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Friday, 06 March 2009

Whatever Happened To?- Igor Biscan

Igor Biscan was one of the players who struggled to make an impact under Gerard Houllier but then briefly found a role under Rafa Benitez. The Croatian took away a Champions League winners medal from his time at Anfield.

Signed in 2000 for £5.5 million, Biscan always looked incongruous in the Premiership - at six foot three inches he never had the mobility to play a box-to-box role and Dietmar Hamann was around to hold the defensive shield role.

England never seemed the right place for Biscan, as British teams have rarely employed a player just in the set role in front of the back four that is so common in Continental football.

As a result, Houllier started selecting the tall Croatian as a centre-back where he could put up a reasonable performance without ever looking dominant. Being in and out of the side never helped Biscan's confidence though at times he could look a very good player and a fluid passer of the ball.

When Biscan arrived from Dinamo Zagreb he was part of the national squad but that ended abruptly after disagreements with the management in 2001. He hasn't added to his 15 caps since then.

In Liverpool's 2001 cup treble, Biscan started in the League Cup Final, came on as substitute in the UEFA Cup Final but missed out on the FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium.

During his career at Anfield he played just 72 games in five years and it says it all that the season he played most- 2003/04- it was mainly in the defence.

However, the Croatian did enjoy a resurgence under Rafa Benitez who found a use for Biscan's talents in the disciplined tactical plans that Liverpool employed against Juventus and Chelsea in the Champions League.

The midfielder made a big contribution on the way to the final and became something of a cult hero to the Kop. Benitez didn't use him off the bench in Istanbul- after Liverpool's disastrous first half he threw Hamann on to shore things up defensively and the other subs had to be forwards.

Despite his efforts Benitez chose to let Biscan go and he moved to Panathinaikos. In two seasons in Greece he won a Greek Cup runners-up medal.

In 2007 Biscan returned to his old club Dinamo Zagreb wheer he remains a big hero to the fans. After Luca Modric left to Spurs he was appointed club captain. He added to his medal tally when Dinamo did the 'double' in 2008.

Biscan played in England again this season when Dinamo took on Spurs in the UEFA Cup. Unfortunately they were beaten 4-0 and didn't get past the group stage.

Surprisingly the player is still only 30 and in his playing style, could go on for several years yet. In terms of medals his time at Anfield was reasonably successful but it's probable that Igor Biscan could have had a more prominent career elsewhere in Europe.

COMMENTS

gento

i'm from croatia, igor is playing for nk dinamo and he is the one of the weekest players of that team

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