Friday, May 8, 2009

Carragher Hails " THE LEGEND"

The Scouse stalwart is readying himself for an Anfield without the giant Finn...

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is already turning his mind towards next season and the absence of a man who has almost become part of the furniture at Anfield - Sami Hyypia.

The Finnish international centre-back, a man who, much like Carragher, has come to symbolise something of the indomitable spirit at the club, is leaving Merseyside for the Bundesliga, and will be joining Bayer Leverkusen on a two-year deal in the summer.

Carragher acknowledges that his absence will leave a void at the club that goes beyond the mere absence of the Finn's name from the team-sheet.

"It will be strange because although you come back to pre-season every year knowing that you will probably see one or two new faces and a couple will have left you just expect to see Sami there," the former England defender told The Liverpool Echo.
"He’s usually at the front when we’re running because he’s such a good trainer and such a good professional so it will take some getting used to.

"I suppose in a way we’ve all known that this day wouldn’t be too far off because Sami hasn’t been playing as much as he would like and he still feels that he has a lot to offer in terms of playing regular first team football.

"But it still hit me when I heard that he will be leaving in the summer because, like I said, he’s just someone who you always expect to be around."

Carragher also belives that Hyypia is one of the best foreign players to ever grace the Premier League, and has often not been granted the acclaim he deserves due to him playing as a defender.

"When you take into account his transfer fee (Hyypia cost a bargain £2.5m when signed from Willem II in 1999) you’d have to say that pound for pound he is one of the club’s greatest ever signings.
"I’ve always said the fact that Sami plays in defence has meant that he hasn’t always been given the credit he deserves. The likes of Zola, Henry and Bergkamp spring to mind straight away and quite rightly so because everyone knows how good they were when they played in this country.

"But for me Sami has to be mentioned alongside them because he has performed so well at the top level for such a long time. He is definitely one of the best foreign players the Premier League has seen and he is arguably Liverpool’s best ever foreign signing, although I’m sure Fernando Torres will make a claim for that title in the years to come."

And Hyypia's defensive partner for so many of their years at Anfield felt that only one word could do his team-mate proper justice.

"I don’t think you could use any other word for Sami other than legend," he concluded.

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