Football

Reds hail departing Hyypia

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Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard led the tributes to defender Sami Hyypia, who will leave the club after Sunday's final game of the season at home to Tottenham.

Hyypia, 35, will join Bayer Leverkusen on a two-year contract in the summer, ending a decade at Anfield.

Gerrard said: "It is difficult to put into words how we feel about Sami. He has been fantastic for us, a colossus."

He added: "He certainly deserves legendary status and he is definitely one of the best players I have ever played alongside. That is the biggest compliments I can pay Sami."

Striker Dirk Kuyt joined in the tributes, saying: "For me he is a top professional, one of the best I have ever met.

"Most importantly for me, Sami is also a good human being and has a good personality. I will miss him but I'm sure he will be in touch with us and Liverpool.

"It is a great achievement to play 10 years at a special club like Liverpool, especially for a foreign player, and I have a lot of respect for him.

"It's a shame he is leaving the club but things happen like this in football."

Assistant manager Sammy Lee hailed Hyypia's professional attitude and has tipped him to go into coaching once his playing days are over.

"Sami is a terrific professional, a fine player," said Lee. "Under that cool exterior there is a really emotional guy and he will certainly feel that on Sunday. We will too having worked with him for so long."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Sami Hyypia
Football
Premier League
Dirk Kuyt
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool

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