Taken from

his way into our ‘100 Players Who Shook The Kop’ countdown is the attacking Czech Republic
midfielder Patrik Berger.


Years at Liverpool: 1996 to 2003

Date-of-birth: 10/11/1973

Birthplace: Prague

Position: Attacking midfielder

Signed from: Borussia Dortmund

Games: 196

Goals: 35

Honours: FA Cup (2001), UEFA Cup (2001), Charity Shield (2001)

Signed by Roy Evans in a £3.2 million deal just months after impressing for the
Czech Republic in Euro 96, Patrik Berger made an explosive start to his
Liverpool career. A Bundesliga winner with Borussia Dortmund, he came off the
bench to net twice in only his second game – a 3-0 win away to Leicester – then
repeated the feat on his first home start as Chelsea suffered a 5-1 drubbing.
Not surprisingly, the fans took to Berger straight away following these early
goalscoring heroics, while his flowing dark locks drew an army of female
admirers. Possessing pace, skill and a thunderous shot he was a lethal weapon
in the Liverpool armory but injuries were to
frustratingly plague him for much of his time at Anfield. Despite being one of
the club’s most exciting attacking talents he fell out of favour with the
manager towards the end of the 1997/98 season and at one point looked to be on
the verge of leaving. Fortunately, for Berger, Evans was soon replaced by
Gerard Houllier and the new boss showed faith in him, for which he was rewarded
with an impressive run of form from the left-sided Czech international.
Unfortunately, he was then hit by injury again, although he recovered in time
to play a bit-part in both the FA and UEFA Cup Finals in May 2001. But with new
blood being drafted in by Houllier time was running out for Berger to stake his
claim for a regular starting place and after suffering more ill-fortune with
regards his fitness it came as a shock to no-one when he was allowed to leave
on a free transfer during the summer of 2003. He left having not fulfilled the
vast potential he arrived with but will always be warmly remembered by his many
fans at Anfield.

Sold to: Portsmouth (July 2003)

Claim to fame: Hitting the defence-splitting pass that set Michael Owen
up for the winning goal in the 2001 FA Cup Final

Did you know? He scored a penalty in Czech
Republic’s 2-1 defeat to Germany in the
final of Euro 96

Where is he now? Aston Villa

Chris Bascombe on Patrik Berger: “He was a very elegant midfield
player, with lots of skill. I remember speaking to Jamie Redknapp when Patrik
was first getting into the team and he said he was one of the best midfielders
he’s ever played against and a real class player. I think injuries took their
toll in the end but again you know Patrik left a lot of fantastic goals for us
all to remember him by, and also that pass for Michael Owen in the FA Cup Final
which helped Liverpool win that cup.”