Friday, August 12, 2016

Liverpool All-Time Team

1978 European Cup
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

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.

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 5 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.

GK: Bruce Grobbelaar (Zimbabwe)
Making 628 appearances for Liverpool in 13 years.  He wa considered among the best England-based keepers of his generation. He won the 1984 European Cup, 6 English league titles and 3 FA Cups. Born in South Africa, he was capped by Rhodesia and later Zimbabwe.

GK: Ray Clemence (England)
He won 3 European Cups and 2 UEFA Cups in the 1970's with Liverpool and 1 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 made 61 appearances for England.

GK: Jerzy Dudek (Poland)
Best remembered for helping winning the Champions' League in 2005.  In the Final, he saved two penalties in the shootout.  he also played for Feyenoord and Real Madrid.

RB: Phil Neal (England)
The great right back from Liverpool of the 1970's. 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. Neal also had a long career with England winning 50 caps and playing in the 1982 World Cup.

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.  

CB: Ron Yates (Scotland)
Yates joined Liverpool in 1961 from Dundee United. He was the captain of the side that won the promotion to the top level and began nearly 25 years of successes in England.  

Ron Yates
CBJamie Carragher (England)
Carragher spent his entire career with Liverpool.  He is their seond longest serving player in history.  He won the Champions' League in 2005 and two FA Cups with them.  He was a part of England's team at Euro 2004 and the WC Finals in 2006.

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. The reason given for his lack of caps by Scotland coaches of the 1980s was that a formidable central defensive partnership had formed between Willie Miller and Alex McLeish at Aberdeen.  he played in the 1982 WC Finals, but he left off controversially the WC in 1986. 

Alan Hansen

CB/LB: Emlyn Hughes (England) 
He was at one point the captain of England and Liverpool.  He was considered to be one of Liverpool's most important defenders.  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. 

CB: Phil Thompson(England)
He 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.

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.

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 Champions' League Final, 2005

CM: Graeme Souness (Scotland)
Sounds 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.

Graeme Souness

CM: Terry McDermott (England)
He 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. He was also capped 25 times for England.

CM: Steve Gerrard (England)
He 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 LionsHe won the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2006 and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009.

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. 

LW: Ray Kennedy (England)
Started his career with Arsenal, but better known for his career with Liverpool.  Liverpool broke their transfer record when they signed him in 1974. With Liverpool, he won three European Cup titles in 1977, 1978 and 1981.  

LW/RW/SS: Billy Liddell  (Scotland)
He 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. 

LW: John Barnes (England)
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.

John Barnes

FW: Roger Hunt (England)
He was a member of England's 1966 WC 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.

FW: Peter Beardsley (England)
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:  Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
At the time of writing, he is the third most expensive player in the world.  He won both the 2013-2014 FWA and the PFA Player of the Year while playing for Liverpool in England.  He was also the European Golden Shoe winner that year. 

ST: Ian Rush (Wales)
He was voted as the third greatest Liverpool player by fans in 2013. He was Liverpool's all-time leading scorer. 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.

Ian Rush
ST: Kenny Dalglish  (Scotland)
Known as "King Kenny", he was the greatest player for Liverppol in an era where Liverpool was considered to be among the greatest club sides in history.  He won three European Cups with them. He is the cap record holder and their top ever scorer for Scotland. Dalglish 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, and in 2006 he topped a Liverpool fans' poll of "100 Players Who Shook the Kop".

Kenny Dalglish

ST/SS: Kevin Keegan (England)
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.  However, his WC appearance was limited to 20 minutes against Spain at the WC Finals in 1982.

Kevin Keegan

Honorable Mention
Ray Houghton, Peter Thompson, Steve Heighway, Mark Lawrenson, Ronnie Whelan, John Aldridge, John Toshack, Steve Nicol, Sami Hyypia, Jan Molby, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Pepe ReinaSteve McManaman.

Squad Explanation
-- I was deciding between Pepe Reina and Jerzy Dudek.  Dudek won a Champions' League by winning a penalty shootout.  He deserved a place on the team. I also included Xabi Alonso for the same reason.
-- Luis Suarez was both PFA and FWA Player of the Year while playing for Liverpool. He has done better than Aldridge, Owen and Fowler.
-- Owen's career with Liverpool was cut short by his move to Real Madrid. 
-- Sami Hyypia almost made the team, but I preferred the older centerbacks such as Thompson, Hughes and Hansen.  

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.

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