Dengan perlawanan terakhir liga menentang Tottenham yang bakal menjelang esok, pertahanan tengah lagenda Liverpool Sami Hyypia dijangka akan membuat penampilan terakhir sebagai kapten pasukan di Anfield. Sebagai penghargaan kepada beliau, berikut adalah 10 perkara yang perlu anda tahu sebagai peminat setia Liverpool mengenai beliau. Petikan adalah daripada mirror.co.uk :
1) On October 7, 1973, Sami Tuomas Hyypiä was born to footballing parents in Porvoo and raised in Voikkaa, 100 miles north-east of Finland’s capital Helsinki.
2) Though his father, Jouko, played for Finnish team Pallo Peikot, and his mother was an amateur goalkeeper, as a youth Sami played Ice Hockey. However, his folks stepped in and helped him choose his career, pointing him the direction of the beautiful game. He said: "I guess there was only one career option for me!"
3) Hyypia started his career with Ykkonen side KuMu, where he played every position except the one he would end up excelling at – centre-back. He soon moved on to Veikkausliiga club MyPa, where he spent four years and helped them win the Finnish Cup in 1992 and 1995.
4) In 1995 Kevin Keegan, then manager of Newcastle United, gave Hyypia – then 22 – a two-week trial. Though King Kev did not offer the 6’4” defender a contract, if certainly opened the youngster’s eyes, whet his footballing appetite and made him want to play in the Premier League.
“They certainly helped my career,” he said. “And it gave me an insight into English football. I was a young player in Finland and I didn't really expect it to lead to anything. I just went for the experience, but it was good experience and I enjoyed my time there. It helped me a lot at the time to see a big English club at close hand and I always look[ed] forward to going back."
5) It would be another four years before he would gain a full-time contract in the Premier League – in 1995 he transferred to Dutch side Willem II, where he played before his move to Liverpool. He became the team captain and helping them qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Here he gives a defensive masterclass – take note.
6) After moving to Liverpool, the team he supported as a child, in a deal worth £2.6 million, Hyypiä quickly established himself in the first team. He formed a formidable partnership with Swiss Stephane Henchoz. Within two years he was regularly skippering the side and he was named the Reds’ full-time captain in the 2001-02 season.
7) Though he lost the captaincy in 2003 to local boy Steven Gerrard, who has had the arm band ever since, he was crucial to the team when Liverpool came from 3-0 down to defeat AC Milan in the Champions League Final in 2005.
8) In April 2003 Hyypiä received a red card against Manchester United after only four minutes (United went on to win 4-0) – it is the only dismal of his career hitherto, and he will never forget it. "Ruud Van Nistelrooy was going through and maybe I took his shirt a little bit,” he confessed. “The referee thought so. I got a straight red card. They got a penalty. It was an agony to watch the game in the dressing room. The only red card of my career. You remember that sort of thing."
9) In all he has won 11 trophies – nine with Liverpool, including the Champions League, the Super Cup, the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup (twice), the League Cup (twice) and the Community Shield (twice).
10) On the international scene Hyypiä made his debut for Finland against Tunisia in November 1992, when he was 19-years old. He currently has 97 caps and five goals and is only three appearances behind Ari Hjelm, who is second in the all-time caps list behind Jari Litmanen (122).
Sami Hyypia telah memenangi 10 piala selama sedekad (10 musim) menabur bakti bersama-sama Liverpool. Berikut adalah penghormatan yang dimiliki beliau :
1) Piala Liga 2001
2) Piala FA 2001
3) Piala UEFA 2001
4) Perisai Komuniti 2001
5) Piala Super UEFA 2001
6) Piala Liga 2003
7) Liga Juara-Juara Eropah 2005
8) Piala Super UEFA 2005
9) Piala FA 2006
10) Perisai Komuniti 2006
Selamat Berjaya kepada Hyypia di Bundesliga bersama-sama Bayer Leverkusen. Kami semua menanti kepulangan anda ke Anfield pada satu hari nanti.