Its always hard to pick a favourite XI from the team you have followed for years – in some instances its difficult to remember players who’ve played for your club over the years.
However below is my ultimate Liverpool FC XI from the time I’ve been supporting the club.
With my first match being Liverpool’s home fixture against Rapid Bucharest in the UEFA Cup in 2000, here is my ultimate Liverpool XI from the 2000/2001 season onwards.
Pepe Reina – Despite Jerzy Dudek’s Champions League heroics in 2005 it’s hard not to pick Reina for this spot. Since his arrival in 2006 the Spaniard has been Liverpool’s most consistent goalkeeper for some time (ignoring this season’s difficult start). The Spanish shot stopper has been the foundation on which Liverpool’s sturdy defence has been built on for the last few years. To put it bluntly, Liverpool have relied on Reina for a considerable amount of time and until this season 30-year-old hasn’t let them down.
Jamie Carragher – Carragher has without a doubt been Liverpool’s most consistent and loyal defender since joining Liverpool as a youngster 22 years ago. No one cares more about Liverpool than Carragher, who has been a phenomenal player and a dedicated professional throughout his career at Anfield. There can be no doubts about his place in my favourite Liveprool XI
Sami Hyppia – Another loyal servant on Merseyside, Hyppia made 318 appearances and scored 22 goals during 10 years at Anfield. Liverpool’s former captain gave his all for the club and was renowned not only for his towering performances but also his ability to lead young players in their aim to become a true professional. The reception for the former Finnish centre back when he returned to Anfield with Bayer Leverkusen this summer just shows Hyppia’s maintained popularity amongst Liverpool fans.
Stephanne Henchoz – Perhaps an interesting choice for some, considering the likes of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel have since filled the centre back role. However I’m going with Henchoz largely because of the relationship between the Swiss international and the aforementioned Hyppia. In my mind this (along with the rotation to include Jamie at centre back) is the last solid defensive partnership for the Reds (Skrtel and Agger only really gelled towards the end of last year). As half of a brilliant defensive duo, Henchoz deserves a place in my XI
John Arne Riise – In my view, Riise’s was Liverpool’s last solid left back. The Norweigian was one of the first names on the Reds team sheet during his 7 years at the club. Along with his rocket of a left foot, Riise was a solid left back who could also track forward and aid with the attack. Whilst Jose Enrique looked promising last season, he has struggled recently whilst Glen Johnson has had to sub in of recent. The Reds could still use Riise in my opinion.
Steven Gerrard – An absolute no brainer. Steven Gerrard is one of the best midfielders in the world and therefore walks into this Liverpool XI. Be it crucial goals to help his side in the Champions League or FA Cup final, or stepping up by creating chances, Gerrard can do it all. The Reds skipper leads his side through thick and thin and is no doubt part of my ultimate XI.
Xabi Alonso – Why Benitez ever let him go is completely beyond me. Alonso’s passing range and ability is perhaps the best in the world. As well as being a solid defensive midfielder, the Spaniard can create chances with a swing of the foot through his incisive forward passing. Considering he is one of the first names on the team sheet at the Bernabeu these days, there’s no doubt Alonso should be including in this line up.
Dietmar Hamann – One of the most underrated players during his time at Liverpool. Hamann was an early version of Alonso if you will. The German was dynamic in the midfielder, primarily stopping opposition attacks yet also possessing the ability to create chances. I personally will never forget his incredible performance in the second half of Liverpool Champions League victory in 2005 – Kaka was dominant in the first half yet Hamann shut him down in the second as Liverpool pulled back to 3-3. The German was nothing but solid during his time on Merseyside.
Luis Garcia – Another choice that many might not agree with but there is a reason why fans still sing the Spaniards name on the terraces at Anfield. Garcia always had a knack of turning up with a big goal at the right time – Champions League goals against Juventus and Chelsea are just two that spring to mind. The Reds number ten was a game changer during his time at Anfield and that’s why the Luis Garcia song remains so popular
Robbie Fowler – You cannot have an ultimate Liverpool XI and not include God. With 120 goals in 236 appearances, the facts speak for themselves. Fowler was not only a formidable striker during his time at Anfield but has also become a hero on Merseyside. The former Reds striker has written himself into the history books and will forever be remembered as a Liverpool number 9. If your nickname is God, then you’re in my ultimate XI.
Michael Owen – It was a toss up between Owen and Torres for this spot in my side, yet I think the now Stoke striker should have a place in this ultimate XI. Owen netted on 118 occasions in 216 appearances for Liverpool, firing him into Reds history as another of the clubs most prolific strikers. A great natural finisher, Owen’s longer career at Anfield gives him the edge over Fernando in my ultimate XI.