Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Legend gets the Captains Armband

RAFA BENITEZ is ready to make Sami Hyypia captain for his final Liverpool appearance.

The Finnish centre-back is leaving Anfield this summer after 10 years with the club after agreeing a two-year deal with Bayer Leverkusen.

And Benitez, whose side host Spurs on Sunday, admits the Reds will be losing a legend when the 35-year-old leaves Merseyside.

He said: "Certainly we are losing a legend. For years he has been so good. He has scored important goals and has been very good in defence. Clearly we are losing an important player.

"He will get a fantastic reception from the fans.

They are amazing and they recognise when someone has been a very good servant to the club.

"He is a fantastic professional and a very good person."

Benitez also insists he feels nothing but pride for his players, even though they have finished without a trophy.

He added: "The fact that we have won nine of our last 10 games and not won the title just shows the high level of the Premier League.

"This season we have managed very good performances against the top sides - something we had not been doing before - and now we have to improve a little bit more.

"We've 83 points and that would have been enough to win the title on six other occasions since the Premier League started.

"I can only underline that I am pleased and proud of my team to have gone this close."

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