Jari Olavi Litmanen (born 20 February 1971 in Lahti) is a Finnish footballer who last played for HJK. He also played for the Finland national football team, where he served as a first choice captain between 1996–2008. His international career ran from 1989 to 2010, making him the only footballer to play an International in four different decades.
He is widely considered to be Finland's greatest football player of all time. He was chosen as the best Finnish player of the last 50 years by the Football Association of Finland in the UEFA Jubilee Awards in November 2003. Litmanen also finished 42nd in the 100 Greatest Finns voting in 2004. The Association of Football Statisticians' (The AFS) compendium of 'Greatest Ever Footballers' listed Litmanen as the 53rd best footballer ever. In Finland he is often called "Litti" (after Pierre Littbarski), which dates from his early years in Finland; his childhood playmate Tommi Kautonen was "Auge" after Klaus Augenthaler. He is very often also called "Kuningas" ("The King").
Litmanen was the long-time captain for the Finnish national team, in an international career lasting two decades. During his club career he has represented Reipas, HJK, MyPa and Lahti in Finland, as well as Ajax, FC Barcelona, Liverpool, Hansa Rostock, Malmö FF and Fulham abroad. Once considered one of the best attacking midfielders in the world, he became the first Finnish footballing superstar while playing for Ajax in the mid-1990s, and won the 1995 Champions League with them.