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Former Liverpool top scorer seals free transfer

Milan Baros

Former Liverpool and Aston Villa forward Milan Baros has signed a deal with Antalyaspor.

It should be a quiz question for football trivia buffs; who was the top league scorer in Liverpool's 2004/05 Champions League 'miracle' season?

The answer is none other than Milan Baros, whose total of just nine Premier League goals bettered all teammates as the Reds slipped to finish fifth in the table.

In all competitions, he shared the honour with 13, with the Champions League heroics of Steven Gerrard and Luis Garcia ending up on the same total.

Czech striker Baros was a young talent tipped for the top at Liverpool, but one who failed to fulfill the early promise he displayed in his career.

Back in 2004/05 he was coming off a Euro 2004 tournament in which he finished as top scorer, but even his tally of nine Premier League goals was a poor one by the standard Liverpool's fans demand of a top striker.

Just three months after Liverpool's Champions League success of 2005, Baros was sold that August to Aston Villa for £6.5 million.

Injury and an inability to make his stamp on a Villa side in transition saw him sold two years later, after netting just 14 goals for the club.

Gerard Houllier, the man who bought him for Liverpool originally, was behind the move to sign him for Lyon, but when the Frenchman was dismissed from his role, Baros found himself out of favour and loaned back to Portsmouth after just six months, featuring in Pompey's FA Cup winning run.

He was then signed by Galatasaray, a club where the striker at last found some real stability in terms of his career. He had a storming start, scoring 20 league goals in his first season, which dipped to 11 in his second, albeit in 14 fewer starts.

An eight goal tally in 2011/12 sealed his fate, as Galatasaray moved to sign Trabzonspor's Burak Yilmaz. When Didier Drogba was signed in January, he had not played a single game and it was clear Baros' time at the club was quickly running out. So they agreed to cancel his contract and make him a free agent, where he signed a short-term deal with Czech club Banik Ostrava.

Baros got playing and scoring again, which has become key in his latest move. The 31-year-old had offers from China, but preferred to play in Europe, and there were numerous offers from Turkey.

It was confirmed on July 11, that Baros has signed a deal with Antalyaspor, who finished seventh last season and just missed out on a European place.

He will want to show he still has plenty to offer and prove a point to Galatasaray. Whether he can or not, may just decide whether a Chinese move comes sooner rather than later or if at all.

image: © ptllhrs

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