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Hyypia: Managing Liverpool "Would be Something Special"

In Manchester with Bayer Leverkusen ahead of tonight's Champions League group stage match, Sami Hyypia once again spoke fondly of Liverpool and admitted it would be a dream to one day manage his former club.

Dennis Grombkowski

As we approach the end of the calendar year, many football fans turn their focus to the final group stage matches of Europe's two major club competitions. It's not something Liverpool fans have had much cause to keep an eye on in recent seasons, but with two matches to go in Champions League group play it's coming to crunch time for many, and today's round of matches sees Sami Hyypia returning to Old Trafford as manager of Bayer Leverkusen in an integral Group A match.

"Many people have asked me, ‘Where would I want to manage?’" was his response at the pre-match press conference when his past visits to Manchester as a Liverpool player inevitably came up. "There are two special places for me. I was at Liverpool for 10 years so that would be great. That doesn’t mean it’s a target, but it would be something special. And I come from Finland [where] the Finnish national coach is the biggest job there. It’s also not a target but it would be great."

Hyypia has never made a secret of the fact that he would love to one day manage Liverpool, even if he hasn't set out to target an eventual return. Of all Liverpool's recent former players who have at least hinted at an interest in management, he also seems the most likely to actually achieve that some day given his reputation as a strong tactician and early success in Germany with Leverkusen. That's no guarantee, of course—of either his suitability or that he'll eventually get the job—but there would be far worse candidates for the club to consider.

For the foreseeable future, though, Leverkusen is where Hyypia sees himself, and with the German club currently second in the Bundesliga there's no reason Leverkusen would feel differently. In the Champions League, meanwhile, Manchester United stand top of the group with eight points while Leverkusen are just behind them with seven. Shakhtar Donetsk, though, on five points and playing group trailers Real Sociedad today, could still push past either if the leaders stumble.

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