Ex-Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen defender Sami Hyypia has announced that he will retire from football at the end of the season, and will look to pursue a career in coaching.
The 37 year old has played for German side Leverkusen this season and led them to a second placed finish, but feels it is time to call it a day.
“The decision to retire grew during the season,” Hyypia revealed.
“I had no interest any more to go elsewhere to play. There are no regrets. Thanks to all those who have helped during the course of my career and to my relatives a big thank you, without family and friends it would not have been possible.”
The defender started his career at Finnish club MyPa before moving to Holland to play for Eredivisie side Willem II. After solid performances for the Tilburg club, Liverpool signed him in 1999 for a paulty £2.5 million, and the centre back would stay at Anfield for ten years.
During his time at the English club, Hyypia struck up an excellent defensive partnership with Swiss defender Stephane Henchoz and during his time on Merseyside won the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup treble in 2001, and the Champions League in 2005.
Hyypia also made 105 international appearances for Finland, and would like to one day be part of the coaching set-up in his country’s national team.
The gentle giant plans to take up a coaching post at Leverkusen next season.