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Finnish legend Hyypia named Brighton and Hove manager

Finnish footballing legend Sami Hyypia has been named the new manager of English Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion.

Hyypia, who was capped more than 100 times by his country, has signed a three-year deal with Brighton, the south coast club announced on Friday. The former defender, who played for Liverpool for nine years, said that he was “thrilled” to be given this opportunity as Brighton and Hove Albion are an ambitious club, adding that he had been impressed by everything he had seen there so far.

Brighton and Hove finished sixth in the Championship last year, qualifying for the playoffs to gain promotion to the Premier League. However, after they were defeated by Derby County in the semi-finals, manager Oscar Garcia resigned. There has since been much speculation as to who will step into the managerial hot seat, but the board of directors have ultimately plumped for Hyypia.

Hyypia retired as a player in 2011, after having made more than 700 appearances for Liverpool and German side Bayer Leverkusen among other clubs. He enjoyed a short stint coaching the Finnish national team after hanging up his boots before becoming head coach at Leverkusen in 2012. Since leaving the Bundesliga club, the Finn has been out of a job.