Full Name: Martin Skrtel
Squad number: 37
Date of birth: 15/12/1984
Birth place: Handlova, Slovakia
Former clubs: Trencin, Zenit St Petersburg
LFC 1st team games: 29
LFC 1st team goals: 0
Slovakia International caps: 28
SlovakiaInternational goals: 5
Career Appearances: 139
Career Goals: 11
Transfer Fee: £6.5m
Martin Skrtel Profile
Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel began his career playing for local side Trencin before moving to Zenit St Petersburg in 2004, quickly establishing himself for the Russian side and the Slovakian national team.
He was a competent ice hockey player in his youth but chose to give it up to concentrate on football, which his father had played for FC Prievidza; and which Martin would do also in his youth. He then went on to sign for FK AS Trencin, where he tried a number of different positions before becoming comfortable as a centre half.
Skrtel´s first major opportunity came with Zenit St. Petersburg, who snapped up the Slovakian in 2004 after spotting his obvious talent. He went on to make 113 appearances for the club, scoring 5 goals in the process and helping Zenit win the Russian Premier League in 2007; his performances helping him win Slovak player of the year in 2007.
Martin signed for Liverpool on 11th January 2008 for £6.5 million, with Rafa Benitez being delighted with his capture.
After a shaky debut against Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Cup, Skrtel established himself as a strong, no nonsense defender with assured displays against Chelsea away, Everton at home and notably in both legs of the Champions League tie against Arsenal. He is seen by fans as an important part of the club's future and as Jamie Carragher´s eventual successor.
His first half-season at Anfield was a very impressive one and he hopes to build on this success in 2008/09. So far so good..