Hat-trick hero Milan Baros glad he stayed at Liverpool

Milan Baros, photo: CTK

The Czech football team are playing their last game of the year on Wednesday, a World Cup qualifier against Macedonia in Skopje. One of the stars of the team is Milan Baros, who at the weekend scored his first ever hat-trick; the last of the Liverpool striker's goals was a penalty in the dying seconds of the game, with the score at 2:2. Before the Euro 2004 star left for Macedonia, I asked Baros if he'd felt the pressure as he stepped up to the penalty spot.

Milan Baros, photo: CTK
"Yeah, of course. The score was 2-2 and it was the last minute, so the pressure was very high. I was so nervous before the penalty, but I just took it and I wanted to score the hat-trick."

And you kept the ball after the game?

"Yeah, I've got the ball."

Before the summer you were thinking about leaving Liverpool, before Gerard Houllier left and Rafa Benitez came. Are you glad you stayed?

"Yes, I always said I like Liverpool because of the stadium, and the club is one of the biggest clubs in Europe, so I'm happy there. But I didn't play last season, so I wanted to leave in the summer. But then some things changed, and I decided to stay, so I'm happy now, yeah."

In the last few weeks you've scored a lot of goals. Do you think you're getting back the same form you had in Portugal at Euro 2004?

"Hopefully yes! I appreciate that because for a striker it's important to score goals, so hopefully I will continue scoring goals. We'll see."

It was a very big year for you. At the start of the year you were recovering from a broken leg...how would you describe the year in general?

"As you said, it was difficult in the beginning, but I recovered from my injuries and I had a good pre-season. I'm not injured now, so I can train properly, and I'm feeling good. That's what's important."

Will you be staying in Liverpool for Christmas?

Milan Baros and Tomas Rosicky, photo: CTK
"Yeah, I will be there for Christmas."

How will you spend it?

"My family is coming to Liverpool, so I will be with my family."

And do they often visit you there?

"No, just always for Christmas."