Could former Leeds and Liverpool man's career have produced more?

Harry Kewell

The 35-year-old has announced he will retire from professional football in April.

Former Leeds United and Liverpool winger Harry Kewell has announced he is to retire from professional football in April.

Kewell, 35, currently plies his trade in his native Australia, playing for Melbourne Hart.

But it was during his time in England where he was at the peak of his powers as he was part of the exciting Leeds United team of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s under David O’Leary that reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001, but failed to turn their promise into any tangible silverware. He scored 52 goals in 212 appearances for Leeds.

When Leeds hit financial difficulty with the club struggling under creaking debt, Kewell was snapped up for £5m by Gerard Houllier at Liverpool in the summer of 2003.

It wasn’t all plain sailing at Liverpool, but it would be harsh to say that the Australian didn’t have his good moments at Anfield even if some will remember him as the man who limped off in both the Champions League final in 2005 and the following season’s FA Cup final.

Whilst Liverpool may not have had the best years of Harry Kewell, there were flashes of quality that came about. He scored 11 goals in his debut season but from then on he was hit by injuries.

In Rafa Benitez’s second season in charge of the club in 2005/06, Reds fans probably saw the best of Kewell in a Liverpool shirt. He provided the side with balance and some memorable strikes against Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, as well as a terrific FA Cup semi-final performance against Chelsea at Old Trafford where have gave Paulo Ferreira a torrid time.

He did come on as a substitute in the 2007 Champions League defeat against AC Milan but couldn’t save the Reds from succumbing to defeat in a rematch of the 2005 final. That was his last appearance in the Red of Liverpool before he moved onto Galatasaray. He decided to end his career in Australia by playing Melbourne Victory, then Melbourne Hart.

Looking back on his career, it is clear that he had a lot of talent, but it’s also clear that his career should have produced so much more in English football. Having Champions League medals and FA Cup medals are not shabby, but his back luck with injuries probably ended up costing him dearly – even if he did manage represent Australia up until 2012.

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