Ex-Liverpool hero Vladimír Šmicer enters politics to fight obesity among children

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Former Czech Republic and Liverpool midfielder Vladimír Šmicer is running for election to the European Parliament and his main priority is to tackle obesity among children in his homeland.

Šmicer, who spent six seasons playing for the Reds, will always be remembered as a Liverpool hero for scoring the second goal in the historic Champions League final against AC Milan in 2005.

He retired from playing in 2009, and he is now hoping to turn his fame into political points.

The 40-year-old has been selected among 25 candidates standing for an obscure Czech party called Vize 2014 (Vision 2014), in a bid to get elected to the European Parliament.

"It's not my ambition to be an MEP," Šmicer told the party's website.

"In the Czech Republic obesity rates among children have quadrupled in the last 15 years. More than half of the adult population of the EU are overweight or obese. Amongst children it's one in seven. I see it in the kids around me. Fitness isn't 'in'.

"We've got to get our kids away from their computers, tablets and smartphones and get them moving. This is something Europe needs to care about."

Šmicer's political future, though, is not looking so bright.

"The problem is that Vladimír Šmicer is standing for a party that no-one's ever heard of and which has zero chance of getting into the European Parliament," said Jindřich Šídlo, chief analyst for the country's leading economic daily Hospodářské noviny.

"And I'm not just saying that because I'm an Arsenal fan. He was a great player."

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