Liverpool - Top 30 players - Number 20

Sami Hyypia

Sami Hyypia went from unknown Finn to modern day legend.

The Finn was a relative unknown when he came to Anfield but became one of the crowd favourites during a 10-year spell at the club which saw him win every trophy bar the Premier League - and he twice came close.

Signed in 1999 from Willem II for £2.5 million as Gerard Houllier started his overhaul at the club, and formed a strong centre-back pairing with Stephane Henchoz. Throughout his Liverpool career he was a reliable defender that didn't just defend, he had this knack of heading home the odd set-piece, using his towering figure to full effect. He ended up scoring 35 goals from his 464 appearances for the club. 

During their first season they would record the meanest defence in the Premier League, while the following season would be a memorable one for all involved as the Reds won a cup treble. His contribution was massive. In the FA Cup final he managed several goal line clearances to keep the Reds in the game at Cardiff, while in Dortmund he had the honour of lifting the UEFA Cup with Robbie Fowler.

He then went on to take the club captaincy in 2001/02 - having captained the side throughout much of the previous season anyway - and lifted the League Cup as captain in 2003, but his best form was eluding him and Houllier took the captaincy off him in 2003 and gave it to Steven Gerrard. It would end up benefiting both players as the Finn started to find his best form, while Gerrard's went up another level. 

After the departure of Houllier, Rafa Benitez was appointed manager and would get Hyypia to partner Jamie Carragher at the heart of the Reds' defence. 

They would form the bedrock of the side that would perform well in European competition - famously lifting the Champions League in 2005, while Hyypia contributed at the opposite end of the field significantly in the quarter-final against Juventus, where he opened the scoring with a fine volley. The following season he would help the Reds lift the FA Cup in Cardiff, despite missing a penalty in the shoot-out win over West Ham.

There were times when Benitez was managing the Finn's game time with the additions of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel over the subsequent years, but one game that summed up Hyypia's professionalism was a 4-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2009, when minutes before kick-off he was thrust into the starting line-up because of an injury to Alvaro Arbeloa, and put in a cool, controlled performance of the highest quality.

He was brought off the bench for his final appearance that season in a win over Tottenham. Let's just say the scenes at the end were emotional.

He'd then move on to Bayer Leverkusen for his final playing days and ultimately end up managing them - guiding them into the Champions League before form deserted him and his side. After a short spell out of management, he headed to Brighton but his time on the South coast never really got going and he resigned before the halfway point of the 2013/14 season with the side in the relegation zone. 

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