Welcome back to another blog! Today we are going to be taking a look at the Premier League Champions (most likely), Liverpool!
The Reds have won the Champions League/ European Cup six times, the most of any British club, and today we are going to be putting together an XI of players who have won this trophy with Liverpool.
Let’s get into it!
Goalkeepers have had a huge part to play in the Champions League finals that have involved Liverpool in the 21st century. Jerzy Dudek was the penalty hero in Istanbul, Loris Karius’ disasterclass in the 2018 final cost Liverpool the game and in the 2019 final Alisson put in a comfortable performance to guide Liverpool to their first European title in 14 years.
The Brazilian is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and the difference he has made to Liverpool is palpable. He is part of the spine of this current Liverpool side that is well on course to win their first ever Premier League title.
Alisson is still just 27, which means his best years are more than likely still ahead of him, and he could conceivably be Liverpool’s number one for the best part of a decade.
LEFT BACK- Emlyn Hughes
Emlyn Hughes was part of the Liverpool side that won back to back European Cups in 1976/77 and then 1977/78 and he was one of the stand out players.
Hughes played 474 times for Liverpool, winning 13 major trophies during his 12 year stay at Anfield. Able to play in midfield or defence, transfermarkt has Hughes down as a left back, so that is where he makes this XI.
He was the captain in the 1977 European Cup final in Rome, meaning he was the first person to captain Liverpool to European glory. Left back was actually a pretty tough choice, with John Arne Riise and Andy Robertson both being in contention, but Hughes couldn’t be ignored.
RIGHT BACK- Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold is by far the most creative player in Liverpool’s squad right now, and without him they would not be as dominant as they are. His assist record is phenomenal, and it makes you forget that he is just 21.
Liverpool have had some good right backs in their European triumph’s but none have been as important to the way the team plays than Trent. While he may not be the most defensively sound full back, it almost doesn’t matter as Jurgen Klopp has developed a system that gives the Englishman a lot of freedom down the right hand side.
Like Alisson, I am sure he will be an important figure at Liverpool for a long time to come, and he will certainly lead his hometown club to many more glorious seasons.
CENTRE BACK- Alan Hansen
Alan Hansen won three European Cups during his 14 year career at Liverpool, in 1978, 1981 and 1984. Not only this, but he also guided them to eight First Division titles.
The Scot was a commanding defender and he was a key component of the Liverpool side that dominated English football during the 1980’s.
He made the PFA First Division team of the year on six occasions, and he was clearly one of the best defenders of his generation. He had some competition for this spot, but he is the best man to take this place in the XI!
CENTRE BACK- Virgil Van Dijk
I am not sure if there has ever been a time where the undisputed best defender in world football has played for Liverpool, apart from now.
Van Dijk was pretty much the entire reason Liverpool we’re able to make the Champions League final in 2018, and then win it in 2019. He completely transformed their back line when he signed in 2018, all of a sudden they were able to defend almost as well as they were able to attack, this has made them an unstoppable team.
Something tells me that his 2019 Champions League medal will not be the only one of his career. At present he is far and away the best defender in the world, playing for the worlds best team, so he had to be in this XI.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard is the only member of Liverpool’s most triumphant night in European competition to make this XI, but he was the first man on the team sheet.
Gerrard captained Liverpool to the 2005 Champions League title, and he was inspirational in the final, dragging his team back into the game with one of the best headers I’ve ever seen. The image of him encouraging the rest of his team after the goal is iconic, and so is he.
At his best, Gerrard was an all action midfielder, who could score, assist and defend. That night in Istanbul is by far his greatest achievement, but to be fair it doesn’t get much better than that.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Graeme Souness
Souness was another player who contributed to three European Cup wins for Liverpool, and during his six year stint at Anfield he won 14 trophies, more than two per season!
Souness was a tough tackling, but hugely gifted midfielder who was one of the worlds best. He even picked up the European Cup golden boot in the 1980/81 campaign, which just showed how well rounded he was.
He had spells at Rangers, Sampdoria and Middlesbrough, but his best years were clearly spent at Liverpool and he is remembered as an Anfield Legend.
ATTACKING MIDFIELD- Kenny Dalglish
Dalglish is the third Scotsman in this XI to have won three European cups with Liverpool, but he is arguably the one to have had the most profound effect at Anfield.
Dalglish scored 169 goals for Liverpool, and his performances in red earned him the Ballon D’or runners up place in 1983. He was quick, technically gifted and he was an excellent finisher, he was the perfect forward.
Affectionately known as ‘King Kenny’, he came first in a Liverpool fan poll in 2006 that named him the best player in their history. Dalglish is definitely a Liverpool legend.
LEFT WING- Steve Heighway
Steve Heighway was another part of the Liverpool side of the late 1970’s that won back to back European Cups, and he was loved by the Kop.
He made 329 appearances for Liverpool and scored 50 goals, a modest return, but he was not really a modern style winger, he was more of a wide midfielder. He was quick and competent with both feet which made him an excellent on the flank.
He was voted 23rd in the ‘players that shook the Kop’ online poll in 2006, so he slots in well at left wing.
RIGHT WING- Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah is currently one of the best attackers on the planet, and for me the best in Liverpool’s famous front three.
He has scored an astonishing 91 goals so far in his Liverpool career, which has spanned just two and a half seasons. I am so bored of people trying to pick holes in his game, he is a wonderful player.
His penalty was the first goal in the 2019 final, and he is just the third player in this XI to have scored a goal in the final. While he may not have reached the goal scoring heights of his outrageous 2017/18 season since, his record still stands up to any attacker in world (apart from Messi).
STRIKER- Ian Rush
Ian Rush is arguably the greatest out and out striker in Liverpool’s history, because scoring goals simply came naturally to the Welshman.
He ended up scoring an astonishing 346 goals for Liverpool, which is the most by anyone to have donned the red jersey. Rush won two European Cups with Liverpool in 1980/81 and 1983/84, coupled with that he also won five league titles.
He won the European golden boot in 1984, and he won the First Division golden boot in the same season, he scored 47 goals in all competitions… What an attack this is!
That’s all for today’s XI!
Who would you have included?