Czech midfielder Jan Simak, whose career was on the rocks a few years ago as he battled alcohol addiction and depression, on Monday signed for 2007 Bundesliga champions VfB Stuttgart.
The 29-year-old was one of the Bundesliga's brightest stars back in 2003 when he joined Bayern Leverkusen for 6.5 million euros as a replacement for the then Bayern Munich-bound Michael Ballack.
But after a mediocre season at Leverkusen he was loaned out to his old club Hannover before his contract was terminated for repeated problems with his conduct and drink.
He moved back home to the Czech Republic to play for Sparta Prague under the condition that he underwent a detox programme for his addiction.
Last year he was signed by German second division side Iena where his return to form was signalled by his seven goal haul in 27 games.
“I know I've made mistakes in the past, but that's all over now. Stuttgart have offered me a new start in the first division. I'll be doing my maximum to meet the expectations of the club as well as my own,” said Simak.
The player, capped once in 2002 for the Czech Republic, added: “Stuttgart are a top notch team. If I play regularly for them and if I perform that will perhaps give me the chance to play again for the national side.”
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