Igor Biscan

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Igor Bišćan (born May 4, 1978 in Zagreb, Croatia) is a Croatian football player, who plays primarily as a defensive central midfielder. He recently played for Panathinaikos. He has played 14 games for Croatia, scoring one goal, though his international career has suffered from an incident in which the player walked out of an international training camp, leading to a long-standing ban.

At the start of his career Bišćan began to amass an impressive level of playing experience, representing Croatia at youth football level and then captaining his club, Dinamo Zagreb, in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup.

He was bought by former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier for £5.5 million in December 2000, having been sought after by Juventus, Barcelona, Ajax and A.C. Milan. However, Houllier often played Bišćan out of position, opting to play him sometimes as a winger or full back, but most often as a centre back, where he played for 39 games in the 2003-2004 season.

The following season, though not an automatic choice for the first team under new manager Rafael Benítez, Bišćan was played in his favourite position when he got a chance through injuries to other players, in particular playing a vital part in Liverpool's run to the final of the Champions League, and was notable particularly for combative defensive work in the middle of the park during matches against Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea F.C.. Although he was replaced by the returning Xabi Alonso in the final, Bišćan had clearly played a vital part in the historic success.

Bišćan made 118 appearances for Liverpool, and scored three goals. The first came in a Worthington Cup semi-final second leg against Crystal Palace at Anfield, which Liverpool won 5-0 on the night. The second came in a 4-2 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Liverpool came from 2-0 down to win 4-2. Biscan came on as a very late substitute and scored with his second touch of the game. His third goal was a late winner in the 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers at Anfield. During his time at Liverpool, Bišćan made himself a cult hero among the fans, particularly in his final European campaign.

Biscan joined Greek side Panathinaikos in July 2005 after he was released by Liverpool. He played for two years in Greece but did not impress the club or the fans. When his contract ran out in 2007, he returned to Croatia and Dinamo Zagreb.

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