Martin Skrtel has finalized his move to Turkish club Fenerbahce after more than eight years at Liverpool. The imposing center-back was an icon for the Reds, his military-style hair and tattoos emblematic of his role on the field.
Skrtel has always been one of my favorite defenders. He embodies what a center-back should be: a big, scary motherfucker who’s down to do battle. When you have Skrtel on your team, the other team thinks twice before doing anything suspect. It’s important to have an enforcer on the field, lest your opponents get any ideas.
Skrtel played 320 games for Liverpool after arriving from Zenit St. Petersburg in January 2008. The club finished second in the Premier League twice during his tenure, during the 2008-2009 season and again in the 2013-2014 season.
He’s been a mainstay on the Slovakian national team since his debut with the senior side in 2004 and figured prominently into their 2010 World Cup campaign. He helped Slovakia make it to the Round of 16 at the Euros this year, where they ultimately fell 3-0 to Germany.
At 31 years old, Skrtel’s career is waning, but he’s got a few more seasons left to kick ass and take names. Instead of Manchester United’s players getting the business end of Skrtel’s cleats, it will be Galatasaray’s players. Süper Lig players, be warned: now that Skrtel’s coming, ain’t no more room for chickens in Turkey.