Friday, January 5, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 93: Momo Sissoko


The first present day player to make it into our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is Mali international midfielder Momo Sissoko, who has been voted in at number 93.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Momo Sissoko

Years at Liverpool: 2005 to present

Position: Midfield

Date-of-birth: 22/1/1985
Birthplace: Mont-Saint-Aignan, France

Signed from: Valencia (July 2005)

Games: 45
Goals: 0

Honours won: (UEFA Super Cup 2005), FA Cup (2006)

Momo Sissoko turned down overtures from Everton to become Rafael Benitez's fifth summer signing of 2005. A deal with the Goodison club had all but been completed when Benitez made what has since proved to be an inspired acquisition. Although born in France, Sissoko opted to play his international football for Mali, the home country of his parents, and was part of the Mali side that exceeded expectations by reaching the last eight of 2004 Olympics. To date, he has won seven full caps. A tough competitor who is very quick and powerful in the centre of midfield, Sissoko was well known to Benitez having played under him at Valencia, with whom he won La Liga, UEFA Cup and Super Cup honours. The Reds boss was a huge admirer of his talents, comparing him to former Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira, and had no hesitation in forking out the £5 million fee to prise him from the Mestalla. Sissoko took no time at all in adjusting to the hustle and bustle of life in the Premiership. After impressing on his debut away at Middlesbrough he never looked back and quickly established himself as a firm favourite of the Anfield crowd. His arrival added greater strength to the Reds engine room, with his combative style of play allowing fellow midfielder's Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso more freedom in the centre of the park. In February 2006 a serious eye injury, sustained the Champions League tie away to Benfica, looked as though it would curtail his season prematurely but he made a miraculous recovery and was back in time to assist Liverpool's quest for FA Cup glory, playing a vital role from the quarter-final onwards. Sissoko can look back with pride on his first season at Anfield and if he continues to progress at the rate he has been doing then he'll surely move up this list in time.

Claim to fame: His miraculous recovery from that career-threatening eye injury

Did you know? He started his career in the youth ranks at Auxerre but never played a competitive first team game for the French club

Les Lawson on Momo Sissoko: "If Michael Essien is worth £25 million then there's no way he's five times a better player than Momo Sissoko. He's another example of Rafa Benitez's superb talent spotting and I think the lad will only get better and better as the years go by."

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