Dirk Kuyt Craig Bellamy Ryan Babel Fabio Aurelio
Alberto Aquilani Charlie Adam Maxi Rodriguez
Nathan Eccleston David Amoo Stephen Darby
Fernando Torres Raul Meireles David Ngog
Paul Konchesky Christian Poulsen Emiliano Insua Philipp Degen
Thomas Ince Milan Jovanovic Sotirios Kyrgiakos
Javier Mascherano Yossi Benayoun Andriy Voronin Andrea Dossena
Charles Itandje Damien Plessis Lauri Dalla Valle
Nicolas Anelka Gary McAllister Christian Ziege Nick Barmby
Stephen Wright Jari Litmanen Pegguy Arphexad Bernard Diomede
Vegard Heggem Markus Babbel Emile Heskey Abel Xavier
Vladimir Smicer Mauricio Pellegrino El-Hadji Diouf Alou Diarra
Igor Biscan Gregory Vignal Richie Partridge Paul Harrison
Jon Otsemobor Mark Smyth Antonio Nunez Milan Baros
John Welsh Josemi Fernando Morientes Zak Whitbread
Bruno Cheyrou Neil Mellor Robbie Fowler Jerzy Dudek
Daniele Padelli Craig Bellamy Mark Gonzalez
Chris Kirkland Paul Jones Gabriel Paletta Darren Potter
David Raven Djibril Cisse Bolo Zenden Stephen Warnock
Jan Kromkamp Momo Sissoko John Arne Riise Harry Kewell
Anthony Le Tallec Peter Crouch Danny Guthrie Robbie Keane
Steve Finnan      

Thursday, October 18, 2007

PAST PLAYER PROFILE - Fernando Morientes

Fernando Morientes : Striker (2005-2006)
Date of Birth: 5-4-1976
Birthplace: Spain
Debut : 15th January 2005. v Manchester United (H)
1st team games: 61
1st team goals: 12
International caps: 43
International goals: 27
Other clubs: Real Zaragoza, Real Madrid, Monaco, Valencia.
Honours with Liverpool: UEFA Super Cup 2006, FA Cup 2006


Fernando Morientes joined the Spanish revolution at Anfield in January 2005 from Real Madrid and he arrived with a great reputation as a world class striker and a deadly finisher.

Benitez had long been an admirer of Morientes and tried to sign him before the start of the 2004/05 season but Madrid wouldn't do business. Morientes spent the entire 2003/04 season on loan at Monaco and was the top scorer in the Champions League with nine goals as the French side reached the final only to lose to Jose Mourinho's Porto. Amongst the nine Champions League goals Morientes scored for Monaco, two came against ironically Real Madrid followed by another effort against Chelsea in the semi-final.
Morientes had started his career with Real Zaragoza where he scored 28 goals in 66 games. He continued this form after moving to Madrid in July 1997, averaging almost a goal every other game in the championship-winning team of 2000/01. None, however, was more celebrated than his strike in the 3-0 win against Valencia CF in the 2000 UEFA Champions League final.

Having waited patiently for his man Benitez swooped to bring Morientes to Liverpool in January 2005 and it was certainly a signing that captured the imagination of the fans. He made his Reds debut in January 2005 against Manchester United at Anfield but short of match fitness, he struggled to make an impact. It was clear that when Morientes signed for Liverpool he would need some time to settle in and get used to the physical side and pace of the Premiership.

He scored his first Liverpool goal in his fourth game for the club which was a fantastic individual striker away at Charlton Athletic. Morientes also made an impact on his Merseyside derby debut when he created a goal for Luis Garcia after his rasping drive had come back off the bar. However, Morientes also picked up an injury in the derby and being ineligible for the Champions League that was more or less his season over.

It was said that Morientes needed a good pre-season ahead of the 2005/06 season to get the best out of him and he was certainly showing signs that he could be a real success at Anfield. Unfortunately the campaign was disrupted by niggling injuries although he did show the real Morientes with two superb goals in a 2-0 Anfield win over Middlesbrough.

He played in the Super Cup win over CSKA Moscow and also in the FA Cup win over West Ham when he came on after 48 minutes in place of the injured Harry Kewell. That was to be his final appearance in a red shirt as he returned to Spain in May 2006 when he signed for Valencia.


Josemi. : Defender 2004-05

Date of Birth: : 15-11-1979
Birthplace: Spainl
1st team games: 35
Former Club Malaga
Liverpool debut: V Grazer AK, 10th August 2004. Won 2-0.

Better known as Josemi, he was Rafael Benitez's first Liverpool signing and he left the club at the start of January 2006 to move back to Spain with Villarreal, as part of the deal that saw Dutchman Jan Kromkamp arrive at Anfield.

He had the full name of Jose Miguel Gonzales Rey and joined the club from Malaga during the summer of 2004, in time for the summer tour of the USA and Canada.
Josemi made his Liverpool debut in Austria when the Reds started their Champions League campaign against Grazer AK.

He started off reasonably well at right back but was to soon lose his place to Steve Finnan and he struggled for pace and adapting to the English game before a knee injury put him out of action for up to four months.

It was an injury hit first season in England for Josemi although he did win a Champions League medal as he was an unused substitute against AC Milan in Istanbul.


John Welsh. : Midfield 2003-2005

Date of Birth: 10th January 1984
Birthplace: Liverpool
1st team games: 10
1st team goals: 0

England Under-21 international John Welsh completed a move to Hull City on the first day of 2006 in a swap deal that saw winger Paul Anderson arrive at Liverpool.
A boyhood Liverpudlian who hails from Childwall, Welsh came through the Academy having joined Liverpool at the age of 10.

Welsh made his first team debut as a second half replacement for Vladimir Smicer in a Worthington Cup fourth round tie at home to Ipswich in 2003. He then made his Premiership debut for the Reds as a substitute in the 2-1 Anfield defeat by Arsenal but made just one more appearance for the first team in 2003/04, despite previous manager Gerard Houllier insisting he would play at least 15 games.

A former captain of the Liverpool Reserve team Welsh made seven appearances in the 2004/05 season under the management of Rafael Benitez before he made the move to Hull after an initial successful loan spell.


Milan Baros : Striker
Date of Birth: 28-10-1981
Birthplace: Czech Republic
Debut : v Barcelona, March 2002. Champions League. Drew 0-0.
1st team games: 108
1st team goals: 27
Other clubs: Banik Ostrava
Honours with Liverpool: Champions League 2005, Worthington Cup 2003

Milan Baros bid farewell to Liverpool in August 2005 when he joined Premiership side Aston Villa.

Baros made his last appearance for Liverpool as a substitute in the Premiership 1-0 win over Sunderland at Anfield on August 20th, 2005.

He played his part in Liverpool winning the Champions League and started in the final against AC Milan in Istanbul. Baros played a part in Steven Gerrard winning the penalty which gave Xabi Alonso the chance to make it 3-3.

He was a big fans' favourite at Anfield and was joint top scorer at Liverpool in his final season at the club with 13 goals.

Baros had a very memorable Euro 2004 and was top scorer at the tournament as he hit five goals for the Czech Republic who reached the semi-finals.

Baros had a 2003/04 campaign to forget after a serious leg break at Blackburn ruled him out for six months but the season ended on a high with the Euro 2004 tournament.

Gerard Houllier signed the then little known Baros for 3.5 million in the summer of 2001 but had to wait until he was granted a work permit before arriving at Anfield in December, on the same day Nicolas Anelka was signed.

After a settling in period at Anfield in the reserve team Baros made his breakthrough at Liverpool in the 2002/03 season when he scored 12 goals. He became a Kop favourite and terrorised defenders with his pace and direct running.

Milan scored on his Premiership debut against Bolton when he hit two fantastic goals and hasn't looked back from there.

Strong and skilful, with blistering pace, Baros was dubbed the 'Ostravan Maradona' in his homeland where his impressive form for Banik Ostrava earned him international recognition.

Baros made his Liverpool debut as a substitute for Emile Heskey in Liverpool's Champions League draw against Barcelona at the Nou Camp in March 2002.


Antonio Nunez : Middfield
Date of Birth: 15-1-1979
Birthplace: Spain.
Debut : v Arsenal, 28th November 2004. Won 2-1.
1st team games: 27
1st team goals: 1
Other clubs: San Federico, CD Las Rozas, Real Madrid
Honours with Liverpool: Champions League 2005

Antonio Nunez left Liverpool to return to Spain with Celta Vigo at the start of August 2005 after just one season at Anfield.
Nunez became Rafael Benitez's second signing since taking over as Liverpool manager when he arrived at Anfield in August 2004 as part of the Michael Owen transfer to Real Madrid.

After a nightmare start to his Reds career through a knee injury picked up training, Nunez made his debut coming on as a subsitute in the 2-1 win over Arsenal in November 2004.

Nunez scored his only goal for Liverpool in the Carling Cup final defeat by Chelsea at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. He played a part in Liverpool's Champions League success and was an unused substitute in the Champions League final against AC Milan.

Nunez started his football career with Spanish outfit San Federico before joining nearby third division side CD La Rozas.

In 2001 he was spotted by Real Madrid - the team he idolised as a boy - and scored twice in 24 reserve games in his first season with the Spanish giants.

The following season he struck nine more goals for the reserves before finally earning a place in the first team squad for the 2003-04 campaign.

He made a dream start for Madrid as he netted an equaliser on his debut to secure a 1-1 draw with Villareal in September 2003.


Mark Smyth: Striker 2004-05

Date of Birth: 09/01/1985
Birthplace: Liverpool
1st team games: 1

England Under-20 international Mark Smyth was released by Liverpool at the end of the 2004/05 season.
Smyth fulfilled a childhood ambition when he made his Liverpool debut in the Carling Cup quarter-final win at Tottenham in December 2004, and made a lively impact.

A product of the Academy and a lifelong red, he idolised Ian Rush when he was growing up and is hoping to follow in his hero's footsteps by making it all the way to the Reds' first team.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Jon Otsemobor : Defender 2002-2005
Date of Birth: 23/03/1983
Birthplace: Liverpool
1st team games: 6
Other clubs: Hull City loan, Bolton Wanderers loan, Crewe Alexandra loan

Right back Jon Otsemobor has been released by Liverpool at the end of the 2004/05 season and joined League Two side Rotherham United.

Semi enjoyed a three month loan spell with Crewe Alexandra during the 2004/05 season but couldn't make a breakthrough at Liverpool under Rafael Benitez.

In the 2003/04 season Otsemobor was given a first team chance and made a big impression on the Liverpool fans when he was given a run of five games and did really well.

However in his fifth game he was substituted by Gerard Houllier after 20 minutes in the 2-2 draw at Manchester City, and was never seen again for the remainder of the season.

In a shock move Otsemobor was then loaned out by Houllier to Bolton Wanderers but after playing just 45 minutes for the first team cut short that move to return to Liverpool.

It was in the summer of 2002 that Otsemobor moved down to Melwood to train with the first team having been a regular in Hughie McAuley's under-19 side at the Academy.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Paul Harrison: Goalkeeper 2003-2005 :
Date of Birth: 18/12/1984
Birthplace: Liverpool

Paul Harrison was released by Liverpool following the end of the 2004/05 season and started a trial with Chester City.

Harrison was a regular for the Reserve team but never made a first team appearance for the club despite being on the bench a number of times. Harrison had a good local following at reserve level and gave a number of man of the match performances for the team.

He had a one month loan spell at Leeds United in 2005 but didn't play a game.

PAST PLAYER PROFILE - Richie Partridge

Richie Partridge: Midfield 1999-2005
Date of Birth: 12/09/1980
Birthplace: Dublin
Other clubs: Coventry City loan
1st team games: 3

Republic of Ireland Under-21 international winger Richie Partridge has been released by Liverpool at the end of the 2004/05 season.

He scored on his senior bow in a 4-0 friendly win at Bournemouth in the 1999/2000 season and then got a first team chance in the emphatic Worthington Cup 4th Round 8-0 victory at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium in November 2000. Partridge started on the right wing in the Reds record 8-0 away victory.

Since that 45 minutes at Stoke he had to wait four more years for another first team chance under Rafael Benitez. Partridge made impressive substitute appearances in the Carling Cup wins over Middlesbrough and Tottenham en route to the final.

Unfortunately he suffered many injury problems during his time at Liverpool. Partridge had a serious cruciate knee ligament injury sustained in a collision with a team-mate during a reserve match in November 2003 that kept him out of action for up to 10 months.

He also spent the entire 2002/03 season on loan at Coventry City and received many favourable reviews for his performances.


Gregory Vignal : Defender (2000-2005)
Date of Birth: 19/07/1981
Birthplace: Montpellier
1st team games: 20
1st team goals: 0
Other clubs: Montpellier, Rennes, Bastia, Espanyol, Rangers
International caps while with Liverpool: European Championship winner with French U-18 team
International goals while with Liverpool: -
Honours with Liverpool: FA Cup 2001, UEFA Cup 2001, UEFA Super Cup 2001

Left back Gregory Vignal spent the entire 2004/05 season on loan at Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers and won a championship medal, before leaving Anfield in the summer of 2005 to join Premiership side Portsmouth.

Vignal was a regular in pre-season for Liverpool ahead of the 2003/04 season but was then shipped out to Rennes where he had an unhappy loan spell.

Vignal made his breakthrough at Liverpool during the treble campaign of 2000/01 when he looked an outstanding prospect, but for one reason or another things haven't gone as planned since then for Gregory. He has three winners medals from his time with the club as he was an unused substitute in the FA Cup, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup victories in 2001.

The beginning of the end for Vignal at Anfield came after a broken foot ruled him out for most of the 2001/2002 season, and then unable to break back into the first team, ended the 2002-2003 season on a three-month loan with French side Bastia. Vignal also spent the whole of the 2003/04 season on a season long loan at Spanish La Liga strugglers Espanyol.

Vignal made his Reds debut in the FA Cup 3rd Round win over Rotherham United at Anfield in January 2000, after arriving at the club earlier in the season from Montpellier.

He came to Anfield with good pedigree having enjoyed international success during the summer of 2000 when he helped the French under-18 team to victory in the European Youth Championships in Germany.


Igor Biscan : Midfield 2000-2005
Date of Birth: 04/05/1978
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia
1st team games: 118
1st team goals: 3
Other clubs: Samobor, Dinamo Zagreb
International caps while with Liverpool: 14
International goals while with Liverpool: 1
Honours with Liverpool: Worthington Cup 2001, Charity Shield 2001, UEFA Super Cup 2001, Worthington Cup 2003, Champions League 2005


Croatian Igor Biscan played a big role in Liverpool winning the Champions League in 2005 with a series of impressive performances in the centre of midfield during the run to the final.
A big money signing at 5.5 million from Dinamo Zagreb in 2000 Biscan originally signed as a central midfielder but former boss Gerard Houllier felt he was a centre half.
However, under Rafael Benitez, Biscan was much improved back in midfield and had some memorable performances in the Champions League against the likes of Deportivo La Coruna, Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea. He was an unused substitute against AC Milan but still deservedly ended up with a winners medal.

It was at the European under-21 Championships in Slovakia, during the summer of 2000, that Liverpool first became aware of Igor Biscan and Gerard Houllier had to beat off competition from Juventus, Barcelona, Ajax and AC Milan to secure his signature.

The highly rated Croatia Zagreb midfielder joined the Reds for 5.5 million in December 2000 and he arrived at Anfield with an impressive track record. Despite his young age he was already a regular in the Croatia national side and had captained his club, Croatia Zagreb, in the Champions League and UEFA Cup.

Biscan did not have long to wait before pulling on a red shirt for the first time. Just two days after signing he came on as a substitute against Ipswich and, although Liverpool lost 1-0, he made an instant impression, showing neat touches and silky skills.

Indeed in the early part of the treble season Igor was excellent in a midfield role during the wins over Manchester United and Arsenal, but despite dominating midfield against the likes of Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira was never seen again in the position and used as a right and left sided midfielder, right back and centre half by Houllier.

It was under the management of Benitez that Biscan showed what he could really do and he leaves with good memories of his time at Anfield.


Alou Diarra : Midfield
Date of Birth: 15/07/1981
Birthplace: France
Other clubs: Bayern Munich, Freiburg (loan), Le Harve (loan), Bastia (loan), Lens (loan)

It is fair to suggest that central midfielder Alou Diarra made far more of an impact for his country than he did at Liverpool before he was sold by Rafael Benitez in 2005 to Lens. He was signed by Gerard Houllier from Bayern Munich in 2002 but only played 45 minutes in a pre-season game in Le Havre. He was never seen again in a red shirt but then ended up playing in the 2006 World Cup Final as a substitute for France in their defeat to Italy.

Diarra is now playing under Houllier at Lyon. Before leaving Anfield Diarra spent season long loan spells with Le Havre and Bastia before being transferred to Lens.
Before he signed for Liverpool Diarra had found it hard to break into the Bayern Munich team but did gain experience on loan at German side Freiburg during the 2001-2002 season.

A defensive midfielder, Diarra moved to Bayern Munich from French second division side CS Louhans-Caiseaux in 2000, and appeared during the 2000/01 campaign in Bayern's third-league side.


El-Hadji Diouf : Striker 2002-2005
Date of Birth: 15/01/1981
Birthplace: Senegal
1st team games: 80
1st team goals: 6
Other clubs: ASC Kaani Gui, Socheaux, Rennes, Lens
International caps l: 40
International goal l: 16
Honours with Liverpool: Worthington Cup 2003.

Former record signing El-Hadji Diouf made a permanent switch to Premiership side Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 2005 after a successful season loan spell with the Trotters.

African Footballer of the Year 2002 and 2003 El-Hadji Diouf was a major disappointment at Anfield despite a big money 10 million transfer fee when Gerard Houllier signed him from Lens.
Houllier put his faith in Diouf and made the choice to sign him and not take up the permament signing of loan star Nicolas Anelka. It was a decision that was to backfire on the manager as in the end Houllier left the club in the summer of 2004.
Originally signed as a striker but played on the right wing, Diouf scored just six goals in his first season including three in the Worthington Cup.

In 2003/04 he became the first player to wear the number nine at Liverpool not to score a goal for over 50-odd years. He made 33 appearances and went over 14 months without a goal.
After a series of disciplinary problems Diouf was then off-loaded by new manager Rafael Benitez on a season's loan to Bolton Wanderers.

Diouf enjoyed a mixed debut season at Anfield but his best performance was reserved for the 2003 Worthington Cup Final as Liverpool beat Manchester United.

The second most expensive player in the history of LFC up until the signing of Djibril Cisse, Diouf starred in the 2002 World Cup Finals for Senegal and helped his side reach the quarter-finals before they lost 1-0 to Turkey.

Diouf first came to the public eye with his stunning performance in the opening World Cup win over France. He created the only goal of the game and led defenders Lebouef and Desailly a merry dance. The very next day his 10 million transfer was confirmed by Liverpool.

His move from northern France was no shock, since Marseille, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Parma had all considered prising him away.

Diouf also starred in the 2002 African Nations Cup as Senegal finished runners-up to Cameroon.

Diouf kicked-off his French career at Sochaux, playing 15 league matches in 1998/99. But it wasn't until the following season, with Rennes, that he scored his first goal.

PAST PLAYER PROFILE - Mauricio Pellegrino

Mauricio Pellegrino : Defender 2005
Date of Birth: 05/10/1971
Birthplace: Argentina
1st team games: 12
1st team goals: 0
Other clubs: CA Velez Sarsfield, Barcelona, Valencia

Mauricio Pellegrino was the first Argentine to play for Liverpool and Rafael Benitez went back to his former club Valencia to sign the defender in January 2005 on a short term contract.

He played 12 games in a red shirt and his best game came in the 2-1 Anfield derby win over Everton, but overall struggled for consistency and found the pace of the English game hard to adapt to, and he was released in the summer of 2005.
Pellegrino started his career playing in Argentina for CA Velez Sarsfield and played over 200 games for the club winning three Apertura titles and two Clausura titles and a number of international honours, including the Copa Libertadores and European/South American Cup in 1994.

In 1998 he moved to La Liga to play for Spanish giants Barcelona. He made 23 appearances as Barcelona won the league title under Louis van Gaal.
In 1999 Pellegrino was snapped up by Valencia and instantly began to form a impressive partnership in central defence alongside fellow Argentine Roberto Ayala.

He played in two Champions League finals for Valencia only to finish on the losing side twice to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Unfortunately Pellegrino missed a penalty in the final against the Germans.

In 2001/02, under the management of Rafael Benitez, Pellegrino helped the Mestalla side to their first Spanish championship since 1971.

He didn't have much luck last season in 2003/04 when a dislocated shoulder and the form of Carlos Marchena kept Pellegrino on the sidelines and he made just 16 starts as Valencia won back the Spanish title.

Mauricio was a substitute in the UEFA Cup final victory over Olympique de Marseille, coming on in the 86th minute, Benitez's last match in charge of Valencia

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Vladimir Smicer : Midfielder (1999-2005)
Date of Birth: 24-5-1973
Birthplace: Decin, Czech Republic
Debut : Sheffield Wednesday - 7 August 1999 (a) Premiership: won 2-1
1st team games: 183
1st team goals: 19
Other clubs: Slavia Prague, RC Lens, Bordeaux
International caps while with Liverpool: 75
International goals while with Liverpool: 27
Honours with Liverpool: Worthington Cup 2001, FA Cup 2001, UEFA Cup 2001, Worthington Cup 2003, Champions League 2005

Vladimir Smicer left Liverpool for Bordeaux in the summer of 2005 just weeks after signing off in style by playing a crucial role in the Champions League win over AC Milan.

Coming on as a substitute for Harry Kewell, Smicer scored the Reds second goal in the memorable comeback and also scored Liverpool's deciding penalty in the vital penalty shoot-out before Jerzy Dudek's save from Shevchenko. It was a sweet reward for Smicer who returned to action in February 2005 after missing most of the 2004/05 season after a knee operation.

The Czech international first arrived at Anfield in 1999 and joined his close friend Patrik Berger at Liverpool.
An attacking midfielder, Smicer first shot to prominence in 1996, helping Slavia Prague reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and then starring for the Czech Republic during their run to the final of Euro 96.

He then moved on to French club RC Lens where he enjoyed more success - inspiring the club to a first ever-French title in 1997/98.

In June 1999 he was recruited by Liverpool to fill the void left by the departure of Steve McManaman to Real Madrid. His first campaign in the Premiership was a difficult one as he struggled to come to terms with the pace of the English game and his cause was not helped a succession of injuries.

The 2000/2001 season saw Vladimir fare much better, whether it be on the flanks or behind the front two. Having got to grips with life in the Premiership and regaining full fitness he showed in glimpses just what he is really capable of and played an important role in the Reds treble cup triumph.

Unfortunately he was plagued with injury problems and lack of consistency but he did have some good moments like the last minute winner against Chelsea in 2002 and the performance in the 2-0 win over Roma in the Champions League at Anfield, and then the perfect ending his Champions League Final heroics of 2005 that ensured that he'll forever be remembered as legend on the Kop.


Bernard Diomede : (Midfield, 2000-2003)
Date of Birth: 23/01/1974
Birthplace: Saint-Doulchard
Debut : -
1st team games: 5
1st team goals: 0
Other clubs: Auxerre
International caps while with Liverpool: 8
International goals while with Liverpool: 0
Honours with Liverpool: -

Bernard Diomede brought an end to a disappointing spell with Liverpool when he joined French club Ajaccio in July 2003 after his contract at Anfield expired.
Diomede arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2000 to become the only member of the Liverpool squad to have won a World Cup winners medal. The dread-locked Frenchman played three times for France during their glorious triumph in 1998. However he failed to settle to the English game and in particular the physical side and was a regular in the reserve team.

Formerly with Auxerre, where Houllier's good friend Guy Roux nurtured his talents, Diomede tasted success at club level. He made his first team debut at Auxerre as a 19-year old in December 1992 and three seasons later was an integral member of the team that won the French League and Cup double, scoring nine goals in the process.

A relatively disappointing last two seasons with the French club saw him lose his place in the national side but Gerard Houllier did not hesitate in paying £3 million for him in June 2000.

He made his Reds debut in the 1-0 UEFA Cup win over Rapid Bucharest in September but his first team opportunities have since been restricted due to unfortunate injury troubles and difficulty adjusting to the pace of the English game. His best moment at Anfield was probably playing in the Premiership against Sunderland, and seeing a spectacular overhead scissor kick being tipped onto the post by Thomas Sorensen. If it had gone in who knows how Diomede's Anfield future would have mapped out?

He turned down a move to Charlton in July 2002. He spent the second half of the 2002-2003 season on loan with French side Ajaccio before completing the permanent move in July 2003.


Abel Xavier Defender 2002-2003
Born: Mozambique
Date of birth: 30-11-1972
1st team Games 21
1st team Goals 2
Former clubs: Estrela Amadora, Benfica, Bari, Real Oviedo, PSV Eindhoven, Everton

Abel Xavier left Liverpool officially in December 2003 after his contract expired and it would be fair to say he didn't exactly become a firm Kop favourite.

Consistency was a big problem for Xavier and after starting the 2002/03 season as first choice it wasn't to last as he was quickly replaced in the team by a fit again Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool shocked Merseyside when Abel Xavier joined the Reds from Everton on 31st January 2002 for a fee in the region of £800,000. A Portugal international defender, Xavier crossed Stanley Park to become only the second player to join Liverpool from Everton since Dave Hickson in 1959. Nick Barmby, of course was the last to do so before Xavier.

Xavier provided the Reds with cover at the back as he could play right back and centre half.

Abel began his professional career in Portugal with Estrela Amadora in 1990 before moving to Benfica three years later.

He then had spells in Italy and Spain with Bari and Real Oviedo respectively before being signed by Bobby Robson for PSV Eindhoven in 1998.

It was then that Everton swooped and Walter Smith brought him to Goodison Park for £1.5 million in September 1999.

He is a member of the Portugal national team, playing alongside the likes of Figo, Rui Costa and Nuno Gomez, and played in Euro 2000 where he first unveiled his eccentric blonde hairdo and beard.

He played in Portugal's opening game against England but then sustained a knee injury that kept him out until the semi-final with France which was to prove eventful to say the least. He was controversially sent off against the French when he conceded a penalty in the last minute of extra time, from which Zinedine Zidane scored and he was distraught.

His subsequent demonstrations earned him a £8,000 fine and a nine month ban from all European matches.

Xavier was deemed surplus to requirements by Gerard Houllier and in December 2002 went out on loan to Galatasary before an ill fated spell there saw him released and searching for a new club.


Emile Heskey (Striker, 2000-2004)
Position: Striker
Date of Birth: 11/01/1978
Height: 6' 2
1st team games: 223
1st team goals: 60
Other clubs: Leicester City
International caps: 36
International goals: 4


Emile Heskey became the club's most expensive player when Gerard Houllier paid Leicester City 11 million for his services in March 2000 and stayed at the club for four years before departing for Birmingham City at the end of the 2003/04 season.

The striker had his critics but Heskey remained a big favourite of his manager Houllier who showed a lot of faith in the England international. You could never term him a prolific goalscorer but Heskey's strengths were being a hard worker for the team cause and a willingness to play anywhere the manager wanted him to.
Heskey's career began with his hometown club Leicester City, for whom he made his first team debut in 1995 and the following season his goals helped the Foxes win promotion to the Premiership via the play-offs.

His international career also started to blossom. He starred alongside Michael Owen in the England Under-18 team that finished third in the European Championships in France. Caps then followed at both Under-21 and senior level, while success on the domestic front saw him claim two Worthington Cup winner's medals with Leicester City and involvement in UEFA Cup football.

It was the first full season at Liverpool that Heskey hit the heights at Anfield most. It was during the treble season when the Reds number eight hit 22 goals in his best campaign ever featuring his first ever hat-trick in senior football in a 4-1 win at Derby County. He scored twice in Merseyside derby wins over Everton at Anfield and Goodison Park and netted a superb goal in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Wycombe Wanderers. Heskey started in all three of the treble successes but didn't score.

The following campaign he scored 14 goals as the Reds finished second in the Premiership and ended playing for England in the 2002 World Cup Finals, scoring once against Denmark.

The 2001/02 campaign was a turbulent one for Liverpool in the sense that manager Gerard Houllier underwent life threatening heart surgery and missed five months of the season. On the manager's comeback on a never-to-be-forgotten Anfield European night against Roma in the Champions League, Heskey gave arguably his finest display in a red shirt. In the 2-0 win he scored a magnificent goal at the Kop end and led the line superbly against world class defenders. Sadly this performance was never to be witnessed on a consistent basis.

However Heskey did contribute to another cup success when he scored a marvellous goal in the 3-2 Super Cup triumph over Bayern Munich in Monaco.
In Heskey's final season at Anfield he netted 12 goals from 47 games to finish second top scorer to Michael Owen. All-in-all Heskey scored 60 goals in 223 games for Liverpool.


Markus Babbel : Defender 2000-2004
Date of Birth: 08/09/1972
Birthplace: Munich
1st team games: 73
1st team goals: 6
Other clubs: Bayern Munich
International caps : 51
International goals : 1


Markus Babbel had a fantastic debut season at his beloved Anfield when he played a major role in the treble success and scored some memorable goals and left with everyone's best wishes when he returned to Germany to join vfb Stuttgart in July 2004.
Markus arrived at Anfield on a Bosman-style free transfer in the summer of 2000 from Bayern Munich, having helped the most famous of all German clubs to a domestic League and Cup double in his final season.

Bavarian born, Babbel made his name with Bayern but also had a spell with Hamburg. A German international since 1995, making his debut in a friendly against Spain in February of that year, he was a key contributor to Germany's Euro 96 triumph in England.

Babbel was one of Liverpool's key performers during the 2000/01 treble season and was outstanding as an attacking right back with a memorable derby goal against Everton amongst his highlights. Markus also scored in the UEFA Cup Final win over Alaves in Dortmund.

After picking up five medals and adding a new dimension to Liverpool's play as an attacking right back, sadly the following season 2001/02 Babbel was laid down with the potentially deadly virus Guillain-Barre Syndrome which kept him out of action for practically the whole of the 2001/02 season.

He tried to make a comeback in the 2002/03 campaign but struggled to make an impact and he wasn't the same player. The pace of the game and the physical side saw Babbel struggle as he chased full fitness again, and spent most of the season in the reserves.

After playing pre-season in 2003/04 Gerard Houllier shipped Babbel off to Blackburn Rovers on a season's loan.


Vegard Heggem : (Defender, 1998-2003)
Date of Birth: 13/07/1975
Birthplace: Trondheim
Debut : -
1st team games: 65
1st team goals: 3
Other clubs: Rennebu, Orkdal, Rosenborg
International caps while with Liverpool: 20
International goals while with Liverpool: 1
Honours with Liverpool: -

After being plagued by hamstring problems for three years Norwegian defender Vegard Heggem left Anfield for pastures new in July 2003 when his contract at the club expired.
The first signing of Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier in their roles as joint managers in the summer of 1998, it didn't take Vegard Heggem long to impress the Liverpool supporters with his consistent and exciting attacking displays.

The Norwegian international had passed up the chance of Champions League football with Rosenborg to join Liverpool for £3.5 million, and he held off the challenge of Bjorn Tore Kvarme, Steve Harkness and Jason McAteer to make the right back slot his own.

Equally comfortable at right back or on the right side of midfield, Heggem's high-energy performances, with an ability to attack as well as defend, made him a vital member of the squad, and ability to score spectacular goals as efforts against Middlesbrough and Bradford City live long in the memory.

However, a series of hamstring injuries severely disrupted his Anfield career and his final appearance for Liverpool was against Derby County at Pride Park in October 2000.

Despite a series of comebacks with the reserve team the hamstring problems continued to haunt him, and he is now set to move back to Norway.