Big Sami Hyypia is a player who will go down in Liverpool history thanks to his role in the iconic on “that” night in Istanbul – but how are things going for him now?
The process of uncovering Sami Hyypia should be hailed as one of the greatest scouting achievements of all time; A true diamond in the rough; a club legend in the making; a dedicated servant in every sense of the world.
What makes it even more remarkable is that is was done on the recommendation of a club cameraman (according to Talk Sport) – because why not? They watch enough football at the end of the day.
It cost Gerard Houllier just £2.5 million to bring the big Finn over in 2009 from Dutch side Willem II – the same team who introduced Virgil van Dijk into the world – which is peanuts when you compare it to some of the transfers flying about in the modern game.
The 2000/01 season at Anfield proved to be one of his most fruitful as he helped Liverpool secure a cup double.
The excellence of his partnership club legend in Jamie Carragher has been largely unmatched until the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, who – for newer supporters – is essentially the second coming of Hyypia just with a sprinkle more pace. So imagine that.
The 2005 Champions League victory needs no introduction. He was sensational in the run-in.
The defender claimed three key goals in Europe that year, including an absolute peach against Juventus, and two more against Leverkusen and Arsenal.
It really is testament to the players quality that he managed 464 appearances for the club over a ten-year period, winning Liverpool Player of the Year seven – yes, seven – times.
His career at Anfield would come to an end with a move to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in 2009, retiring two years later.
Hyypia has since moved into management but, as it so often turns out, has not been able to channel his quality into the dugout.
His first job in Germany managing Leverkusen was perhaps his best, recording a points per match average of 1.63. But following that things took a bit of a decline. He lasted just 26 games before being sacked by Brighton & Hove Albion and has since flopped at FC Zurich of Switzerland between 2015 and 2016.
Liverpool fans will not mind though; he is still a legend in their eyes, and his most recent public appearance celebrating his former sides victory over Bayern Munich will only serve to boost his profile (as per Liverpool Echo).