There were plenty of runners and riders in the frame for this week’s Footy Boots award.
Nicolas Anelka, who claimed the Premier League golden boot with a ferocious strike at Sunderland for his 19th goal of the season, Darron Gibson’s wonder drive for Manchester United against Hull City and Leon Osman, who warmed up for the FA Cup final, with a brace for Everton against Fulham.
However, rather than recognising one moment of magic or a single afternoon of endeavour, the Footy Boots accolade goes to a man who’s given a decade of impeccable service to Liverpool – Sami Hyypia.
Sami Hyypia’s team mates carry him from the pitch
The Finnish international, who is joining Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, signed off by taking over the captain’s armband from Steven Gerrard and playing a 6 minute cameo as his Anfield career came to an end with a 3 – 1 win over Spurs.
It nearly had a fairytale ending too as Hyypia, who’s worn a succession of adidas boots while at Liverpool including the Predator, World Cup and adiPure, nearly glanced in a corner kick from Fabio Aurelio in the final minute.
It’s understood that Hyypia, who’s held in high regard by the Anfield management, may return to the club after his two year spell in Germany in a coaching capacity.
If the scenes from yesterday are anything to go by with the crowd chanting his name and the players carrying him on their shoulders, Hyypia will receive a very warm welcome back.
Even manager Rafael Benitez admitted that he’d been caught up in the emotion of the afternoon saying:
I was trying to keep Sami on the bench until the last minute but I couldn’t because the fans were pushing me. Working with Sami for five years I know he is a fantastic professional and hopefully he will do the same in Germany and then come back to us.
Clearly he will have a position with us in two or three years if we’re still here. But it’s a little bit emotional and a little bit sad today.