My Liverpool dream team

I was only born in 1996 and only started watching football in 2004. Since I obviously never got to watch the golden years of LFC I will not be including the likes of Rush, Dalglish and Hansen in my dream team. This team will be players that played in my lifetime. The players who got my emotions going, and took me from the pits of despair (half-time 25/05/2005), to one of – if not the – happiest moments of my life (Shevchenko missed penalty 25/05/2005).

Jose Reina

Stepping into Jerzy’s Jersey after the heroics in Istanbul seemed a huge task for any goalkeeper but not for Reina. He flourished in his first season at Anfield, conceding fewer goals in his first 50 games than any other reds goalkeeper, as well as keeping eight consecutive clean sheets in the league. 11 in all competitions. His first season ended with him being one of the heroes as Liverpool won the FA Cup, thanks to a few penalty saves in the shootout.

He also managed to win numerous Golden Gloves as well as breaking the Liverpool record for the most clean sheets, which perfectly highlighted just how brilliant he was for Liverpool.

Jamie Carragher

Despite the fact that he is at his best when utilised in the centre of defence, for the sake of other players he will be acting as the right back in my team. No doubt he is a Liverpool legend, the most appearances in Europe, and more own goals than actual goals. He’s a real defender.

Like so many of the players in this team one of his finest moments was in the Champions League final against AC Milan, fighting cramp to stop wave after wave of Italian attacks. The most memorable being when he stopped the low cross and he looked like he had just had his leg torn off. In the end it was surely worth it.

If he had been in our team in the 2013/14 season there is no doubt in my mind we would have won the league.

Sami Hyypia

Signed for just £2.6 million to go on to become a Kop legend, I’ll take that every day of the week. One of the most consistent players of the last 20 years, I feel as though he never gets the credit he deserves. But as much as he was a rock at the back, he can surely only be remembered for that amazing volley against Juventus en route to Istanbul.

Daniel Agger

Despite injuries plaguing his time at Anfield he was one of my favourite Liverpool players in the last ten years. Obviously the highest point in his Liverpool career was the goal against Chelsea, Gerrard rolls it along the 18 yard box and Agger striker first time into the bottom corner, amazing, pure training ground stuff.

Because of his numerous injuries there was never a point where you can look at Agger and say “he was world class.” However there is no doubt in my mind that if it hadn’t been for the injuries, he would surely have been one of the best in the world.

Of course he is one of the more aesthetically pleasing defenders (that is probably why so many LFC fans loved him), and his ability to start attacks by dribbling the ball from defence is something I’ve always liked to see from centre backs. But there are still a lot of LFC fans who see him unfulfilled potential, not for me though. When he was fully fit, he and Carragher ran almost every game.

Jon Arne Riise

Three moments come to mind whenever I think of Riise, the first being the thunderbolt against Manchester United. The second, for me, is his cross for Gerrard in the Champions League final, the first attempted cross came back off Gattuso and landed back at Riise’s feet (I have no idea why that sticks in my head). The third and final memory is at the other end of the scale, the own goal against Chelsea, 94th minute of a Champions League semi-final. We had dominated and deserved so much more than a home draw, the fact of the matter is, that goal knocked us out of the Champions League.

Despite that ‘mishap’ we should not forget the good times with Riise running the left hand side of our defence and midfield.

Xabi Alonso

Definitely not the quickest around the pitch, but he didn’t have to be. With the passing ability he had he ran the game and kept it at his pace, at his terms. Not to mention the fact that he could score from his own half, so he didn’t need to bomb forward very often – if ever.

Once more he became a fan favourite in Istanbul, equalling the scores despite his missed penalty.

The fact that Rafa pretty much forced him out of the club in order to fund Gareth Barry is a joke, and in my opinion both Rafa and Gareth Barry are currently being punished. The firsts punishment is having to manage in the Championship, the seconds is playing for Everton. I’m not sure which is worse.

Javier Mascherano

After being signed by West Ham alongside Carlos Tevez he hardly featured for the first team in his first season, which led to Rafa Benitez making one of his most inspired signings, Mascherano on loan. Which later became a permanent deal. One of the best defensive midfielders in modern football, his constant harrying of opponents and his fiery temper in front of the defence quickly made him a favourite for Kopites. Just a few months after his signing he was named Liverpool’s man of the match in the 2007 Champions League final.

After only three short season at the club he left for Barcelona, for a fee just over £20 million.

Steven Gerrard

The number one player to have ever graced Anfield. Yes that does include players from other teams.

So many unforgettable moments; Olympiakos, AC Milan, West Ham, countless partnerships, and some amazing goals along the way. Mr Liverpool himself, in his prime the best all round midfielder on the planet. The best player never to win the Premier League. There’s so much you can say about him. The fact that Rodgers let him go makes me cringe even now. Klopp and Gerrard at the same team! Can you imagine? One day soon, I hope it will become a reality.

For now, thank you very much Steven Gerrard.

Dirk Kuyt

The real life Duracell bunny. You couldn’t stop him from running. Still to this day he is troubling defences in the Eredivisie.

Definitely not the most skilful forward, and not very quick, but his work rate was second to none. He quickly became one of my favourite players. Another moment which sticks in my head, and I don’t know why, is Kuyt hitting a shot from 25 yards on his debut and it going an inch wide. It’s just one of those things, as soon as he hit the shot I said to the people I was watching with, “I like this guy already.”

In 2007 I thought we were going to repeat the heroics against AC Milan when he scored but it proved to be too little too late, none the less a fantastic servant to the club.

An icon.

Fernando Torres

Let’s be honest, as much as it upsets you the way he left (and who he went to) watching him and Gerrard was poetry in motion. That team was my favourite Liverpool team. Reina, Carra, Agger, Masch, Alonso, Gerrard and Torres. What a spine. The fact we didn’t win the league makes some people overlook how good he was in his prime. A lot of people remember him for the last 18 months of his LFC career, but he was the best striker in the world during his first two seasons, no doubt.

Luis Suarez

Despite the obvious personality flaw (he’s a bit of a biter) I can’t help but love him, and after going to the Liverpool Barca game at Wembley it seems every other LFC fan loves him just as much. His name was called and a standing ovation commenced. I, of course, was amongst those cheering Suarez even when he was aiming to score against us. Can you blame me? Picture the scene, the closest we’ve ever been to the league title in my lifetime. At the age of seventeen years old, crying my eyes out after Gerrard’s ‘incident’ and then uncontrollably sobbing when we buckled against Crystal Palace. All of that was because of Luis Suarez, he was the only reason that we got so close to the title that year, I simply have to love the guy.

Just that one season is enough to put him into my list but obviously there were individual pieces of brilliance, like his hat tricks against Norwich and his one man show against Zenit (although we did get knocked out). He deserves a place on any LFC all time XI, but that’s just my opinion.

Substitutes:

Jerzy Dudek

He brought back the vintage spaghetti legs, his heroics in the shootout (and that amazing double save from Shevchenko) won us the Champions League for the fifth time.

Steve Finnan

The missing man at the ten year anniversary of Istanbul. Very often the missing man on the pitch as well, he never made waves but he did his job to a good level.

Martin Skrtel

Despite his chaotic approach to defending he had his good years and for a long time was one of the first names on our team sheet.

Lucas Leiva

The last shred of Rafa Benitez as Liverpool manager. He plays an important part, not quite to the level of Mascherano, but still a great servant throughout the years. We’ve even seen him deployed at centre back under Klopp, and he has performed very well.

Phillipe Coutinho

Yet to win anything as a Liverpool player, but still a massive part of the team. If we are to grow as a team, it will be around Coutinho.

Didi Hamann

The unsung hero of Istanbul. To quote fake Rafa Benitez in ’15 minutes that shook the world.’ “He will shine, he’ll close our ranks. He’ll be like Rommel in his tanks.” That he did, his introduction at half time played a huge part in the second half, helping us to get a foothold in the game and start playing.

Luis Garcia

What can I say about Garcia? My favourite player from the moment we signed him until the moment we sold him, consistency was never his forte, but unforgettable moments definitely were. The best part about him was his knack for scoring against Chelsea, in particular the ghost goal. Which 100% crossed the line.

He’s also the second person in this list to score an amazing volley against Juventus. Which, of course we all remember very fondly.

I have to apologise for playing Carragher at RB, it was the only way to accommodate Agger at CB.

Written by @LiamGrimshaw

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