Finnish soccer player, probably the best player Finland has ever provided. Played first in Finland, in Lahti, from where he moved to Ajax of Amsterdam. There he was the star in the team, which also won European Champions Cup. In the same team also played many other famous such players, such as Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, and Edvin van der Sar. In one of Ajax's years Litmanen was also almost selected player of the year in Europe, but the title went instead to George Weah of A.C. Milan. From Ajax Litmanen moved to F.C. Barcelona, and a year later in 2000 to FC Liverpool, England.

Jari Litmanen 2002 - 2004

2002 Jari Litmanen returned to Amsterdam Arena, the Ajax home pitch where he first became a living legend for many Ajax fans and well known name in the European football community. He signed a 1 year contract with 1 optional year. The negotiations started badly when Ajax refused to offer a proper salary for Jari, who was quoted saying that the salary was an insult and even a reserve team player would receive the same amount. The 2002 year for although he had minor injuries he was beginning to establish his position in the opening line-up and in the end of season 2002-03 he had scored five goals for Ajax. More importantly he set an example for young Ajax players like Rafael Van der Vaart who considers him an role model.

The club decided to use the option for 2003 but he ended up playing most of the games in the reserves due to many injuries. The season was a personal disappointment for Jari and although they are playing well in the Eredivisie the failure in Champions League was indication that something had to change. The Ajax coach Ronald Koeman, former Holland and Barcelona star, and Jari had reportedly sour relationship due to the fact that Jari was injured a lot.

2004 happened what the Finnish press (apart from Urheilulehti) had anticipated: Jari was ready to return to Finland. Although many first level teams were after him he decided to return to his hometown of Lahti. Important factor in the transfer to FC Lahti and Finland was Jari's close friend and mentor Harri "Hape" Kampman, the current coach of FC Lahti

Remains to be seen is Jari Litmanen still the magical and overwhelming footballer he was, compared to other Finns, when he over decade ago first left for Ajax.

2004 - 2005

Updated 26.4.2005

After the end of Finnish Premier League Veikkausliiga Litmanen joined German Bundesliga outfit Hansa Rostock during January 2005. At the time of writing Hansa is in the position of beeing relegated. So far the season in Hansa Rostock has been difficult. Track record for this season no goals scored and the team hasn't been able to turn around from the slump they had during autumn 2004.

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