Sami Hyypia opens up on the ‘dream come true’ moment signing for Liverpool and discusses how he felt when Steven Gerrard replaced him as Reds captain

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Former Liverpool defender Samy Hyypia has claimed that if someone would’ve told him he was going to play for the Reds for 10 years when he was a youngster he ‘would have said they were mad’.

The 48-year-old featured for Liverpool Legends in yesterday’s charity match with Barcelona legends at Anfield and admits he looks back at his time at Anfield with ‘a lot of happiness’.

He made the move to Merseyside in 1999 after joining from Dutch outfit Willem II and made 318 appearances for the club.

“Liverpool was my favourite team when I was young, so it was a dream come true,” the former Finland international told the Liverpool Echo.

“When I signed the deal, I thought it was only the beginning and that I needed to show people I could play football. If someone said to me I would spend 10 years playing for this great club on the day I signed, I would have said they were mad. I had great years here and I’m thinking of those with a lot of happiness.”

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In 2002, the towering centre half was handed the captain’s armband by Gerard Houllier, but just 12 months later, a certain Steven Gerrard was named permanent skipper.

Hyypia revealed that he was ‘happy’ to lose the armband to our former No. 8 as he believes he himself began to play better and it also helped Gerrard develop further with the extra responsibility.

“Coming from Finland and being the Liverpool captain is a great honour. I still remember the day I lost the captaincy to Stevie and I am very happy that happened. I knew it meant a lot to Stevie and he grew up as a man and a player so much after that. For myself, I started to play better when I lost the captaincy. It worked both ways.

“It may have even made our relationship even deeper as he saw I was okay with the manager’s decision and took it as a professional and a man. I think he [Gerrard] respected more after that. I wanted to help Stevie and if he had a problem, I was always there.”

It’s always great to see former players speaking so well about the club.

He was a quality player during his time at Anfield and the way in which he handled the captaincy situation just goes to show how professional he was.

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