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Czech striker Baros ends international career

June 22, 2012


Milan Baros during a training session. -Photo by Reuters

PRAGUE: Czech striker Milan Baros ended his international career after the Czech Republic were eliminated from Euro 2012, Czech team spokesman Jaroslav Kolar told AFP on Friday.

“He only said it to the guys in the locker room, I can't quote him,” Kolar said shortly after midnight as the team were digesting Thursday's 1-0 quarter-final loss to Portugal in Warsaw that sent them home.

“The other players and the coach reacted with a big applause that lasted about five minutes. It was pretty long and it was pretty emotional,” Kolar added.

The 30-year-old Galatasaray striker scored 41 goals in 93 games for the national team. He did not score at Euro 2012, but five goals at Euro 2004, where the flair-filled Czech team reached the semi-finals, made him the tournament's top scorer.

Baros won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, but his form has slumped since then, with the player featuring as often on the gossip pages as the sports pages.

He gradually fell out of favour with Czech fans and earned criticism from media, but remained the first-choice striker for Czech coach Michal Bilek at Euro 2012.

Baros received boos when the Czechs lost their opener against Russia 4-1, but he fought on to finally hear his name chanted by fans after both the 1-0 victory against Poland in the group and the quarter-final against Portugal.