Player profile

Igor Biscan

Igor Biscan

Birthdate: 4 May 1978
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia
Other clubs: Dinamo Zagreb (1995-2000), Samobor (loan 1997-98), Panathinaikos (2005-07), Dinamo Zagreb (2007-12)
Bought from: Dinamo Zagreb
Signed for LFC: £5.5m, 07.12.2000
International debut: 05.06.1999 vs. Macedonia
International caps: 17/1 (5/0 at LFC) - 05.09.2001
Liverpool debut: 10.12.2000
Last appearance: 15.05.2005
Debut goal: 24.01.2001
Last goal: 02.04.2005
Contract expiry: 01.07.2005
Win ratio: 55.08% W:65 D:25 L:28
Honours: Champions League 2005; League Cup 2001, 2003
LFC league games/goals: 72 / 2
Total LFC games/goals: 118 / 3

Player profile

When Houllier saw the opportunity to snap up Biscan from Croatia to challenge Didi Hamann for the defensive midfielder position he grabbed it with both hands. Biscan arrived in the winter break of the Croatian season in December 2000. Biscan initially struggled to make an impression in a red shirt as Liverpool charged on to a dramatic treble in the 2000/01 season. He did score his first goal in the League Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace at Anfield and featured from the start in the final win over Birmingham. The 2001/02 and the 2002/03 seasons were a nonstarter for Biscan but he started 35 games in 2003/04 as Houllier used his versatility as he promised to do pre-season. "I think he will be playing more this season. He can play at centre midfield and centre-back. He is strong and powerful and quick. Sometimes he loses the ball when he passes, but then who doesn't? I prefer players who try things,'' Houllier said. Biscan had, though, the odd slip-up in the centre of defence as he was paired with Hyypia in the absence of Henchoz who was getting rather injury-prone.

Rafa Benítez took over from Houllier in the summer and he told Biscan to focus on being a midfielder, seemingly to the player's relief: "My confidence suffered playing at the back but that's not an excuse. I'm aware I took some of the brunt of the fans' frustration but that's not a problem. I suppose the fact I'm playing in central midfield is one of the reasons why I'm playing better," Biscan explained. Undoubtedly Biscan's best moments under Benítez came in his last season when he solidified his cult hero status on the Kop. He had been told he had no future at Anfield by Rafa in December and would be allowed to leave in the summer when his contract expired. He played his part in the Champions League run that ended in success in Istanbul, most notably away to Deportivo La Coruna in the group phase when he went on a few galloping runs which were reminiscent of those by absent captain Steven Gerrard. Biscan played from the start against Leverkusen in the last 16, Juventus in the quarter-finals and in the semi-finals against Chelsea but remained on the bench in the final.

Biscan went to Greece to ply his trade with Panathinaikos in July 2005, having been close to joining the Greek side on loan prior to the 2003/02 season. After two and a half years in Greece the 29-year-old returned to Zagreb to take over the captaincy of Dinamo Zagreb, being a cult hero back home as in Liverpool. Dinamo were Croatian champions in both 2008 and 2009 as well as lifting the Croatian cup in the same years. Injuries did restrict Biscan to only 61 league games in five seasons in Zagreb and he retired in 2012.

Even today the chants of "Igor, Igor, Igor!" and "Igor Biscan.... He is a giant of man..... He should be playing for Milan...." can be heard echoing in the pubs surrounding Anfield. Biscan values his time at Liverpool: "When you play for big clubs you know you'll have good periods and bad periods. If you come through the bad times then that's what makes you a better person and a better player. The Liverpool fans have been great with me. It gives me a really nice feeling and makes me feel special when they chant my name."

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 72 7 15 23 1 118
2000-2001 13 4 4 0 0 21
2001-2002 5 0 0 4 1 10
2002-2003 6 1 3 3 0 13
2003-2004 29 1 2 7 0 39
2004-2005 19 1 6 9 0 35

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
6 Manchester United
6 Chelsea
6 Manchester City
6 Tottenham
5 Blackburn Rovers
5 Southampton
5 Fulham
4 Newcastle United
4 Aston Villa
4 Middlesbrough
4 Arsenal
4 Birmingham City
4 Everton
3 Bolton Wanderers
3 Crystal Palace
3 Portsmouth
3 Ipswich Town
2 Charlton Athletic
2 Sunderland
2 Leeds United
2 West Ham United
2 Roma
2 AS Monaco
2 Leverkusen
2 Leicester City
2 Wolves
2 Juventus
2 Watford
2 Olimpija
2 Marseille
2 Steaua Bucharest
1 Yeovil Town
1 Levski Sofia
1 Deportivo
1 Celtic
1 Burnley
1 Spartak Moscow
1 Auxerre
1 Haka
1 Bayern Munich
1 Tranmere Rovers
1 Millwall
1 Norwich City
1 Coventry City
1 Derby
1 Rotherham United
Total Started/substitutions
81 Started
56 On the bench
37 Substitute
19 Substituted
Total Competition
72 England Premier League
15 League Cup
13 Champions League
9 UEFA Cup
7 FA Cup
1 Charity Shield
1 European Super Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 2 0 1 0 0 3
2000-2001 0 0 1 0 0 1
2001-2002 0 0 0 0 0 0
2002-2003 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003-2004 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004-2005 2 0 0 0 0 2

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Opponent
1 Bolton Wanderers
1 Fulham
1 Crystal Palace
Total Started/substitutions
2 Started
1 Substitute
Total Competition
2 England Premier League
1 League Cup
Total Goal minute period
1 16-30 minutes
2 76-90 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
3 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 10.12.2000 Ipswich Town Anfield League
50 20.09.2003 Leicester City Anfield League
100 25.01.2005 Watford Vicarage Road League Cup

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 18 24.01.2001 Crystal Palace Anfield League Cup

Related Articles

Croatian hoping to fill Hamann void

By Andy Hunter Chief Football Correspondent of the Liverpool Daily Post on 25 March 2005.More

Gloomy Biscan downbeat about Dinamo's dominance

Dinamo Zagreb's domestic supremacy spells bad news for their European aspirations, according to Igor Biscan. From The Guardian on 24th September 2008.More

Biscan lifts Anfield's gloom

The Telegraph match report on Liverpool - Bolton on 02.04.2005.More

Igor Biscan - Footballer's life is boring

lfchistory.net interviewed Igor Biscan at Melwood.More

Related Quotes

"Eegs is a quiet guy but he's also really funny when you get to know him. He´s a superstar in Croatia and he once told me the police even stop the traffic for him in Zagreb so he can drive safely."

Neil Mellor on Igor Biscan in February 2005

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Samobor 1997-1998 Croatia 0 0 0 0
Dynamo Zagreb 1999-2000 Croatia 1 29 6 35 6
Dynamo Zagreb 2000-2001 Croatia 1 14 3 16 3
Panathinaikos 2005-2006 Greece 1 21 3 27 3
Panathinaikos 2006-2007 Greece 1 16 0 21 0
Dynamo Zagreb 2007-2008 Croatia 1 9 0 9 0
Dynamo Zagreb 2008-2009 Croatia 1 27 0 39 2
Dynamo Zagreb 2009-2010 Croatia 1 8 0 14 1
Dynamo Zagreb 2010-2011 Croatia 1 14 0 24 1
Dynamo Zagreb 2011-2012 Croatia 1 3 0 3 0
Total 141 12 188 16
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