Smicer named new Czech coach

PRAGUE - Former Liverpool midfielder and Czech Republic international Vladimir Smicer will work alongside national team head coach Michal Bilek as manager having ended his playing career on Monday, the Czech FA said in a statement.

The 36-year-old Smicer, a member of the squad that finished runners-up to Germany at the 1996 European Championship and who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, scored 27 goals in 81 internationals for the Czech Republic.

The Slavia Prague midfielder, who retired on Monday after struggling with injuries, will handle the business side of the team but work closely with Bilek, who took the top job last month after the Czechs failed to reach next year's World Cup.