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Martin Skrtel

Number 37

D.O.B.

15.12.1984

Birthplace

Handlova, Slovakia

Height

1.91m

Weight

81kg

Position

Center Back

Signed

11.1.2008

Fee

6.5 million

Former Clubs

Trencin, Zenit St.Petersburg

International

Slovakia

Pen Pic

Slovak international Martin Skrtel arrived at Anfield in January 2008 with a reputation for being a no-nonsense centre-back.

His signature followed a long search by Rafael Benitez for defensive cover, with Skrtel expected to battle it out with Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia and Daniel Agger for a place at the heart of Liverpool's defence.

The 6ft 4 defender began his career with FC Previdza after choosing football over hockey. From there he enjoyed a spell with FC Trencin before moving to the Russian Premier League with FC Zenit in 2004.

Skrtel's performances during 113 games led to international recognition and interest from a host of European clubs including Valencia, Everton and Spurs.

But it was the Reds who eventually clinched his signature and the Slovak made his debut as a second-half sub against Aston Villa on January 21, 2008.

He made 20 appearances at the tail end of that 2007-08 campaign, quickly establishing himself as a Kop favourite.

The hulking centre-back continued to impress the following season, though a knee injury sustained against Manchester City on October 5 kept him sidelined for three months.

Skrtel returned to play a key role in helping Liverpool to their best finish under Benitez as the Reds secured second place in the Barclays Premier League.

Injury again punctuated 2009-10 but the defender was back in time for Slovakia's first ever World Cup in South Africa, where he featured in every game before a last 16 exit to Dirk Kuyt's Holland.

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