Defender Hyypia to end playing career
Bayer Leverkusen says veteran Finnish center back Sami Hyypia
will retire at the end of the season and embark on a coaching
Leverkusen said Monday that the 37-year-old former Liverpool
defender will work on qualifying as a coach in his homeland next
He also will become one of three assistants to new Finland coach
Mika-Matti Paatelainen. In addition, Leverkusen said a guest stint
at Liverpool is planned as part of his training.
Starting July 2012, he will then get a two-year contract as an
assistant coach at Leverkusen.
The 1.93-meter (6-foot-4) Hyppia joined Leverkusen in 2009 after
a decade at Liverpool, where he scored 35 goals in 463
In 2001, Hyypia helped Liverpool win the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and
He played every minute of 57 consecutive European competition
games for the Reds between November 2001 and February 2006,
including the 2005 Champions League final triumph over AC
Hyypia played 105 games for Finland, the last of them in
Leverkusen said it has signed Freiburg’s Omer Toprak on a
five-year contract to replace Hyypia on the pitch. It didn’t give
details of the transfer deal for the 21-year-old German.
Current Freiburg coach Robin Dutt will take over next season at
Leverkusen, currently second in the Bundesliga behind newly crowned
champion Borussia Dortmund. Outgoing Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes
is moving to Bayern Munich.