A very special moment for every Liverpool fan. A Face-to-Face with “The Big Finn” Sami Happiä. For no money of the world, I’d rule out this few minutes I’ve been talking to him.
Ten years long I was following his career in the red shirt. When he announced his move to the German Bundesliga in the end of the 2008/09 season, I was quite disappointed and really shocked. Because he always was a very important man for us. And he always used to give 100% on the pitch, always with the same ambition and the same dedication. But now he is playing in Bayer 04 Leverkusen. And now he’s them important man. An era came to an end: for Sami, for Liverpool, for the fans. Sami’s last match was a special one. The fans said their “Goodbye” in a very unique way and not only Sami lost a few tears …
At the moment Samis move to the Bundesliga has been announced, I got very sad. But on the other side I got … kind of pleased. Because he was moving to Leverkusen, a city which is only ten minutes away from Cologne, where I live. “Maybe I’ll meet him somewhere in the supermarket … someday …”, I thought. If I knew, how fast it will become truth …
And just a few week later … there he stood in front of me: Sami Hyppiä. I looked up to the Big Fin and couldn’t allow myself no weakness. Afterwards I was quite surpirised, how professional I was. Although … my voice was duly trembling.
I’ve spoken with Sami Hyppiä after the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund on 22 Oktober 09.
A.M.: Sami, how did you find the match. Are you satisfied?
Sami Hyypiä: We’re satisfied with the result, but aren‘t with the performance. But everyone is making mistakes. We have to do it better in the next game. (shrugs) It’s important to learn from mistakes, and that’s why we just have to look forward and make it better next time – that’s how I always used to work. We can’t change the result anyway.
A.M.: Would you say, this game was boring?
Sami Hyypiä: No, I wouldn’t say that. It was a good game, even if the result isn’t especially satisfying. Ok, if it was Real Madrid playing against FC Barcelona, then we could call this match boring. But it depends from the league and from the expectations.
A.M.: What can you say about Manuel (Friedrich) ?
Sami Hyypiä: For a defender, it‘s is always a bonus to score.
A.M.: Why did you choose Bundesliga? Why Bayer Leverkusen?
Sami Hyypiä: Where would you like me to go? Manchester? Chelsea? Noooo, never! (smiling)I knew, Bundesliga is a good liga. And that’s why a decided to move on to Germany. And I don’t regret it, I enjoy playing here.
A.M.: What about … going back to Finland?
Sami Hyypiä: Back to Finland? No … (shakes his head) Every player wants to play in Europe (here: Champions League and Europe League)And I knew, I can do it with and within the Bundesliga. And that’s why I’ve chosen Germany.
A.M.: Was it very difficult for you, to settle in?
Sami Hyypiä: No … Not at all. Sure, there are differences: Premier League is faster and more demanding than the Bundesliga. But I didn’t have to change the way I’m playing at all. I keep on playing like I used to do it in the Premier League.
And that was it. He was gone again.To fast for me … But wow! Sami really can be cool and dominant SIMULTANEOUSLY. The room he’s entering becomes directly silent. And when he starts to speak, no one even dares do interrupt.
I didn’t want to ask more about Liverpool, Premier League and stuff because I can imagine that, since he moved to Germany, he’s permanently been asked about that. And I can imagine, that he kind of has already enough of the same questions. As a fan, I didn’t want to disappoint him. Because he didn’t disappoint me. Professional, cool, polite and funny: that’s how our Ex-Captain Sami Hyppiä is “in reality”: The personalised coolness.
For all German readers: view the Germand version here.