LIVERPOOL legend Sami Hyypia turned 38 on the 7th of October and we here at OurKop hope he enjoyed a fantastic birthday. To celebrate let’s take a look back at his successful time at Anfield.
The giant Fin was a rock at the back for Liverpool for almost 10 years. He signed for the Reds for £2.6 million from Willem II in 1999 and had a successful first season with the club, forming a formidable partnership with Stephane Henchoz. A year later Hyypia was asked to share captain responsibilities with Robbie Fowler as full-time captain Jamie Redknapp was suffering from a long-term injury. In that season Hyypia and Fowler led Liverpool to a cup treble as the Reds won the Football League Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup.
In 2004, following the arrival of Rafael Benitez and departure of Gerard Houllier, Hyypia had a new central defensive partner in the shape of Jamie Carragher. The pair formed a very strong partnership that took Liverpool all the way to Champions League glory as they beat AC Milan in Istanbul. Hyypia also played in the FA Cup Final a year later as Liverpool beat West Ham on penalties at the Millenium Stadium.
His final game for the Reds was against Tottenham at Anfield in 2009. He was given the captain’s armband by Steven Gerrard and received a standing ovation from the supporters when he came on. He even nearly managed to score with a headed effort cleared off the line. At the final whistle the players raised Hyypia aloft for him to receive a fond farewell from the fans.
During his time at Anfield Hyypia made 464 appearances, which put him in Liverpool’s top 20 of all time, and scored 35 goals. He won 10 trophies in 10 seasons at Anfield and was described by fellow legend Ian Rush as “One of the best signings the club has ever made”.
After leaving Liverpool Hyypia joined Bayer Leverrkusen in Germany. He has since retired and is currently getting his coaching licence. He has spoken about his desire to return to Anfield as a coach in the future.
Here’s to Sami Hyypia.