Patrik Berger retires from international football at 28

21-03-2002

Patrik BergerPatrik Berger And the biggest story today is that one of the Czech Republic's 4top footballers, Patrik Berger, has announced that he has retired from the international game. Berger, who is only 28, has missed a lot of the last two seasons due to a recurring knee injury. He gave three reasons for his retirement; a wish to devote all his energies to his club Liverpool, the desire to spend more time with his family and dissatisfaction with both the atmosphere in the Czech squad and the leadership of the Czech football association.

Patrik Berger went so far as to suggest that the Czechs need a new captain - suggesting that either his Liverpool club-mate Vladimir Smicer or Lazio's Karel Poborsky take over from current captain Pavel Nedved of Juventus. However, Smicer has apparently also said he is considering his international future, while Poborsky - who turns 30 next week - has spoken of quitting the game altogether. And hard-man defender Tomas Repka recently said he would not play for his country as long as the Czech FA remains under its current leadership.