Vladimír Šmicer Exclusive Interview and Euro 2024 Predictions

Updated: 32

Vladimir Smicer exclusive interview: Florian Wirtz could be next Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool, Arne Slot is nothing like Jurgen Klopp, Mohamed Salah could follow Cristiano Ronaldo, we couldn’t walk after wild trophy celebrations led by Jamie Carragher

Vladimír Šmicer Exclusive Interview and Euro 2024 Predictions
In this article: Euro 2024
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Vladimir Smicer Gives his Predictions for Euro 2024

Vladimir Smicer shares his insights and predictions for Euro 2024, discussing potential winners, standout players, and high hopes for England, while reminiscing about Euro 1996 and evaluating key Czech players and talents.

🏆 Vladimir Smicer's Euro 2024 Predictions! 🏆

🇫🇷 France and England as potential winners.

 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England** has a particularly strong squad.

🥇 Predicts Kylian Mbappe to win golden boot

⭐ Names Florian Wirtz as a dark horse contender for golden ball

Match predictions:

- 🇨🇿 vs 🇵🇹: 2-1 

- 🇨🇿 vs 🇬🇪: 1-0 

- 🇨🇿 vs 🇹🇷: 2-2

Vladimir Smicer Euro 2024 Predictions
Vladimir Smicer
80 Caps for Czech Rep and scored at Euro 2000
Betano

Q: Who will win Euro 2024?

VS: ”It's quite difficult because I don't think there's a main favourite for the competition. I can see a few teams and of course the favourites are France and England. 

“I think England have a big squad and very good offensive players and are also strong at the back. I can see England probably winning it this summer.”

EURO2024 Betting Odds

All odds tables on this page are sourced live from the displayed betting sites. Once the market is closed, no odds box will appear.

Euro 2024 13 Jun @ 01:48 - Win Tournament
England 4.50
France 5.00
Germany 6.50
Portugal 9.00
Spain 9.50

Q: Who will win the Golden Boot at Euro 2024?

VS: “My favourite player among the strikers is Kylian Mbappe. I know Harry Kane is the main man for England and can score from any situation

“But I think I will go for Kylian Mbappe. He's calm, he knows has a contract at Real Madrid and I think France are a strong team that can score some goals. I’ll go for Kylian Mbappe.”

EURO2024 Golden Boot Betting Odds

All odds tables on this page are sourced live from the displayed bookmakers. Once the market is closed, no odds box will appear.

Euro 2024 13 Jun @ 01:48 - Top Goalscorer
Kylian Mbappe 5.50
Harry Kane 6.50
Cristiano Ronaldo 13.00
Romelu Lukaku 15.00
Phil Foden 26.00

Q: Who will win the Golden Ball at Euro 2024?

VS: “I like Florian Wirtz from Bayer Leverkusen. He's a great player, he's having a fantastic season.

“I think he's in top form and hopefully he will not be too tired to perform for Germany. I think if they want to do well, he has to play well. And if he plays well, they can go far. 

“So I’ll go for Florian Wirtz. A name that maybe nobody's thinking about, but I think he's a great player.”

Q: Who are your dark horses at Euro 2024?

VS: “I think Holland can do well, I think they have a good team and only lost to Argentina in the last World Cup. They did well in 1988, winning it in Germany. They feel like they are at home because it’s so close to their country.

“I think they could be the dark horse, they have a lot of quality.”

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Q: How far will the Czech Republic get at Euro 2024?

VS: “I'd like to see them going through from the group. That's always our main target. We are not looking for the quarter -finals, semi-finals or the finals. 

“I think our main target is to get through from the group and then anything else is going to be like a bonus. We are 36th in the FIFA rankings so we are definitely not the favourites.”

Q: Who will be Czech Republic’s star player at Euro 2024?

VS: “I think if the Czech Republic are going to do well we need to have a good goalkeeper. We’ve got two good goalkeepers from Slavia Prague in Jindrich Stanek and the other is Matej Kovar from Leverkusen.

“I think they'd be important. But of course, Tomas Soucek and Patrik Schick up front. Schick is a very good and dangerous player, so he can score goals. These three people will be really important for us.”

Q: Could Adam Hlozek catch the eye of Premier League clubs?

VS: “Adam Hlozek is a really promising player, still young, very talented but of course it's difficult for him playing regularly for Leverkusen because the quality of the squad is big. 

“So he's one of them and I would like to say one more player, central defender from Victoria Pilsen, Robin Hranac. Nobody knows him but he's a very, very good player. 

“He plays good passes from the back and he's fast. So he could surprise many people in the Premier League.”

Q: What do you make of the new Czech Republic kits?

VS: “I think the kit I’ve got on is probably better, it’s more fun and colourful. The new ones do have a classic feel and hopefully they’ll be winning shirts.

“The most important thing is having the classic colours, white and red, but the one I’m wearing is more entertaining.

“The kit I’m wearing looks simple, but it's not that simple because this kit is from Euro 96 and we had prepared this kit after the final if we had won.

“Unfortunately, we lost to Germany. So it stayed in the dressing room. We could never show it to the world. But I kept it and I wanted to wear something special. 

“Hopefully I can show it to the current team and it could be an inspiration for them to win Euro 2024, which would be a massive surprise but like in Euro 1996, you never know.”

I prefer the kit I'm wearing, it's more fun and colorful. The new ones are classic but hopeful winners. The kit I'm in is from Euro '96, kept hidden after our loss to Germany. Hope it inspires the team for a surprise win in Euro 2024! 🎨⚽️

Vladimir Smicer's Nostalgic Kit Inspiration for Euro 2024 🇨🇿

Q: What are your memories of playing at Euro 1996?

VS: “We were happy to even qualify. We knew it was going to be a fantastic European Championship in England and we had been drawn to play at Anfield and Old Trafford.

“For us, that time was a dream come true to play at these two stadiums. For me, I scored my first international goal and it was against Russia at Anfield. I always ask fans if they know where I scored my first goal for the Czech national team, it was at Anfield. Nobody knows that. 

“We didn't play great football for the fans, but we were tough to beat. We played well defensively and with a little bit of luck we went into the final. Unfortunately we lost by a single goal but I think in total Germany deserved to win the tournament. We were lucky losers.”

Q: What are your memories of Karel Poborsky’s famous scoop goal?

VS: “Karel Poborsky’s goal was great, that’s the goal that got us into the semi-finals, which was a surprise even for us.

“I played with Karel that season for Slavia Prague and he did that a few times in the Czech league. So I knew he's capable of doing it, but of course in a game like this against Portugal in the quarter-finals, it was a great goal.

“He was a very, very skilful player, Karel, and he showed that in that game.”

Q: What will Czech Republic fans bring to the tournament?

VS: “Czech Republic fans, I expect them to have a lot of fun. We are neighbours with Germany, so will have full support from the fans. Germany and the Czech Republic are beer countries, so there will be a lot of beer. I really expect our fans to be great at all European Championships and World Cups.

“It's going to be great support for our team. I don't think we have aggressive fans, we are friendly fans. I don't see any problems.”

Q: What is your prediction for Czech Republic vs Portugal?

VS: “I think it's good that we play our first game against the favourite of the group because the first games are always a bit tight and the teams are nervous.

“Of course, we are underdogs in this game. They are big, big favourites. They were a really, really good team.

“On paper, we should lose. But you never know. My prediction is that I can see us losing more than getting a draw. But in reality sometimes it's different.

“I think if we lose, we lose by one single goal. My prediction is 2 -1 to Portugal.”

Portugal v Czech Republic 13 Jun @ 01:48 - Full Time Result
Portugal 1.53
Draw 4.33
Czech Republic 6.25

Q: What is your prediction for Czech Republic vs Georgia?

VS: “if we don't get the results in the first game, then the game against Georgia is going to be crucial for us. But They'll be playing with their hearts and they'll be playing for the fans. 

“It's their first time in the European Championship. It won't be easy to break them down, but we have to iif we would like to qualify, we have to win so I'll go for 1-0 for us.”

Georgia v Czech Republic 13 Jun @ 01:48 - Full Time Result
Georgia 4.60
Draw 3.70
Czech Republic 1.83

Q: What is your prediction for Czech Republic vs Turkey?

VS: “I'm happy to play the last game against Turkey because we know how to play them. 

“Of course, the last few games against them we lost, but we are always quite confident playing Turkey. So I think it's going to be a draw and we will qualify for the next round. 2-2.”

Georgia v Czech Republic 13 Jun @ 01:48 - Full Time Result
Georgia 4.60
Draw 3.70
Czech Republic 1.83

Q: Would you rather Cristiano Ronaldo be starting or on the bench against you?

VS: “I'd like to see Cristiano Ronaldo playing. He's a legend of the game alongside Lionel Messi. In the last few years they dominated the game and he's an unbelievable player. Of course, now I haven’t seen as much against him in Saudi Arabia.

“I don't know what form he is in, but he still looks fit, very fit. Maybe he won't be starting regularly for Portugal because they've got really, really good young players and talented players. But I'd like to see him playing from the start against the Czech Republic.”

Q: Who is the greatest player ever, Messi or Ronaldo?

VS: “Well, Messi and Ronaldo are different players. I think Ronaldo is more physical and he can score with headers and pure power, with the left or right foot. 

“Messi, in my opinion, is more clever and his dribbling is unbelievable. He can beat players in small spaces and it's always a little bit unfair to compare them because they have both done so well.

“If I have to choose one to play with, I’d go for Messi. I’d go for him because I like his style. But as I have said, I respect them both. They're unbelievable for the game.”

Q: Will England end their trophy drought this summer?

VS: “Maybe England have struggled to win tournaments because they are a little bit tired at the end of the competition. The season is long for the players.

“I saw the quality of Steven Gerrard, Emile Heskey and Jamie Carragher among others when I played at Liverpool and always felt as though England were favourites and have been surprised when they fell.

“But this year I think they got a really big chance to win because of Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka. You get so much quality up front, Jack Grealish and others, even at the back.

“They have a strong midfield and so much creativity, Kane is still in the form, he scored so many goals for Bayern Munich this season. So I don't see why England this year can't win. 

“I think they have a really, really massive chance to win the competition having done well in the World Cup and getting to the final at the last Euros.

“So it's getting closer and closer in my opinion. If the Czechs go out of the tournament, I'm definitely going to support England at the later stage.”

Q: Do you want to see Trent Alexander-Arnold play for England this summer?

VS: “At the moment with Trent Alexander-Arnold, people often say that he is one of the best going forward but not as good as a defender. It’s true that he has played so well going forward but defensively he is weak.

“It's going to be interesting to see what happens in summer. I think he's got one more year left on his contract and a new coach is coming. So, well, it's going to be interesting. 

“He has done remarkably well for Liverpool. But his position is a little bit in between. Sometimes it's tough to really describe what is going to be his main role.”

Vladimir Smicer Profile

Vladimír Šmicer (Born May 24, 1973) is a retired professional footballer from the Czech Republic who played as a midfielder. His performances in top-tier European football clubs like Liverpool, Lens, Bordeaux, and Slavia Prague reinforced his status as a notable player in the football world.

Early Career

Šmicer's football journey began at Slavia Prague, where he played a significant role in the team reaching the UEFA Cup semi-finals during 1995-96 season. His performances caught the attention of the French club, Lens, which he joined in 1996. Creating history, he led the team to their first Ligue 1 title victory in 1998, scoring seven goals that season.

Liverpool

In 1999, Šmicer was signed by Liverpool for £4.2 million. Throughout his six-year stay, he contributed to notable victories, including the UEFA Cup, the League Cup, and the FA Cup, known as the treble in 2001 followed by capturing the League Cup once again in 2003. But, his standout moment came in 2005 during the UEFA Champions League final against Milan where he scored an unforgettable goal that was instrumental to the team's victory.

Later Career and Retirement

After his tenure with Liverpool, Šmicer joined Bordeaux in 2005; however, repeated injuries limited his time on the field. He redirected his journey back to Slavia Prague in 2007, contributing to the team’s victorious league campaign after 12 years. Šmicer concluded his professional football career in 2009.

International Career

Šmicer's international career was highlighted by his performances in three UEFA European Championships with the Czech Republic. He earned 80 caps for the team and scored 27 times. Šmicer also achieved the honour of scoring in three consecutive European Championships, but due to injury, was unable to play in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Retirement

Post-retirement, Šmicer moved into the managerial side of the sport, beginning with his role as the sports manager for the Czech national team. His contributions to the sport continue, as he remains involved on the periphery of football. 

May 2024 Interview

Speaking exclusively to OLBG, Vladimir Smicer has picked Florian Wirtz as his dream Liverpool signing and explained why Arne Slot is nothing like Jurgen Klopp.

The Champions League winning former Liverpool midfielder has also urged the club to let Mohamed Salah decide his own future this summer and also play on until he’s 40.

Smicer has also discussed how Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler were ‘unstoppable’ after trophy celebrations at Liverpool and how one night one left them stuck on the coach.

Q: Who would be your dream Liverpool signing this summer?

VS: “If I could urge Liverpool to sign anyone this summer it would be Florian Wirtz, who is a player that reminds me of Phillipe Coutinho.

“Liverpool fans love that type of player, Bobby Firmino was another player who was very popular, so I’d go with Wirtz.”

Q: What will Arne Slot bring to Liverpool after replacing Jurgen Klopp?

VS: “I met Arne Slot when Slavia Prague played Feyenoord twice so I saw his work. His system and his mentality is all about being calm. He’s really good.

“His team knows exactly how he wants to play and I hope he can bring that to Liverpool.

“Of course, it won't be easy for anybody to replace Jurgen, but that's football. Steven Gerrard left Liverpool and now Jurgen is leaving Liverpool. That's football. 

“We need to overcome these things as a club and I think Arne Slot could be the right man. He’s more reserved than Klopp and not as loud, but all coaches show different emotions.

“Everybody in the city loves Jurgen and I hope Arne Slot can earn the same reaction, he will have a really good squad to work with and I can’t see any reason why he can’t continue the work he has done with Feyenoord.

Q: Will Arne Slot need to convince Liverpool players of his methods?

VS: “Arne Slot will have to convince his players that his system is the way to move forward. The important thing is that the players believe in the training and the new routine and that he can cope with the pressure.”

Q: Would you urge Liverpool to keep hold of Mohamed Salah this summer?

VS: “It’s a very tough situation with Mohamed Salah, he may be getting older but he’s still Liverpool’s best striker, scoring so many goals and breaking records.

“Of course the new manager is coming in and it will be a tough decision, but he deserves so much respect for what he has done for Liverpool. I would let him decide what he wants to do this summer. Never force him out of Anfield.

“He’s got one more year on his contract so it’s about seeing what his plans are, physically he looks like he could pay for another three or four years.

“Just look at Ronaldo, he’s still playing at 39 and hasn’t lost his legs. Salah could do the same.”

Q: Will Steven Gerrard still be Liverpool manager one day?

VS: “At the moment Steven Gerrard is a long way from the Liverpool job being in Saudi Arabia, but he still has a great chance of taking over at Anfield one day.

“He has the potential to be a great coach and one day he might be the solution for Liverpool. I hope it will happen, I want to see it and it would be incredible to see him back there.”

Q: Was Thierry Henry robbed of the Ballon d’Or to Pavel Nedved?

VS: “The voters picked the winner as Pavel Nedved, but both players were incredible. In 2003 Thierry Henry was unstoppable in the league and was incredible on the ball, but Pavel had a great season as well and led Juventus when they were dominating in Italy.

“Both players had a great chance but only one could win. The votes were close and I'm happy that it was Pavel because he's a Czech player and that was a great honour for us, for Czech football, that we got a Golden Ball winner. 

“So, of course, I like Thierry, we are good friends and he deserved to win the Ballon d 'Or as well because he's an incredible player and I love him so much.”

Q: Did Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler party the hardest at Liverpool?

VS: “English guys like Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler were always unstoppable both on and off the pitch, they always led our celebrations.

“Robbie had great humour and Carragher did as well, we loved celebrating trophies.

“In 2001 we won three cups and we also celebrated qualifying for the Champions League by beating Charlton. After we won we took the bus back to Liverpool and we couldn’t walk, we all just stayed lying on the bus.

“It was a tough week, three games in seven days, we won two cups, qualified for the Champions League. So I can tell you, when we came back to Liverpool, you couldn't recognise us.”

Q: Could more stars from the Czech Republic be on the way to the Premier League?

WS: “I think the Czech league is getting better because Sparta Prague and Slavia Prague are owned by billionaires so they have started putting money into their clubs.

“Slavia Prague goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek is very good. He could fit in the English Premier League. 

“Viktoria Plzen’s Robin Hranac is a very good central defender that I think Pep Guardiola would like. These types of players you can bring in for nearly nothing, players from Holland or Portugal are far more expensive.”

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