Saturday, May 12, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 38: Sami Hyypia


At number 38 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is our current defensive rock Sami Hyypia.
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: Sami Hyypia

Years at Liverpool: 1999 to present
Position: Defender

Date-of-birth: 7/10/1973
Birthplace: Porvoo (Finland)

Signed from: Willem II

Games: 373
Goals: 26

Honours: European Cup (2005), FA Cup (2001, 2006), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (2001, 2003), Charity Shield (2001), Super Cup (2001, 2005)

Sami Hyypia must be regarded as one of the most inspired signings Liverpool have ever made. The towering 6ft 3in Finn is widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in Europe and has been the rock on which much of the Reds' recent success has been built. Bought from Dutch outfit Willem II, whom he'd helped achieve Champions League qualification, by Gerard Houllier during the summer of 1999, Hyypia was instrumental in helping shore up a previously much-maligned defence. He was to form a solid partnership with fellow new signing Stephane Henchoz and soon Liverpool were renowned for having one of the meanest rearguards in the country. Strong in the air, great reader of the game, calm under pressure and firm in the tackle, Hyypia became a firm favourite on the Kop. In the absence of injured skipper Jamie Redknapp and vice-captain Robbie Fowler, Hyypia assumed the role of stand-in captain in 2001, and led the Reds out in both the FA and UEFA Cup Final's. He also skippered the side in the Charity Shield victory over Manchester United and the Super Cup success against Bayern Munich. After the sales of Fowler and Redknapp, Hyypia then wore the armband on a permanent basis between April 2002 and October 2003. As well as his more than competent defensive capabilities the Finland international has also popped up at the opposite end of the pitch to net some vital goals, most notably against Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final ties of 2002 and 2005 respectively. Now one of the most experienced and decorated players at the club, his medal collection is one of the most impressive in the modern game and his legendary status among Liverpudlians is already forever assured.

Claim to fame: Captaining Liverpool to both FA and UEFA Cup success in 2001

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