the club's history to win three league titles.
Internationally, Smicer holds the distinction of being one of only four players to score at three UEFA European Championships – Euro 96, Euro 2000 and Euro 2004.