Smicer eyes European return
By Vasek Kadlec
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Vladimir Smicer is eyeing a UEFA Champions League return with Bordeaux.
Vladimir Smicer is eyeing a UEFA Champions League return with Bordeaux, bringing back memories of his glorious send-off from Liverpool.
Czech Republic playmaker Smicer ended his six-year stint at Anfield last summer by joining Bordeaux on a free transfer.
Smicer's last appearance in a Red shirt was an historic one, as he scored a goal in their stunning comeback against Milan in the Champions League final, followed by a penalty in the all-important shoot-out.
The former Lens man then returned to France to join struggling Bordeaux, but the club have turned their fortunes around this season.
Currently in second place in Ligue 1, Les Girondins are in pole position to qualify for the Champions League for next season, which has come as a nice surprise for Smicer.
"I really didn't expect it, it is a nice surprise. I didn't expect we would be so high in the league," Smicer told Idnes.
"No-one believed we could be so high, even our own fans, but as we get closer and closer their support is getting bigger and bigger.
"They feel the job could be done, but we are still far away from there, and there is lots of hard work to do yet.
"Even our management only gave us the objective of finishing in the top five. That was a daring plan taking into account we were fighting to avoid relegation last season."
Smicer says that being a Champions League winner has not been an advantage for him, as more is expected from him.
"People know it, not many players who have won the Champions League play in the French league, but it is not an advantage, maybe the opposite, as everyone expects more from you."
After spending so long with Liverpool, Smicer admitted that he is missing life at Anfield - which he still regards as a special place.
"I miss England a bit, after six years I spent there, I got used to it. I miss Anfield mostly, the atmosphere there was unique. I cannot compare it with France even if we also have great fans.
"A lot has changed at Liverpool, there are many Spaniards there now. I was also nicely surprised by the return of Robbie Fowler.
"When he played with me years ago he was one of my best friends. When he left Liverpool for Leeds and then Manchester City, we still met to go out for a meal."