Berger returns to his roots
Czech star agrees Sparta deal
By Vasek Kadlec. Last Updated: 29/05/08 1:45pm
Berger: Going home
Patrick Berger is on his way back to Sparta Prague after penning a two-year deal.
The former Czech Republic international began his career with Sparta as a youngster, before signing his first professional contract with city rivals Slavia in 1991.
He has spent the last 12 years in England, taking in spells at Liverpool, Portsmouth, Aston Villa and Stoke.
He was released from his contract at Villa at the end of the 2007/08 season, and despite offers to remain in the Premier League has decided to return to this homeland.
"I wanted to come back at some point anyway and so I decided the time was right now," he told iDnes.
Berger admits that he was tempted to join up with former Liverpool team-mate, and long-time friend, Vladimir Smicer at Slavia, but was impressed by Sparta's determination to push a deal through.
"I did not receive an offer from Slavia and we came to terms with Sparta very quickly," he said.
"I think I have made the right decision.
"And Smicer? He told me he was looking forward to playing against me. He took it as a sportsman."
Sparta president Jozef Chovanec was also delighted to see the 34-year-old back at AXA Arena.
"Everyone is asking - why Berger?" he said.
"He grew up at Sparta and he still has considerable talent.
"He is a player of European quality who can be an inspiration to other players."