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Liverpool £5.5m signing was called a 't**' by Steven Gerrard but become Champions League hero

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On this day in Liverpool history, Igor Biscan signed for the Reds from Dinamo Zagreb for £5.5m.

“He is an international player and a class player.

READ MORE: FSG facing pressure in Boston as Liverpool sale talk heats up READ MORE: Jurgen Klopp phone call left Liverpool target 'upset' as full story of failed transfer emerges Igor Biscan arrived at Anfield with a glowing reputation and made a hugely positive start before falling out of favour and becoming a figure of ridicule, after being pressed into service in an unfamiliar position, until his final season on Merseyside became one of ultimate redemption and established his status as a cult hero.

It’s a blur, it’s so emotional - really, really emotional.

Yet their names are written forever into Anfield folklore because of the cameo roles they played during Rafa Benitez’s side’s astonishing road to glory in 2004/05 - as is that of another unsung hero, who never saw a second of action in that season’s Champions League final, but without whose efforts over the course of the campaign Liverpool may well not have even got out of the group stages.

His reputation was further bolstered by stellar showings in the European Under-21 Championships in the summer of 2000 and, with clubs such as Juventus, AC Milan, Ajax and Barcelona showing interest, the Liverpool manager swooped.

It was United’s first home league defeat in almost three years and, while inevitably Houllier’s men had to soak up a fair amount of pressure from the home team, the obdurate platform provided by Biscan alongside Steven Gerrard in the middle of the park ensured the result was no fluke, the BBC writing afterwards: “The central midfield partnership of Gerrard and Biscan were particularly impressive.” While the Guardian were more even more effusive in their praise of the Reds’ Croatian debutant, saying: “Gerrard enjoyed solid support from Igor Biscan, newly arrived from Dinamo Zagreb and justifying his inclusion at the expense of Gary McAllister with a display of unflustered tackling and passing that belied the passions that always accompany this fixture.” The following weekend the country’s other leading side Arsenal pitched up at Anfield just two days before Christmas and Biscan, who kept his place in the team and again played the full 90 minutes, helped ensure it was a happy Yuletide for the Reds by producing another dominant showing in midfield as goals from Gerrard, Owen, Nick Barmby and Robbie Fowler saw a 4-0 win over the out-played and out-fought Gunners who were now only two points ahead of Houllier’s men.
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