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Busy day for Bordeaux

FC Girondins de Bordeaux have signed Vladimír Šmicer and announced head coach Michel Pavon's departure.

No fee
The 32-year-old Šmicer was available on a free transfer after helping the English club defeat AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League final last month. He came on as a substitute to score Liverpool's second goal in the 3-3 draw in Istanbul, before converting a penalty in the shoot-out.

French return
Šmicer had been with Liverpool since July 1999 when he was signed from RC Lens for €5.9m by former manager Gérard Houllier. He won the Ligue 1 title with Lens in 1997/98, having joined them two years before from SK Slavia Praha.

'Right time to leave'
"Winning the Champions League was the biggest achievement of my career, but after six years in Liverpool it was time to leave. The decision to come to France was because my family had good memories of my spell with Lens," said Šmicer, who was part of the Czech team that reached the final of EURO 96™ and the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2004™ and has scored 26 goals in 73 internationals.

Coaching change
Meanwhile, Pavon, 36, has been suffering from a heart problem which caused him to miss the last three games of the 2004/05 season. In confirming the club were looking for a successor to the former defensive midfielder who took charge in November 2003, Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud said: "Michel told us that he was not fit enough to take the team next season. Once he has recovered, he will take charge of our scouting department."