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Monday, May 18, 2009

Farewell, Sami…

It is indeed a sad moment for Liverpool fans, to bid adieu to one of its longest-serving players as centre-back Sami Hyypia departs for Bayer Leverkusen after 10 years of service.

 

The Fabulous Finn began his career at Anfield in 1999, when he transferred from Dutch side Willem II for a supposedly low transfer fee of 2.5 million pounds. Prior to that, he already had a huge 7 years of first-team exposure.

 

He captained Liverpool for over a year (2002-03) and though the armband was handed to the rapidly emerging Steven Gerrard, Sami continued to thrive. With a change in management through the arrival of Rafa Benitez, and a permanent centre-back pairing with Jamie Carragher, Sami kept on contributing to the club. In fact, one of the proudest moments in Liverpool’s European history, the 2005 Champions League trophy was won because of the miserly attitude of Carra and Sami.

 

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The best part was that with his towering 6’4” presence, he was always a danger from set pieces too. I’ve always loved the aerial threat that he has been able to cause from corners and free-kicks. However, he also possesses a potentially lethal touch which Juventus found to their detriment in the first leg of 2005’s CL quarter-final when he scored with a beautiful volley that even Steven Gerrard would have been proud of.  

(Picture courtesy: ABC News Online)

 

To add to that, he superbly marshalled the defence in the second leg to power Liverpool to a semi-final clash against Chelsea.

 

 

 

 

Of course, if one were to tell tales of the 35 goals he scored, or the 463 appearances he made, one could write an entire book. He has been such a great contributor that it will be difficult to see Anfield without the sight of a white-haired Finn running around with more energy than players barely half his age.

 

I think it is absolutely fair on his part to wish for some more years of regular first-team football, which he would not be able to get regularly at Anfield, due to the rise of Agger and Skrtel. And it is indeed a tribute to his brilliance, that boss Rafa Benitez offered him a coaching position. However, Sami would like to play for a few more years, before ending his playing career and taking a coaching one.

 

It would’ve been great if he had been able to add a Premier League medal to the existing bunch of medals he has, but hopefully, once he returns as a coach, he will have many more.

 

Kudos to the player who is one those who shook the Kop. Kudos to the player who put in his heart and soul into each game. Kudos to the player who only wanted to win, once he donned that red jersey. Kudos, to Sami Hyypia.

 

Bravo, Sami! I look forward to the day when you’ll be back at Anfield.

 

You’ll never walk alone!!

3 comments:

Kaddu said...

Sports is 'greek' for me!

On 2nd thoughts... I can probably get the hang of that language.... but of 'sports'... never!

Tangerine said...

Football shootball... hai rabba.

Sumit said...

Kaddu - lol_max!!

Tang - do yoo no how to make round chapaatiz?*

*For the uninitiated, Tang's comment is part of an exchange from an Indian movie called 'Bend it like Beckham'. So is mine. :D