Liverpool Champions League hero to stand in European elections

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From scoring the second goal in Istanbul, to campaigning to get more people exercising.

Former Liverpool midfielder Vladimir Smicer is looking to step into an alternative career.

The former Czech Republic international was part of the Liverpool side that won the cup treble under Gerard Houllier in 2001, and scored in the Champions League final in 2005 as Liverpool fought back from 3-0 down to overcome AC Milan.

But Smicer is standing in this month’s European elections but said it isn’t his ambition to be a Member of the European Parliament. He is standing because wants to help with sport and physical fitness amongst those in his country.

He said: “In the Czech Republic obesity rates among children have quadrupled in the last 15 years. More than half of the adult population of the EU are overweight or obese. Amongst children it’s one in seven. I see it in the kids around me. Fitness isn’t ‘in’.”

Smicer left Liverpool in 2005, after joining the club in 1999 for £4.2m from Lens, after he spent three years in France prior to leaving his hometown club of Slavia Prague.

He isn't the first high profile footballer to enter politics. George Weah and Socrates are amongst those who have all stood for election in their countries.

One of the most recent high profile involvement from a top footballer in politics was former AC Milan and Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko in his home country of Ukraine.

He stood for parliamentary elections in 2012 but failed to get himself elected under the banner of ‘Ukraine-Forward’ formerly the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party, whilst former Chelsea midfielder Alexei Smertin was elected into Russian politics.

Some political commentators do not rate Smicer's chances of getting elected to Brussels very highly because barely anyone has heard of his party 'Vize 2014' (Vision 2014).

It’s an interesting move for the man who was only back at Anfield last month to play in a charity game to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. But it would appear that after the European elections we may not hear too much more about Vladimir Smicer the politician if his bid to get elected falls short.

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