Jari Litmanen Biography
(Finland's Greatest Football Player of All Time)
Birthday: February 20, 1971 (Pisces)
Born In: Lahti, Finland
Jari Litmanen is a Finnish former footballer who served as the captain of the Finland national team from 1996 to 2008. Counted amongst Finland's greatest footballers of all time, he has represented HJK, MyPa, Lahti, and Reipas during his club career in Finland as well as Barcelona, Ajax, and Liverpool abroad. The Association of Football Statisticians has listed him as the 53rd best footballer ever. Born in the city of Lahti, Litmanen grew up in a family of footballers. His father was a Reipas and Finnish international player while his mother had also played the sport. Following in the footsteps of his parents, Litmanen kicked off his football career in 1987 at the age of 16, making his first-team debut for Reipas. He made his international debut in October 1989 when he represented his team in a match against Trinidad and Tobago. His international career ended in 2010. He was known as the "Kuningas" ("The King") during his heyday. On 10 October 2010, he became the first Finnish team sport player to have his statue unveiled for his contribution to sports. On the personal front, he has two children with his long-term partner.