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Martin Skrtel

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On 26 February 2012, Skrtel won his first major honour with Liverpool after a starring role in Liverpool's penalty shootout win over Cardiff in the [[2012 League Cup Final]]. With Liverpool trailing 1-0 from the first half, Skrtel scored Liverpool's equalising goal when he reacted quickest to stab home a loose ball from a [[Stewart Downing]] corner. This goal made Skrtel the first Liverpool player to score at Wembley since [[Steve McManaman]] in the [[1995 League Cup Final]]. Skrtel went from strength to strength as the season went on as his confidence and defensive prowess grew with his partnership with Agger. He was given the captain's armband for the first time in the League on 10 April 2012 as Liverpool beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 at Ewood Park. Although Liverpool's League campaign was ultimately a disappointing one, both Skrtel and Agger received many plaudits for their efforts. This culminated in Skrtel being voted the Standard Chartered Player of the Season by the Liverpool fans. He tallied 44% of the vote, beating [[Luis Suarez]] into second with 33% and Agger into third with 4%. Upon winning the award, Skrtel said: "It's a great feeling. It's my first big award at Liverpool and I'm very happy about it. I think it was my best season since I came to Liverpool and I'm happy with my performances. I hope I will carry on in this way."
 
On 26 February 2012, Skrtel won his first major honour with Liverpool after a starring role in Liverpool's penalty shootout win over Cardiff in the [[2012 League Cup Final]]. With Liverpool trailing 1-0 from the first half, Skrtel scored Liverpool's equalising goal when he reacted quickest to stab home a loose ball from a [[Stewart Downing]] corner. This goal made Skrtel the first Liverpool player to score at Wembley since [[Steve McManaman]] in the [[1995 League Cup Final]]. Skrtel went from strength to strength as the season went on as his confidence and defensive prowess grew with his partnership with Agger. He was given the captain's armband for the first time in the League on 10 April 2012 as Liverpool beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 at Ewood Park. Although Liverpool's League campaign was ultimately a disappointing one, both Skrtel and Agger received many plaudits for their efforts. This culminated in Skrtel being voted the Standard Chartered Player of the Season by the Liverpool fans. He tallied 44% of the vote, beating [[Luis Suarez]] into second with 33% and Agger into third with 4%. Upon winning the award, Skrtel said: "It's a great feeling. It's my first big award at Liverpool and I'm very happy about it. I think it was my best season since I came to Liverpool and I'm happy with my performances. I hope I will carry on in this way."
   
Skrtel's form has seen him recognised as one of Europe's leading central defenders, and in the summer of 2012, speculation began to mount that Skrtel was attracting the attentions of clubs such as Premier League champions Manchester City. He committed his future to Liverpool however on 20 August 2012 by signing a new long-term contract at Anfield, reportedly tying him down to the Reds until 2016.
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Skrtel's form has seen him recognised as one of Europe's leading central defenders, and in the summer of 2012, speculation began to mount that Skrtel was attracting the attentions of clubs such as Premier League champions Manchester City.
   
 
On 26 August 2012, with Liverpool now managed by [[Brendan Rodgers]], Skrtel netted Liverpool's first League goal of the [[2012-13 season]] with a powerful header from a Steven Gerrard corner in a home tie against defending champions, Manchester City. Skrtel however- with Liverpool leading 2-1- played a short backpass to [[Pepe Reina]] in the second half that allowed City striker Carlos Tevez to net an equaliser and ultimately cost Liverpool three points. Skrtel netted his second goal of the season on 22 December 2012, opening the scoring in the 4-0 victory over Fulham with an impressive half-volley after the ball fell to him from a corner. Skrtel made his 200th appearance for Liverpool on 13 January 2013 in an away League tie against Manchester United. Unfortunately the milestone was not one to remember for Skrtel as United triumphed 2-1.
 
On 26 August 2012, with Liverpool now managed by [[Brendan Rodgers]], Skrtel netted Liverpool's first League goal of the [[2012-13 season]] with a powerful header from a Steven Gerrard corner in a home tie against defending champions, Manchester City. Skrtel however- with Liverpool leading 2-1- played a short backpass to [[Pepe Reina]] in the second half that allowed City striker Carlos Tevez to net an equaliser and ultimately cost Liverpool three points. Skrtel netted his second goal of the season on 22 December 2012, opening the scoring in the 4-0 victory over Fulham with an impressive half-volley after the ball fell to him from a corner. Skrtel made his 200th appearance for Liverpool on 13 January 2013 in an away League tie against Manchester United. Unfortunately the milestone was not one to remember for Skrtel as United triumphed 2-1.
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