Friday, August 12, 2016

Liverpool Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

1978 European Cup

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Manchester UnitedLiverpoolArsenal,
ChelseaTottenhamManchester CityEverton, Ipswich
Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedNottingham Forest
Leeds UnitedLeicester CityWest HamBlackburn Rovers

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Founded in 1892, the club joined the Football League the following year and has played at Anfield since its formation. Liverpool established itself as a major force in English and European football in the 1970s and 1980s, when Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish led the club to a combined eleven League titles and four European Cups. Liverpool won two further European Cups in 2005 and 2019 under the management of Rafael Benítez and Jürgen Klopp, respectively; the latter led Liverpool to a nineteenth League title in 2020, the club's first during the Premier League era.

Liverpool is one of the most widely supported clubs in the world, as well as one of the most valuable. Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with Manchester United and Everton. The team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964 which has been used ever since. The club's anthem is "You'll Never Walk Alone".

Before the 1960's, Liverpool was not considered among the more successful sides in England.  Their rise began when Liverpool hired Bill Shankly in 1959.  At that point, the club had been playing in the Second Division since the 1954.  Under his guidance, the club reached the First Division in 1962.  They would dominate English football for the next three decades.  At the time of writing, they won 6 European Cup/Champions' League trophies, a record for British clubs.  In the 1970's, they won three European Cups, making them one of the greatest ever club sides in history.

1965 FA Cup
GK: Bruce Grobbelaar (Zimbabwe)
Bruce Grobbelaar made 628 appearances for Liverpool in 13 years.  He was considered among the best England-based keepers of his generation and a legend with Liverpool. He won the 1984 European Cup, 6 English league titles and 3 FA Cups with Liverpool. Born in South Africa, he moved to Rhodesia as a child.  He was capped once times by Rhodesia in 1977 and later 32 times for Zimbabwe.

GK: Ray Clemence (England)
Ray Clemence was considered one of England's greatest keepers. He won 3 European Cups and 2 UEFA Cups in the 1970's with Liverpool and a UEFA Cup with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was voted as Liverpool's greatest keeper.  For the national team, he was locked in a battle of number 1 with Peter Shilton.  He was Shilton's backup at the World Cup Finals in 1982. He made 61 appearances for England. 

GK: Jerzy Dudek (Poland)
Dudek was best remembered for helping winning the Champions' League in 2005.  In the Final, he saved two penalties in the shootout that beat AC Milan.  He also played for Feyenoord and Real Madrid. Dudek played 60 times for Poland – the second most-capped player in his position for several years – representing the nation at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

RB: Phil Neal (England)
Neal was the great right back from Liverpool between 1974 and 1985. He was one of England's most decorated player: 4 First Divisions, 4 League Cups, 5 FA Charity Shields, 4 European Cups, 1 UEFA Cup and 1 UEFA Super Cups. He also played for Northampton Town and Bolton Wanderers as a full back. Neal also had a long career with England winning 50 caps and playing in the 1982 World Cup and the 1980 European Championship.

RB: Tommy Smith (England)
Smith was a key figure for Liverpool during the 1960's when Liverpool became the most successful club in England.  He spent 16 years with the club. Smith's most memorable moment for the club probably came when he scored the winning goal in the 1977 European Cup final against Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He later played in the NASL.

CB: Ron Yeats (Scotland)
Ron Yeats joined Liverpool in 1961 from Dundee United. He was the captain of the Liverpool side that won the promotion to the top level and began nearly 25 years of successes in England.   He then spent a decade at Liverpool captaining them to three trophies in the mid 1960s. He later had three years as player/manager at Tranmere Rovers. He  was also player/manager at Barrow and Santa Barbara Condors.
Ron Yates
CBJamie Carragher (England)
Carragher spent his entire career with Liverpool.  He is their second longest serving player in their history.  He won the Champions' League in 2005 and two FA Cups with them.  He had 38 caps for England. He was a part of England's team at Euro 2004 and the WC Finals in 2006 and 2010.  His international career was limited by playing at the same time as John Terry, Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinard, etc.

CB: Phil Thompson (England)
Thompson made his professional debut in 1971 for Liverpool and never looked back.  He was a part of the decorated team that won 3 European Cups and 7 league titles.  He formed a partnership with Alan Hansen that was considered among the best ever in Europe.  he was briefly the captain for Liverpool.  He also earned 42 caps and went to Spain 1982.

SW: Alan Hansen (Scotland)
Among the greatest defender ever from United Kingdom, he won three European Cups and 8 English league titles with the great Liverpool team of the 1970's and 1980's. Despite being one pf the greatest ever centerback from the UK, Hansen only won 26 Scotland caps, largely because Scotland preferred the formidable central defensive partnership between Willie Miller and Alex McLeish at Aberdeen.  he played in the 1982 WC Finals, but he left off controversially the World Cup in 1986. 

Alan Hansen
CB/LB: Emlyn Hughes (England) 
Emlyn Hughes was at one point thcaptain of England and Liverpool.  He was considered to be one of Liverpool's most important defenders.  He joined the club from Blackpool in 1967. He played under Bill Shankly in the 1970's where he won two European Cups, four League titles and a single FA Cup. He was FWA Football of the Year in 1977.  He earned 62 English caps.  He went to the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico.

LB: Alan Kennedy (England)
Kennedy started his career with Newcastle United, but his best years were spent at Liverpool.  He won two European Cup with Liverpool, scoring a goal at each of the Final.  His international career, however, was limited to 2 caps. He later played for  Sunderland, Wigan Athletic, Hartlepool United, B 1903, Beerschot, Northwich Victoria, Wrexham, Colne Dynamoes, Morecambe, Netherfield, Radcliffe Borough and Barrow.

CM: Xabi Alonso  (Spain)
Xabi Alonso started with Real Sociedad.  He joined Liverpool in 2004 winning the Champions' League trophy in his first season.  In 2009, he moved to Real Madrid, winning the Champions' League again in 2014.  In 2014, he joined Bayern Munich. He was a key member of the Spanish team that won the WC and two European Championships.  His 114 caps make him the fifth most capped player in the nation's history.

Xabi Alonso vs AC Milan at the Champions' League Final, 2005
CM: Graeme Souness (Scotland)
Graeme Souness played for Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough and Sampdoria, but his greatest achievement came while he played for Liverpool. He was one of the greatest ever Liverpool players.  He won three European Cups with them, captaining the team in the early 1980's.  He was also the Player-Manager for Rangers. He also earned 54 caps for Scotland. He played in 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals.
Graeme Souness\
CM: Terry McDermott (England)
Terry McDermott was a member of the Liverpool team of the 1970s and early 1980s, in which he won three European Cups and six Division 1 titles. Before Liverpool, he played for Bury and Newcastle United. In 1974, Newcastle United lost the FA Cup Final to Liverpool, where he joined the following season.  He was also capped 25 times for England.  

CM: Steve Gerrard (England)
Steve Gerrard represented his country at the 2000, 2004 and 2012 UEFA European Football Championships, as well as the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups – captaining the team at the latter two tournaments.  He led Liverpool in winning the Champions' League in 2005. He is the third highest cap holder for the Three Lions.  He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2006 and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009.  He later played in the USA for LA Galaxy.
Steven Gerrard
RW: Ian Callaghan (England)
Callaghan held the all-time appearance record for Liverpool.  He was a part of the team that made its historical promotion in 1962 and remained on the team as Liverpool won the European Cup twice in 1977 and 1978. Callaghan also played four times at senior level for England.  Although he was in the squad for the 1966 FIFA World Cup, he did not play in the final and so did not receive a medal until 2010.

LW/RW/SS: Billy Liddell  (Scotland)
Billy Liddell was one of the early star for Liverpool. He spent his entire career at Liverpool starting from 1938 to 1961.  He was at one point the appearance record holder for Liverpool.  He was voted the 6th greatest player for them.   He represented Scotland at international level on 29 occasions as well as for Great Britain and wartime representative side.  He was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in November 2008.
Billy Liddell  
LW: John Barnes (England)
John Barnes was widely considered to be one of the greatest Liverpool players, where he formed one of their greatest team playing alongside Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton.  before joining Liverpool, he played for Watford.  At Watford, he also helped them to the Final of the FA Cup in 1984.  He was voted PFA Player of the Year in 1988 and FWA Player of the Year in both 1988 and 1990. He had 79 caps, and played in two World Cup Finals.
John Barnes
FW: Roger Hunt (England)
Roger Hunt was a member of England's 1966 World Cup winning team.  He joined Liverpool in 1958 under Phil Taylor and he was one of the few players who was retained by Bill Shankly when he became the manager.  He helped Liverpool to gain their historical promotion in 1962 and was a key figure during their successes in the 1960's.  He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

FW: Peter Beardsley (England)
Peter Beardsley was one of the few players i history to have played for Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City. His first successes came in the early 1980's while playing for Newcastle United.  In 1987, he joined Liverpool as the most expensive player in England's history.  Together with John Barnes, they formed one of the best English sides of the later 1980's.

ST: Ian Rush (Wales)
Ian Rush was voted as the third greatest Liverpool player by fans in 2013. He is the Liverpool's all-time leading goalscorer, with 346 goals. He won both the PFA Player of the year and FWA Player of the Year in 1984.  He was European Golden Boot winner in the same year.  He also had short spells with Chester City, Juventus, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, Wrexham and Sydney Olympic. Rush made 73 appearances for Wales between 1980 and 1996.
Ian Rush

ST: Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

"Mo" Salah played with El Mokawloon in Egypt before heading to play for Basel in Switzerland. In 2013, he won the best player award in Switzerland.  He earned a big move to Chelsea in 2014, but he ended up with a loan move to Fiorentina and Roma.  In 2017, he moved to Liverpool after starring for Roma.  He helped Liverpool to win the Champions' League in 2019. In 2017, he helped Egypt for their first World Cup Finals since 1990.  In the WC Finals, he scored a single goal.

ST: Kenny Dalglish  (Scotland)
"King Kenny" was the greatest player for Liverppol in an era where Liverpool was considered to be among the greatest club sides in history.  He won 3 European Cups with them. He is the cap record holder and their top ever scorer for Scotland. He won the Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009 FourFourTwo named Dalglish as the greatest striker in post-war British football.
Kenny Dalglish
ST: Michael Owen (England)
Owen began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. In his first full season in the Premier League, he finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals. He repeated this the following year and was Liverpool's top goal-scorer from 1997–2004.  He helped Liverpool to win the UEFA Cup in 2001.  He also played for Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City.  For England, he earned 89 caps.  He was the youngest player to play for England in the 20th century as well as the youngest goal scorers.

ST/SS: Kevin Keegan (England)
Kevin Keegan was a two-time European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979. He won the European Cup in 1977 with Liverpool. He also found successes in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV.  He later played for Southampton and Newcastle United. He had 63 caps for England. However, his World Cup appearance was limited to 20 minutes against Spain at the World Cup Finals in 1982. 
Kevin Keegan
Honorable Mention
Ian St John (Scotland), Ray Houghton (Ireland), Peter Thompson (England), Gordon Hodgson (South Africa), Steve Heighway (Ireland), Mark Lawrenson, (Ireland), Ronnie Whelan (Ireland), John Aldridge (Ireland), John Toshack (Wales), Steve Nicol (Scotland), Sami Hyypia (Finland), Jan Molby (Denmark), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Robbie Fowler (England), Sadio Mane (Senegal), Fernando Torres (Spain), Steve McManaman (England), Paul Ince (England), Jamie Redknapp (England), Pepe Reina (Spain), Sammy Lee (England), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Jordan Henderson (England), Ian St John (Scotland), John Arne Riise (Norway), Gerry Byrne (England), Dietmar Hamann (Germany), Gary McAllister (Scotland), Ray Kennedy (England).

Squad Explanation
-- For Liverpool FC, Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Steve Gerrard and Grame Souness are automatic selections.  They are their greatest ever players. I do not need to explain their selections.  Kevin Keegan, Ray Clemence and Billy Liddell  probably belong to this list as well.
-- I based some of my research on the polls "100 Players Who Shook The Kop" voted by Liverpool fans in 2006 and again in 2013.  Most players were on the poll.  However, fan polls usually tended to favor contemporary players.  I only used them as a reference.
-- I focused a lot on the great team of the 1970's. Ray Clemence, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Terry McDermott, Ray Kennedy, Graeme Souness, Alan Hansen, Phil Neal, Phil Thompson, Emlyn Hughes and Tommy Smith played for Liverpool in the 1970's.  Kenny Dalglish, Phil Neal, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness also played in the 1984 European Cup winning team.  They are joined by Ian Rush and Bruce Grobbelaar from that team.
-- For the 2005 Champions' league winning team, I selected Jerzy Dudek, Jamie Carragher, Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard.
2005 Champions' League
-- The Spice Boys of the 1990's was better known for their fashion sense than trophy winning.  None of the players were seriously considered.  Steve McManaman later won a Champions League title with Real Madrid, but his peak with Liverpool was very limited. I also have Robbie Fowler as an Honorable Mention.
-- Bruce Grobbelaar and Ray Clemence are obvious choices for the top two goalkeepers. I was deciding between Tommy Lawrence, Pepe Reina and Jerzy Dudek.  Dudek won a Champions' League by winning a penalty shootout.  He deserved a place on the team. So I took him instead of Reina.  
-- Jamie Carragher did not get the same recognition as the defenders from the old generations. Perhaps, he was not playing in a generation, where Liverpool dominated English football.  Internationally, he was playing at the same time with John Terry, Rio Ferdinard, Sol Campbell, etc.  However, he is the second longest serving player in Liverpool FC's history.  He also won the Champions' League in 2005.  
-- Sami Hyypia almost made the team, but I preferred the older centerbacks such as Phil Thompson, Emlyn Hughes and Alan Hansen.  They played for Liverpool when they were considered to be the best in England. I took Carragher over him because of the Champions' League title.
-- Ron Yeats led the team to grain promotion. He is often credited as turning the club around in the 1960's from a 2nd division side to among the greatest club in Europe. 
-- For rightbacks, I took Tommy Smith and Phil Neal.  Steve Nicol perhaps should be ahead of Neal.  They were almost on par with each other. I decided to take a single leftback Alan Kennedy and used Emlyn Hughes as a backup.  Gerry Byrne, and John Arne Riise would have been my second choice.
-- Graeme Souness and Steve Gerrard were obvious choices for ther midfield. Terry McDermott was close of being obvious.  Xabi Alonso was voted 13th on the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop in 2013.  He was the hero of the 2005 Champions' League title.  Ronny Whelan, Jan Molby, Dieter Hamann and Gary McAllister were left off.
-- The left wing position is loaded with good players.  John Barnes was one of Liverpool's greatest players.  At one point, Liverpool was known as 'Liddellpool' so I have to take Billy Liddell.  I also have Ray Kennedy and Steve Heighway. So it would be hard for Sadio Mane (Senegal) to break into the team.  On the right, I only have Ian Callaghan.  I did not really look into Steve McManaman.
Billy Liddell  
-- Ian Rush, Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish are going to take three of the strikers' spots.  Michael Owen took the fourth spot.  I also wanted to reunite Peter Beardsley with John Barnes.  So how can I fit the team with Luis Suarez, Roger Hunt, Ian St John, Robbie Fowler, John Toshack, John Aldridge, Gordon Hodgson and Fernando Torres.
-- Roger Hunt or even Ian St John should be ahead of Peter Beardsley.
-- I do not think people remember Gordon Hodgson of South Africa.  He is the third all-time leading scorer after Ian Rush and Roger Hunt.
-- Luis Suarez won both PFA and FWA Player of the Year while playing for Liverpool. That is an achievement in itself.  He was originally selected onto the team, but I took him out upon further review.  Instead, I added Michael Owen who was more associated with the club than Luis Suarez.
-- Michael Owen won the Ballon d'Or (the European Player of Year) while helping Liverpool to win the 2001 UEFA Cup. He was also a top scorer for the club. Unfortunately, he left for Real Madrid in 2004, the season before Liverpool won the Champions' League in 2005.  He also played 8 seasons with the club, which is not short.
-- Immediately after the 2019 Champions' League Final, Saido Mane, Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah are added to the Honorable Mention.  They still have to wait for their chance in order to win a place on the the team.  Now, he is ahead of Luis Suarez for a chance to earn a place. The players ahead of them were too legendary in Liverpool. However, I updated the team in 2021.  I dropped Ray Kennedy for Salah.  The team had too many left wingers. At the time of writing, he had won the Preimer league Golden Boot twice, PFA Player of the Year and FWA Player of the Year in the 2017-2018 season.
2019 Champions' League

This is a classic 4-4-2, British formation.  John Barnes, the Liverpool's legend, is reduced to the bench because Liddell is even more of a legend. I pushed Keegan to the wide so that both Dalglish and Rush are on the field as Keegan.


  1. No honourable mention for Fernando Torres ?

  2. Sadio mane instead of lidell and I agree with this 11.