Former Czech Republic midfielder Vladimír Šmicer has announced his retirement at the age of 36, saying: "My heart wants to play on, but the body will not have it."
The former RC Lens, Liverpool FC and FC Girondins de Bordeaux player decided to bring an end to his second spell at SK Slavia Praha after Monday's 0-0 draw with FC Viktoria Plzeň, having being offered a role with the national team. Persistent knee problems have allowed him to make just eleven league appearances since the beginning of last season.
Having picked up the first title of his career with Slavia in 1995/96, Šmicer took the Ligue 1 crown with Lens two years later before joining Liverpool. At Anfield he won the UEFA Cup and FA Cup in 2000/01, and the UEFA Champions League in 2004/05, scoring against AC Milan in the final and converting the crucial shoot-out penalty in Istanbul.
A member of the Czech Republic squad beaten in the final of EURO '96™, he struck 27 goals in 81 games for his country after making his debut for Czechoslovakia in 1993. He is one of only four players to score at three UEFA European Championships along with Jürgen Klinsmann, Thierry Henry and Nuno Gomes.
Šmicer said he had accepted an offer from Football Association of the Czech Republic president Ivan Hašek to become the new manager of the national team, working alongside coach Michal Bílek. His first duties in his new position will see him fly out to the United Arab Emirates for a friendly tournament on Friday.
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