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Patrik Berger
Berger, Patrik.jpg
Personal information
Full name Patrik Berger
Date of birth 10 November 1973 (1973-11-10) (age 36)
Place of birth Prague, Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Left winger
Youth career
1989–1991 Sparta Prague
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1995 Slavia Prague 90 (24)
1995–1996 Borussia Dortmund 25 (4)
1996–2003 Liverpool 149 (28)
2003–2005 Portsmouth 52 (7)
2005–2008 Aston Villa 29 (2)
2006–2007 Stoke City (loan) 7 (0)
2008–2010 Sparta Prague 23 (6)
National team
1993 Czechoslovakia 2 (0)
1994–2001 Czech Republic 44 (18)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Patrik Berger (born 10 November 1973 in Prague) is a retired Czech footballer. He has played in Czech Republic, Germany, and England. He is best remembered for his time at Liverpool. He operated as a midfielder for Aston Villa until May 2008, having signed from Portsmouth on a free transfer on 1 June 2005.

The success of the Czech Republic's national team in the Euro 1996 raised the profile of many players – including that of Patrik Berger, Pavel Nedvěd, and Karel Poborský — and convinced some of Europe's most prestigious clubs to purchase them.[1] Capable of occupying midfield and forward positions, Berger became noted for his powerful strikes, surging runs, and strong left foot.[2][3] Berger has been beset with injuries throughout his career and has received specialist treatment in the United States.[4] He retired on 6 January 2010 due to knee injuries.

Contents

Club career

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Prague and Dortmund

Berger was born in Prague, then capital of Czechoslovakia. His uncle is the Czech footballer Jan Berger — He began his career as a youth player at Sparta Prague in 1989, securing a professional contract two-years later with rivals Slavia Prague.[5] Establishing himself as a senior regular, Berger competed in Europe and earned selection for Czechoslovakia and, following its establishment, the Czech Republic.[5][3][6]

After 89 league games and 24 goals, Berger was purchased by Ottmar Hitzfeld's Borussia Dortmund in 1995 for a reported £500,000.[3] His only season as a Dortmund player was frustrating and successful. While Dortmund gained the Bundesliga title and Super Cup, Berger was predominantly used as a substitute, scoring four goals in 25 league appearances. Hitzfeld preferred to employ Berger as a defensive midfielder as he considered him to be most suited to the role.[2]

Liverpool's interest in Berger was stimulated by the performances of the Czech Republic during Euro 1996, organised in England, in the final of which he scored a penalty.[3] The club approached both Berger and Karel Poborský, who elected to transfer to Manchester United after the competition's conclusion.[7] Berger did accept Liverpool's contract offer and completed his transfer in August 1996 for £3.25 million.

Liverpool

With wife Jaroslava and their two children, Berger settled in Southport, Merseyside, where he resided near retired players Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen.[8] Debuting as a substitute in a 2–1 home win against Southampton on 7 September 1996, Berger performed well in his first month with the club, endearing him to supporters and earning praise from colleagues.[5][9] Used again as a substitute in his second match, Berger scored a brace of goals in a 3–0 win against Leicester City. A second double was registered against Chelsea in the latter's 5–1 defeat at Anfield, which he followed with a fifth goal in four games in a Cup Winners' Cup match against MYPA.[10] The series of displays were recognised in October with the FA's Player of the Month award for September.[11]

You know, the greatest day in my football life was the day I signed for Liverpool. I couldn’t believe it. When I was young in Czechoslovakia, we didn’t see much European football, but my father’s friend went to England and he watched Liverpool. When he came back, he gave me the programme, the ticket and a scarf. I still have them all.

When I moved to Southport to live, my neighbour was Kenny Dalglish. Alan Hansen lived around the corner. I met them, they were normal guys, but they were my heroes. To me, it’s the best club in the world and when I am finished playing and I’m telling my children about it I will be proud to say that for seven years I was a Liverpool player.

The Sunday Times, 8 February 2004.[8]

First-team opportunities became limited in Berger's second season. Unable to reproduce earlier performances, Berger was often confined to the bench in a season punctuated by a hat-trick against Chelsea.[12][13] Berger's dissatisfaction and discord between the midfielder and manager Roy Evans placed his Liverpool career in jeopardy.[14] Evans criticised Berger's perceived indifference to teamwork and publicly expressed a willingness to sell after he refused to be used as a substitute against Bolton Wanderers in March 1998.[15][12] His agent reported to the media that Benfica, Roma and unidentified Spanish clubs were interested in arranging a transfer from Liverpool. The appointment of Gérard Houllier as co-manager before the 1998–99 season and subsequent departure of Roy Evans proved to be pivotal in Berger's decision to remain with the club.[14]

Playing regularly in his first season under Houllier's reign, Berger scored nine goals and improved as a player.[2] An injury sustained in a 4–3 defeat to Leeds United in November 2000 rendered Berger unavailable for much of the 2000–01 season and required him to travel to the United States to receive specialist treatment from Richard Steadman.[16][17] Berger recovered by March and featured in the finals of the UEFA Cup and FA Cup, in which he assisted Michael Owen to score the deciding goal against Arsenal.[17]

Recurring injuries between 2001 and 2003 further disrupted Berger's career and deprived him of a presence in the first team, resulting in his decision to leave Liverpool after the expiration of his contract on the conclusion of the 2002–03 season.[2][18] Berger had been confined to the bench for the duration of his final season when selected, limiting him to four appearances.[18] He moved on a free transfer to Portsmouth,[19] having played 196 games for Liverpool, scoring 35 goals in the process.

Portsmouth

Berger made his first appearance for Portsmouth on the opening day of the club's debut Premiership season in a 2–1 home win over Aston Villa, scoring the second goal. However, in February 2004, he was forced to undergo an operation upon his knee forcing him to miss the rest of the season. His performances at the start of the 2004–05 season indicated that a return to his best form might be on the cards.

However, he was released by Portsmouth in June 2005 and joined Aston Villa on a two year-deal.[20]

Aston Villa

Berger was hampered by injury during his early Villa career, making few league appearances. In November 2006 he was loaned to Stoke City in order to gain fitness,[21] with some reports suggesting that the player had fallen out with manager Martin O'Neill over playing in the reserve side. After his loan spell, Berger had a good spell of fitness and began to show flashes of what he was capable of, regularly showing his influence on the pitch. On April 7, Berger scored his first goal in two years against Blackburn Rovers in a 2–1 victory, where his performance was praised.[22] Berger scored again on May 5 in the penultimate game of the season against Sheffield United.[23]

On 28 May 2007, Berger agreed to sign a one-year contract extension with Aston Villa.[24]

On 6 May 2008, he was told he had played his last game for Aston Villa after urging Villa captain Gareth Barry to move to Liverpool.[25] At the end of his contract he was released by the club having appeared in just 29 matches in three seasons.[26]

Return to Prague

On 29 May 2008, Berger returned to Prague as a free agent, signing a two-year contract with Sparta Prague.[27] On 6 January 2010, he retired because of a ligament injury that he failed to recover from.[28][29]

International career

Berger has been capped 44 times, scoring 18 goals. He made his debut on 23 March 1993 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cyprus, which ended 1–1. He famously scored in the final of Euro 1996 from the penalty spot to give Czech Republic a 1–0 lead. Unfortunately for him and his team, they lost on the Golden Goal rule in extra time to Germany. He also appeared once in the Euro 2000, having been suspended after being sent off in a qualifier against the Faroe Islands.

Career statistics

[30]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Czechoslovakia League Cup League Cup Continental Total
1991–92 Slavia Prague First League 20 3 20 3
1992–93 29 10 2 0 31 10
Czech Republic League Czech Republic Football Cup League Cup Europe Total
1993–94 Slavia Prague Gambrinus liga 12 4 2 1 14 5
1994–95 29 7 4 1 33 8
Germany League DFB-Pokal Premiere Ligapokal Europe Total
1995–96 Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga 25 4 2 0 27 4
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1996–97 Liverpool Premier League 23 6 2 0 3 1 6 2 34 9
1997–98 22 3 1 0 2 1 2 0 27 4
1998–99 32 7 2 0 1 0 6 2 41 9
1999–2000 34 9 1 0 2 0 37 9
2000–01 14 2 1 0 1 0 5 0 21 2
2001–02 21 1 1 0 8 0 30 1
2002–03 2 0 1 1 1 0 4 1
2003–04 Portsmouth Premier League 20 5 1 0 2 0 23 5
2004–05 32 3 2 0 3 0 37 3
2005–06 Aston Villa Premier League 8 0 1 0 9 0
2006–07 13 2 1 0 14 2
2006–07 Stoke City Championship 7 0 7 0
2007–08 Aston Villa Premier League 8 0 1 0 9 0
Czech Republic League Czech Republic Football Cup League Cup Europe Total
2008–09 Sparta Prague Gambrinus liga 21 6 4 2 4 0 29 8
2009–10 2 0 2 0
Total Czechoslovakia 49 13 2 0 51 13
Czech Republic 64 17 4 2 10 2 78 21
Germany 25 4 2 0 27 4
England 236 38 11 0 18 3 28 4 293 45
Career Total 374 72 15 2 18 3 42 6 449 83

Honours

Borussia Dortmund
1995
1995–96
Liverpool
2001
2001, 2003
2001
2001
2001

References

  1. ^ Harris, Nick (2002), Demoralised Slovaks put hope before expectation, 9 October 2002, independent.co.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d Patrik Berger, lfchistory.net. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d Matthews, Tony (2006), p29
  4. ^ 23 Patrik Berger, soccernet.espn.go.com. Retrieved 4 March 2008.
  5. ^ a b c *Past Player Profile: Patrik Berger, liverpoolfc.tv. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  6. ^ Patrick Berger, uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. Retrieved 12 February.
  7. ^ Mills, Bill (1996), Czech Mates!; Fergie has never had a go at my hair says Karel, Sunday Mirror, 20 October 1996, findarticles.com. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
  8. ^ a b Sunday Times (2004), Berger shaping up for battle, 8 February 2004, timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
  9. ^ Berger Sparks Liverpool Goal-rush, 22 September 1996, 4thegame.com. Retrieved 14 February 2008.
  10. ^ Berger looks to increase his tally, 29 September 1996, 4thegame.com. Retrieved 14 February 2008.
  11. ^ Evans insists Collymore stays, 11 October 1996, 4thegame.com. Retrieved 14 February 2008.
  12. ^ a b Berger Boost for Evans, 4thegame.com. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  13. ^ Hetherington, Paul (1998), Football: You're in for a serious Czech-up, Sunday Mirror, 15 November 1998, findarticles.com. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  14. ^ a b Hetherington, Paul (2000), Football: Berger relishing life without Roy; How Houllier Saved Red, Sunday Mirror, 13 February 2000, findarticles.com. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  15. ^ Football: Berger and Liverpool set for parting of the ways, The Independent, 12 March 1998, findarticles.com.. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  16. ^ BBC News (2001), Berger seeks all-clear stateside, 13 January 2001, news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2008.
  17. ^ a b Past Player Profile: Patrik Berger, liverpoolfc.tv. Retrieved 26 February 2008.
  18. ^ a b BBC Sport (2003), Berger signs for Portsmouth, 6 June 2003, news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  19. ^ "Portsmouth capture Berger". UEFA.com. 2003-06-06. http://www.uefa.com/footballeurope/news/kind=2/newsid=73572.html. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  
  20. ^ "Berger set for Aston Villa move". BBC. 2005-05-17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/a/aston_villa/4554201.stm. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  
  21. ^ Stoke complete Berger loan swoop
  22. ^ Blackburn Rovers 1 Aston Villa 2: Berger answers O'Neill SOS to give Rovers their chips - Premier League, Football - The Independent
  23. ^ Aston Villa 3 Sheffield United 0: Imperious Berger helps Villa to evoke memories of 1982 - Premier League, Football - The Independent
  24. ^ Berger agrees to stay with Villa
  25. ^ "Berger is shown door by O'Neill". BBC Sport. 2008-05-06. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/a/aston_villa/7386252.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-06.  
  26. ^ "Villa release Sorensen and Berger". BBC Sport. 2008-05-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/a/aston_villa/7403464.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-06.  
  27. ^ "VILLA FANS BEG BARRY TO STAY". Daily Star. 2008-05-30. http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/39234/Villa-fans-beg-Barry-to-stay/. Retrieved 2010-01-06.  
  28. ^ Berger beendet Karriere
  29. ^ "Former Liverpool midfielder Patrik Berger retires". BBC Sport. 2010-01-06. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/8443744.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-06.  
  30. ^ Patrik Berger | Aston Villa | Squad | First Team | Player Profiles

External links


Simple English

Patrik Berger
Personal information
Full name Patrik Berger
Date of birth 10 November 1973 (1973-11-10) (age 37)
Place of birth    Prague, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
1991-1995
1995-1996
1996-2003
2003-2005
2005-2008
2006
2008-2009
Slavia Prague
Borussia Dortmund
Liverpool
Portsmouth
Aston Villa
Stoke City (loan)
Sparta Prague
National team
1993
1994-2001
Czechoslovakia
Czech Republic

Patrik Berger (born 10 November 1973) is a former Czech football player. He has played for Czechoslovakia national team and Czech Republic national team.

Club career statistics

[1] [2]

Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
CzechoslovakiaLeague Czechoslovak Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
1991/92Slavia PragueFirst League203203
1992/9329102910
Czech RepublicLeague Czech Republic Football Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
1993/94Slavia PragueGambrinus liga124124
1994/95287287
GermanyLeague DFB-Pokal Premiere Ligapokal EuropeTotal
1995/96Borussia DortmundBundesliga25420274
EnglandLeague FA Cup Football League Cup EuropeTotal
1996/97LiverpoolPremier League236203162349
1997/98223102120274
1998/99327201062419
1999/003491020-379
2000/01142101050212
2001/02211100080301
2002/032000111041
2003/04PortsmouthPremier League2051020-235
2004/053232030-373
2005/06Aston VillaPremier League800010-90
2006/071320010-142
2006/07Stoke CityLeague Championship700000-70
2007/08Aston VillaPremier League800010-90
Czech RepublicLeague Czech Republic Football Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
2008/09Sparta PragueGambrinus liga216216
2009/102020
CountryCzechoslovakia 49134913
Czech Republic 63176317
Germany 25420274
England 2363811018328429345
Total 3737211018330443279

International career statistics

[3]

Czechoslovakia national team
YearAppsGoals
199320
Total20
Czech Republic national team
YearAppsGoals
199431
199577
1996123
199721
199842
199973
200031
200140
Total4218

References


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