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By ESPN Staff
May 12, 2006

Hyypia hungry for Cup glory

Sami Hyypia admits he has longed for another experience of the winning feeling in an FA Cup final since Liverpool triumphed in 2001.

The Finn has won eight winners' medals in his seven and a half seasons at Anfield, including Champions League and UEFA Cup.

But the 32-year-old looks back particularly fondly on the FA Cup final five years ago, when Liverpool came back from the dead to beat Arsenal 2-1.

Of all the 371 games he has played for the Reds since a £2.6million move from Willem II in January 1999, Hyypia points to that Millennium Stadium match as one which takes some beating.

'When we won the Cup in 2001 in Cardiff it was one of the best days of my life,' he said.

'To be 1-0 down with Arsenal dominating the game and then to come back with two goals from Michael Owen, the second out of nowhere, was something very special.

'I would love to experience that again, it is certainly important for this club to win trophies every year, the fans expect that and we expect that of ourselves.'

Hyypia will once again partner Jamie Carragher in one of Europe's strongest central defensive pairing when Liverpool face West Ham in tomorrow's Cardiff final.

Hyypia recalled: 'This time last year we were preparing for the Champions League final, it is important for the future of the club that we play in such games.

'We have to keep going and keep looking to achieve things at this level.

'Last season the Champions League final `made' our season, but this time around this game is not at that importance because we have played well and achieved something in the Premier League.

'The FA Cup would be a real bonus. We have improved on last season, when we had so many injuries. It was a pity to go out of the Champions League but you must realise you can't win it every season.

'But we are happy with the way things are going for us and the club, and we must keep this going.'

The final will be Liverpool's 62nd game of their longest ever season, one in which they finished third in the Barclays Premiership.

The fear of burn-out remains, but Hyypia said: 'Are we tired? I don't think so with one final to go.

'My legs will hold out for one more game. If you asked any of the lads how they felt, they would say `fine' because everyone wants to play in the final.

'It has been a long season, but because things have gone well the mental tiredness has not bothered us.

'That is more difficult to overcome than physical tiredness, any player will say they are okay now.

'And I know I have a break after the final. Last season we had about three weeks off because of the early start to the season.

'I am a little jealous of the lads going to the World Cup, but I know I will have a longer holiday than them.'