Martin Skrtel

Martin Skrtel
NameMartin Skrtel
BirthdayDecember 15, 1984



When Rafa Benitez signed a Slovakian called Skrtel for £6.5 million in January 2008 there were cries of “Martin who?” echoing around Anfield. But fast forward two years and he has established himself as a first-team regular in the heart of the Liverpool defence, and an intimidating opponent for the strikers of the Premier League.

Skrtel arrived at Anfield after impressing at Zenith St Petersburg, helping them to the 2007 Russian Premier League title and earning plaudits for his no-nonsense approach to defending. Comparisons with Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic have often been drawn though Skrtel still has much to prove. He began his career with FC Previdza in Slovakia after choosing to follow his father into football instead of following a career in ice hockey. From there he enjoyed a spell with FC Trencin before moving to the Russian Premier League in 2004. He played 113 times for Zenit, scoring five goals for the club.

He has been with Liverpool for the past two and a half years, arriving at Anfield in January 2008 in a £6.5m deal from Zenit St Petersburg. His first top flight club was Trencin in the Slovak second division. He was his country’s Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008 and has proved his worth in the demanding Premier League. Injuries have been his chief obstacle during his time at Anfield.

Strengths: Physically imposing at 6′ 3” and dominant in the air. He is strong in the tackle and has the ability to out-muscle most strikers he marks.

Weaknesses: Has the tendency to rush into the tackle, being rash and overly aggressive – decision making has often been called into question.

Career High: Winning the Slovakian Player of the Year Award in both 2007 (the same year he won the Russian League title with St Petersburg) and 2008.

Career Low: Part of the Slovakia side that was crushed 5-1 by Spain in the first-leg of the 2006 World Cup play-off to end their finals dream.

Style: Uncompromising centre-half willing to throw himself into any tackle for the cause.

Quotes: “He is aggressive, quick, is good in the air and I think he’s a very good player for the future and also for the present. He is very competitive, but his mentality for me is very good”. Rafa Benitez January 2008

Trivia: According to Skrtel’s official website, his favourite food is Pizza and his favourite actors are Bruce Willis and Pamela Anderson. His motto is: “You can fall a thousand times but you will stand up and go on.”

Martin Skrtel