Czech legend hangs up his boots.
Czech Republic legend Jan Koller has announced his retirement after a string of injuries curtailed his playing prospects.
The 38-year-old scored 55 goals for his country in 91 matches during a successful decade for the team when it won acclaim for its open, attacking style of play.
His physical presence and aerial ability was a feature of a side which also included the outstanding Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved and fellow striker Milan Baros.
Seven years ago the six foot two inch striker was part of the side that was on course to win Euro 2004 before a shock 1-0 defeat to Greece in the semi-finals.
“I’ve had enough since April,” Koller told CTK.
“First there were problems with my calf muscle, then something with the heart, and when I started preparing for the next season, my thigh muscle snapped.
“That was the last warning.”
Koller, nicknamed “Dino”, started his working life as a mechanic in the small southern Czech village of Smetanova Lhota and did not turn professional until he was 21.
He originally played as a goalkeeper but he made his mark as a striker in junior soccer.
He failed to make much of an impression after joining Sparta Prague in 1994 before the club sold him for the equivalent of £89,000 to Lokeren in Belgium in 1996.
He took up ballet to improve his movement on the pitch and enjoyed success in Belgium, and was the leading scorer in 1999, the year he moved to Anderlecht where he won two league titles.
He then spent five years in Germany at Borussia Dortmund alongside compatriot Tomas Rosicky, followed by stints at Monaco, Nuremberg, Samara in Russia and lastly Cannes in the French third division.
Koller also played for the Czechs at three European championships and the 2006 World Cup.