The reaction of Sami Hyypia to the decision for Steven Gerrard to replace him as Liverpool captain in 2003 remains a testament to the Finn's character.

A powerful, professional centre-back, the defender had led Gerard Houllier's side with steely aplomb as they evolved from treble winners into contenders for the championship.

With Gerrard progressing from prodigious talent to talismanic force, though, the French manager made the call to switch the skipper's armband to the Scouse midfielder.

The Reds' No.8 has never looked back, driving his team to success in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup during the decade that has followed.

"He's a good captain and I can still remember the day that the captaincy went to Stevie," said Hyypia.

"We were going to training and he wouldn't look at me. I went to sit next to him and said: 'Congratulations and, anything you need, I am always there.'

"It was a relief for him that I took the decision okay. But I knew that the captaincy was more important to him than for me. He was a Liverpool lad and to be captain of Liverpool was a big thing for him."