Andy Cole has expressed his admiration for former Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia, who returns to Old Trafford on Tuesday as boss of Bayer Leverkusen.
The Finnish centre-back spent 10 seasons at Anfield before moving to the BayArena in 2009, where he retired after one season to become caretaker manager alongside Sascha Lewandowski. He then took sole charge to become the Bundesliga’s youngest head coach.
Cole is pleased to see Hyypia succeeding in North Rhine-Westphalia and has wished his old adversary well, having enjoyed many tussles with him as a player.
“I loved playing against Sami, we had so many battles,” Andy told ManUtd.com. “I used to say to him, 'I have never known a centre-half who moans as much as you. All you do is moan and I’m not allowed to touch you!’ He used to say the same about me too, we just used to get on with it.
“To see where he has come from at Liverpool, where he did very well as a player, to becoming manager of Leverkusen is great. And it’s not as if Leverkusen is some Mickey Mouse team in Germany, they are a big football club. He has done very well as a manager so far and I wish him all the best. He is coming to Old Trafford as an opposition manager, so fair play to him.”
Tuesday’s match is United’s first in the Champions League since exiting last season’s competition at the hands of Real Madrid, a defeat that was shrouded by controversy following the seemingly harsh dismissal of Nani in the second leg.