Vladimir Smicer
Liverpool\'s Czech midfielder Vladimir Smicer celebrates scoring the second goal against AC Milan. REUTERS

Former Liverpool playmaker Vladimir Smicer has recalled the moment he came off the bench to score in the 2005 Champions League final and spark the club's comeback against AC Milan.

The famous night in Istanbul cemented its place in Liverpool folklore when the Reds overturned a three-goal half-time deficit to eventually triumph on penalties.

The above-mentioned Liverpool legend started the match from the bench but he was brought on after 23 minutes in place of midfielder Harry Kewell.

Despite being left out of the squad completely against Aston Villa earlier in the month, the Smicer was crucial in Liverpool's improved second half display.

"A few days before I wasn't even in the squad for a game in which we were playing for peanuts," the former Czech international told Liverpool's official Web site.

"Now here was a game which affected the lives of everybody and the first player he [then Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez] thought of was me. It's strange, but I think it shows everyone has a chance.

"I think if I hadn't trained well he would never have made such a change - we were 3-0 down - but when I scored I knew we'd score another.

"What happened to me is the beauty of football. You have to believe that one day the manager will call you. So you have to be ready."

Smicer, the current sports manager of the Czech national team, revealed he was grateful Benitez kept faith in him at the end of a mediocre domestic campaign.

"You never know what is going to happen tomorrow in football, so that is why you must never let your standards drop and you must always be ready," the 38-year-old said.

"Something bad probably comes before something good. Instead of looking right or left, look at yourself."

The ex-Czech Republic international scored Liverpool's second goal in the fight back and stepped up to convert his side's final penalty in the subsequent shoot-out.

Smicer joined Liverpool from Lens in 1999 after Gerard Houllier paid £4.2m for the diminutive winger. The hugely talented midfielder subsequently established himself as a reliable performer in the club's successes over the next six years, amassing 121 appearances and scoring 10 goals for Liverpool prior to his Anfield exit in June 2005.

"I played for an average team in France and suddenly I went to a huge team in Liverpool where the fans' expectation is for you to play well and for the team to always win," he said.

"That is something you have to get used to. The longer I was there, the more I understood what Liverpool was.

"Joining Liverpool is not about having a good contract, it is about making sure Liverpool move forward and making sure you understand the responsibility you have with the Liverpool fans."