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    Irish international Steve Finnan was signed in July 2003 for £2.5 million from Fulham, where he had been brought in by Kevin Keegan. He slotted in at right-back alongside his look-alike, Jamie Carragher, but missed most of the season through injury.

    The arrival of Rafa Benitez served to inspire Finnan to become one of the best right-backs in the league in 2004-05. Although brought in to add some attacking thrust down the right, it is in defence that he has come into his own. He was a solid member of the under-rated side that overcame the odds to lift the Champions League trophy in 2005. In the 2005-06 he has been indispensable on the right of the magnificently resolute Liverpool defence, winning the honour of TIA Player of the Month in February 2006. In the 2007-2008 season, he faced competition for his place from Spaniard Alvaro Arbeloa, and this, coupled with injuries, saw him make only 17 appoearences in the League.

    He has made 50 international appearances for the Irish side, featuring in all their games at the 2002 World Cup. He had announced his retirement from the international game, but after manegerial changes in summer 2008 he was persuaded to return to the interational setup.

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