Transfer gold: Liverpool sign Patrik Berger from Borussia Dortmund in 1996

1 Aug

It has been 20 years since Patrik Berger’s flowing locks became a permanent feature in England.


The midfielder had starred in the Czech Republic’s charge to the Euro 96 final – hosted on these shores – and was one of a number of players who earned transfers to Europe’s biggest clubs.

But while Man United made a move for the skilful Karel Poborsky, Reds manager Roy Evans saw enough in his 23-year-old team-mate to pay £3.25m and take him from Borussia Dortmund to Liverpool on 1 August, 1996.

And there’s no question about who got the better deal.

A super start saw Berger score four goals in his first three games and there were some truly memorable highlights in a seven-year Anfield career. Those included a glorious free-kick against Man United and other classy finishes against Spurs and Chelsea, while his pass to Michael Owen led to the striker scoring against Arsenal in the 2001 FA Cup final.

That was the treble winning season, but by then injuries were taking their toll and he eventually left for Portsmouth in 2003 before retiring in 2010 at 36.

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