Milan Baros looking ahead to Germany but concentrating on club Aston Villa

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Czech footballer Milan Baros shot to international fame in 2004 when he was top scorer at the European Championships. A year later he won the Champions League with Liverpool, but the club let him go soon afterwards, and he joined the less glamorous Aston Villa, where he has yet to make a real impact. The striker is currently with the Czech squad, who are in Turkey for a friendly international. Before he left, I asked Milan Baros how he was enjoying life at Aston Villa after six months at the club.

Milan Baros with his girlfriend, photo: CTK
"Yeah, I've settled down, that's the most important thing. And now we are just picking up some points in the league and...we still have 11 games to go, and hopefully some games in the FA Cup. So, we'll see."

Patrick Berger, the former Czech international, is also at Aston Villa, but he's been injured since he joined the club - how's it looking with Berger?

"I think he should be OK now, because he's already training with the team and he's OK, his knee is OK. Hopefully he's going to be back soon because he can help our team."

Aston Villa isn't the only club in the city of Birmingham - there's also Birmingham City, where Jiri Jarosik plays and now Martin Latka, two young Czech guys. Do you see much of them in Birmingham?

"Of course, most of the time I am with them, because they've got a similar programme like we have, so...most of the time I spend with them, yeah."

Is it true you live in a shopping centre?

"Yeah, I live in a shopping centre."

It's not the famous Selfridges [designed by Czech architect Jan Kaplicky]?

"No, it's not Selfridges."

About the World Cup in Germany - there are over three months to go, but people are talking about it already of course. How much are you thinking about it?

Jan Koller and Milan Baros, photo: CTK
"I think everyone has to be thinking about it already, because it's in three months...we haven't been there for 16 years so it's something special for the Czech players, for Czech supporters. So I think everyone's looking forward to it."

The Aston Villa manager David O'Leary said at one point this season that he's worried you might have a brilliant World Cup - as you had a great Euro 2004 - and leave for a bigger club. Is that something you could imagine?

"(laughs) That's difficult to say, I'm at Aston Villa and I want to do my best for that club. There's going to be the World Cup and we'll see what's going to happen then, but now my mind and my heart is for Aston Villa."

Your main strike partner for the Czechs Jan Koller has been injured and has been out for a few months. Have you been in contact with him much and how does it look with him? Do you think he'll be back and fit for the World Cup?

"Hopefully he will. I think he's going to train with us today, just a light session. But there's still three months till the kick-off at the World Cup, so I hope he's going to be OK, because he is a main part of our team."