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Hyypia reveals reasons behind Leverkusen move

SoccerNews in Bundesliga, English Premier League 5 May 2009

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Sami Hyypia has revealed that he would love to return to Liverpool as a coach one day but it was unfinished business as a player that prompted his decision to accept an offer to move to Bayer Leverkusen.

The 35-year-old centreback will join the German club on a two-year deal at the end of this season after accepting that his playing opportunities would be limited at Anfield.

Reflecting on what he described as the “very difficult” decision to leave Liverpool after ten years here, Hyypia said: “I spoke to the manager and I didn’t want him to make promises about how many games I would play but this season has been mentally very difficult.

“I haven’t played a lot and playing is what I enjoy most. I understand it isn’t possible to play enough games here for me to be happy, so I had to look elsewhere.”

Reds boss Rafael Benitez offered Hyypia another year’s contract and the chance to join the coaching staff but the defender feels the chance of regular football will make the switch worthwhile.

“Ten years is a long time to spend at one club. My family are settled here and I know it will be stressful moving with them into a new house in a new country.

“But the professional side drove this decision. It’s a new challenge and I will give it everything to be successful in Germany.”

The Finland international added: “Coaching is something which has always been in my mind but I have to take my badges first. At the end of my playing career I will look to take the badges and then see. I would like to come back here one day as a coach.”

Hyypia joined Liverpool from Dutch side Willem II in 1999 and was a key figure in both the Gerard Houllier squad that won won three trophies in 2000-01 and Benitez’s 2005 Champions League winners.

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