The second subject in my, The Great, the Good and the God Damn awful series in Croatian midfielder Igor Biscan.
Biscan is a player that perplexed, infuriated and amused the hell out every single Liverpool fan during his spell at the club.
Biscan was bought from Dinamo Zagreb in December of 2000, by then Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier. The move was considered a surprise by many, because in Steven Gerrard, Dietmar Hamann, Gary McCallister, and Danny Murphy, Liverpool already had a pool of talent to choose from in this position.
The size of the 5.5 million pound fee was also a shock, because little had been heard of Biscan. Shockingly now it has been revealed that the inflated fee was due in part to fend of interest from the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, and AC Milan, who were all allegedly ready to pounce.
Biscan struggled to fit in the Liverpool midfield and never realy made any position his own. He was quickly shown the door in terms of being the heartbeat of the Liverpool midfield, the position Houllier envisaged for him, and was eventually re moulded as a makeshift centre half.
The fact that Biscan was turned into an emergency centre half perhaps highlights one of Gerard Houllier's greatest mistakes. Biscan was preferred in this position to Jamie Carragher, who now is the backbone of a Liverpool team challenging for the Premiership and Champions league, and regarded as one of the finest natural defenders in Europe.
The arrival of Rafa Benitez signaled the end of Biscan's Liverpool spell, but the story has one twist left yet.
During the 2004-05 season, Liverpool suffered injuries and suspensions at key times, to central midfielders, Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, and Didi Hamann. Biscan, who had not been sold in time was forced to fill in.
Unbelievably, to the majority of Liverpool fans, Biscan produced performances in the journey to the Champions league final that were frankly outstanding.
His surging runs and dogged battling in the centre of midfield were the foundation for Liverpool to record famous victories. Away to Deportivo, Bayern Leverkusen and Juventus, Biscan was massive. He was also excellent in the semi final against Chelsea.
He had gone from a figure of frustration to an important member of a champions league winning side. Nothing highlights this fact more than a banner seen at Istanbul that read, in a take off of the famous Mary Poppins song—"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
His expression and appearance of always looking like he had just woken up endeared him to many fans, as did the stories of his alleged sexual misconduct.
He was allegedly caught on regular occasions with women in the team hotel, and according to Steven Gerrard was once caught "alone" on the team bus.
Benitez eventually sold Biscan immediately after the 2005 season, but "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGORRRRRRRRRRR" as the Kop affectionately sang will never be forgotten.
To the outside football fan, Biscan was God damn awful.
But to Liverpool fans, Biscan was certainly not great, probably not even good, but he is a loved cult hero nevertheless.
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