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14. Jun 2008, 15:50:38
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Steve Finnan

Full name:  Stephen John Finnan
Date of birth:  24 April 1976
Place of birth:  Limerick, Republic of Ireland
Height   1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
National team
2000–2008   Republic of Ireland   

Stephen John Finnan (born 24 April 1976) is an Irish football player who currently plays for Liverpool at right back. He is the only player to have played in the World Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup, all four levels of English League football, and the English Conference.

Club career

Early career

Finnan was born in the Janesboro area of Limerick City, and moved to Chelmsford, England at a young age. He began his career playing in Wimbledon's youth team, but joined non-league Welling United after being released at 16. He turned professional with Birmingham City in 1995, but, after only a handful of appearances, he was soon on his way to Notts County, initially on loan, then permanently. There he established himself in the first team and attracted a considerable amount of interest from higher division teams.


After some strong showings for County in 1997–98, Fulham paid £600,000 for his services in November 1998. He became an instant regular at Craven Cottage and a fans' favourite. With Fulham he won the old Second Division championship in 1999 and then the First Division in 2001.

Finnan had an impressive first season in the Premiership, helping Fulham qualify for the UEFA Intertoto Cup and being voted into the 2001–02 PFA team of the year by his fellow professionals. Fulham then went on to win the Intertoto Cup, giving Finnan his first taste of European football.


In the summer of 2003 Finnan found himself courted by many of England's top clubs and eventually joined Liverpool for a fee of £3.5m.

Finnan's first season at Anfield was disrupted by a succession of injuries. However, the campaign ended on a high as Liverpool clinched fourth place and a UEFA Champions League qualifying spot.

During the 2004–05 season with Liverpool, he established himself as the first choice right back and a firm fans' favourite.This successful season saw him play in the Carling Cup final which Liverpool lost 3–2 to Chelsea. Finnan also started in the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final against A.C. Milan, which the team went on to win. Unfortunately he picked up an injury and was substituted at half time. He had a highly successfully 2005–2006 season in which he was a start performer for Liverpool and was consistent throughout the season. At the end of the season Liverpool won the FA Cup and Finnan added another medal to his collection.

Finnan played for Liverpool as first choice right back for the 2006–07 season despite heavy competition from newly arrived team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa. The season was a very successful one for him as he was very consistent throughout the season and many fans considered him to be one of their top performers as evident through the high amounts of vote he collected in a poll in the official Liverpool website. He participated in the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final and was substituted after 88 minutes for Arbeloa. Liverpool went on to lose the game 2–1. On 23 July, Finnan agreed a new three-year contract to remain with Liverpool.

On 19 August 2007, Finnan was involved in a controversial penalty decision in which Chelsea's Florent Malouda dived to the ground. Although no Chelsea player appealed, referee Rob Styles awarded a penalty because he thought Finnan had fouled Malouda. Video replays later showed that there was no illegal contact between the players, and Styles was suspended from refereeing for a week, as well as issuing an apology to Liverpool. The final score was Liverpool 1–1 Chelsea when Frank Lampard converted the penalty to level with Fernando Torres' 16th minute goal.

Finnan made it into the top 100 Liverpool appearances of all time when he came on as substitute in the 4–0 victory over Toulouse on 28 August 2007.

It was claimed by Sky Sports that Finnan's goal for Liverpool made him the only player to have scored in the five highest divisions of English football, although it was later demonstrated that it was actually a distinction he shared with Jimmy Willis. he is however the only player to have scored in all five divisions and in a Full International

International career

A Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, Finnan stepped up to the senior side in 2000 against Greece, filling in for the injured Stephen Carr. Although he was raised in England, Finnan is very proud of his Irish nationality and he has alluded to this fact in many interviews.

He cemented his place in the Irish starting XI towards the end of qualification for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, supplying the cross for Jason McAteer to score the only goal in the crucial 1–0 home win against the Netherlands in September 2001. He appeared in all four of Ireland's games in South Korea and Japan, but injury disrupted his participation in the unsuccessful attempt to reach the Euro 2004 finals. He was a regular choice in the 2006 World Cup qualification games.

Finnan announced his retirement from international football on 22 January 2008 after making 50 appearances for the Republic of Ireland since making his debut against Greece in April 2000. It is unclear whether he will change his mind on this matter due to Giovanni Trapattoni being appointed as the new Republic of Ireland manager.

Izvor: Wikipedia

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