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Striker from Finland, considered the best footballer the country ever produced. As a youngster he played both football and ice hockey. Arrived at Barça after seven seasons at Ajax, where was a great attacking midfielder. Had a wonderful first touch and goalscoring ability as he played two seasons as a blaugrana and later signed for Liverpool. In the 2011-12 season he retired playing for HJK Helsinki.
Jari Litmanen arrived at Barça in the 1999-00 season after some wonderful years at Ajax and unforgettably becoming European champion in 1995 in a team including such giants as Van der Saar, Edgar Davids, Kluivert, Seedorf and the De Boer brothers, among others. Europe fell in love with that generation. The same coach he had at Ajax was the man who brought him to Barcelona, Dutchman Louis Van Gaal. They were only together for his first season at Barça, 1999-00, for in the second he would be at the command of Serra Ferrer. That was a season plagued by injuries and a loan spell at Liverpool with whom he’d end up winning the former UEFA Cup. After a year and a half in England he returned to Ajax for two further seasons. Lahti of Finland, Hansa Rostock of Germany, Malmö of Sweden and Fulham of England would be his next ports of call before hanging up his boots at HJK Helsinki back in his native Finland.
European champion with Ajax in 1995
136 international caps for Finland