Liverpool legend co-managing Leverkusen to success (video)

We have heard very little of Champions League winner and former Liverpool captain Sami Hyppia since his departure from Anfield in 2009. Yet, after ending his playing career in 2011, the veteran Finnish defender now co-manages a Bayer Leverkusen side who are riding high in Germany.

Leverkusen currently occupy 3rd position in the Bundesliga – an automatic Champions League qualification spot – and are only 1 point behind highly revered Dortmund and 6 points clear of 4th place Schalke.

Since the dismissal of head coach Robin Dutt in April of last year, the Bayer Leverkusen management team has unusually consisted of two joint-managers, Sascha Lewandowski and Sami Hyppia. Where the successes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will trump those of Leverkusen in the headlines this season, the achievements of Hyppia and Lewandowski in their first full season of management should not go un-noticed.

Leverkusen’s fortunes have been helped this season by a trio of young German internationals – midfielder Lars Bender and strikers Andre Schürrle and Stefan Kießling, the latter of whom has notched 16 league goals this term.

Hyppia and his cohort Lewandowski will need to ensure Champions League qualification this season if Leverkusen are to have any chance of fending off interest for their hot-shot youngsters. Should the Champions League finalists of 2002 be able to maintain their recent league form, then they have every chance of competing with Europe’s elite once more.