by Christopher KL Lau
Feted as one of the greatest and most skillful midfield players of his generation, Patrik Berger will always be remembered as one of the players who inspired the underdogs, the Czech Republic, all the way to the final of Euro 1996 where he scored in the final though they ended up losing to Germany. Berger’s form in that that tournament made the world take notice of his abilities and he secured a dream move to Liverpool and the rest, as they say is history as Berger’s silky skills and keen eye for goal entertained crowds up and down the Premier League for the best part of over a decade with further stints at Portsmouth, Aston Villa and Stoke.
Patrick Berger is in Hong Kong for the Soccer Sevens www.hksoccersevens.com and will play for the Citi All Stars team over the coming weekend.
Recently, Berger kindly shared his views and opinions on Hong Kong, Liverpool and the Czech Republic.
Have you been to Hong Kong before and what are you expecting from the Soccer Sevens tournament ?
Well I have been to Hong Kong before. This is my third time in Hong Kong and what do I expect? Haha, I don’t know as I have never played in a seven aside tournament before though it should be fun.
You were part of the amazing Czech Republic team that reached the Euro 1996 final; looking back, did you think you would get that far and how will the Czech Republic do in the upcoming tournament?
Well, you know there is a little similarity I think because in Euro 1996, the majority of the players were young and we played in the Czech league and we did not have any big stars and no one knew who we were and now the current Czech team does not really have big stars either and they are hungry and they are hungry for success and I am sure they want to show that they belong to the European Championships and as a team they play pretty well so I think they can do really well.
I read somewhere that when you were first signed for Liverpool that you felt that you had achieved all your dreams. Was your time at Liverpool, just one long ‘dream’ experiencing all those moments there?
It was a dream move for me to go to Liverpool and I was absolutely buzzing and I managed to stay there for seven years but when you play and when you are there, it is your job so you do what you have to do and we love to play football so to be able to work and play for Liverpool was like doing my hobby and to play my hobby for Liverpool was absolutely awesome. I didn’t realize, until recently, when I retired how big Liverpool Football Club is and I am proud that I am part of their history.
You scored many fantastic goals in your career. Which remains your favorite?
Probably the best goal I scored was when I was playing for Portsmouth. I scored a good goal against Manchester United as well though I don’t really rate goals like that but probably the goal for Portsmouth was the one.
Patrik Berger will play for Citi All Stars in the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens