Liverpool FC is one of the biggest teams in English football and the biggest one of all in the eye of many fans and experts since alongside Manchester United, the Reds have ruled football at a national and continental level in more than one occasion. The Merseysiders have a huge history not only for their supporters or their titles, but the players they have had within its ranks throughout history.
Anfield Road has seen impressive assets that left a mark in Liverpool and its fans, both for their performances on the pitch and the way they acted outside, becoming a respected and loved agent in Merseyside. Something remarkable about LFC is that they can find gems where anybody else can’t and those risks have paid off very well for the Reds.
Now, we are about to see who we consider the 10 best players this club has had in its history, players that earned the respect and love of Liverpool’s hooligans with the quality of their game and that now are part of the club’s history.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Keegan
10. John Barnes
John Barnes is the man that opens up this top; a skillful winger who became great in Watford before taking his talents to Anfield, where he became a total idol. “Digger” was and is still loved by fans, who often regard him as one of the best players in the club and national side history. For Liverpool, he scored 84 goals in 314 matches, winning two league titles and a FA Cup with the Reds.
Barnes collected several individual awards during his time in Merseyside; he was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year once (in 1987–88) and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year twice (in 1987–88 and 1989–90). He’s considered the best left-footed player in England history and certainly one of the best that has worn this shirt.
9. Mohamed Salah
Perhaps this season hasn’t been as good as the prior one, but Mohamed Salah has made sure to be considered one of the best players in Liverpool’s history after fantastic performances and total devotion to fans. With only two seasons at Anfield, the Egyptian has gained plenty of love from the fans, teammates and club’s directives, who have found the perfect piece to have a winning team.
Following the focus of his game, going from a winger to a forward, Salah made the best decision of his career; he had a great first season in Premier League, scoring 32 goals and winning the Golden Boot and also took the team to play in the Champions League final, where his participation was cut due to a shoulder injury. Salah is only 26 and things look very good for him and his future.
Perhaps at the end of his career, he can be sitting on a higher spot in these kinds of lists.
8. Jamie Carragher
In a club and a top full of attacking players, there is one that made it to this list by being the best defender this team has had in its staff in 126 years of existence. Carragher played as an attacking player during his youth until he met the art of defending. He then started his professional career playing as a full-back; considered a regular guy on his position in comparison to other wing-backs, he moved back to the center of the defense in 2004 and he found his place in the world.
Carragher’s style of play was perfect for the position and even though he wasn’t the most skilled player in the world or the most technique of all, Jamie learned how to explode his virtues in his favor and Liverpool couldn’t be happier about his performances. This one-club man was a true leader for the Reds, even if Steven Gerrard was on the pitch.
His commitment, stamina, and loyalty made Jamie the best defenders Liverpool fans have seen so far. During his days at Anfield, he tallied two FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League, one UEFA Cup, and two Super Cups.
7. Fernando Torres
Albeit this signing was kind of a steal for Liverpool, as not many people thought Fernando Torres was going to be good in England, no matter how good he did in Spain. Well, the Kid proved all his doubters wrong with the astonishing performances he had in Merseyside. He was at some point one of the three best strikers in the world, despite the fact that Liverpool wasn’t so good at the time.
In four seasons with the Reds, he scored 65 goals in 104 games, becoming a total idol at Anfield before Chelsea signed him amid controversy, as Torres asked to be sold to the Blues days after stating his loyalty to Liverpool. Torres’ career went down spiral after his departure from Merseyside and everybody wonders what he would have been capable of doing if he stayed with Liverpool.
6. Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso is one of those guys you can’t hate, even if you want to do so. The Spaniard midfielder was a total success for Liverpool and there is nobody who says they hate Xabi Alonso after all the good years he gave to the Reds. He was acquired by Liverpool in 2004 from Spanish side Real Sociedad and had five successful years with them, helping the team to win important teams even in his first season.
Described as a quiet and friendly person, Alonso didn’t have many troubles earning LFC respect and love, mostly after he scored the third goal in Liverpool’s Istanbul miracle against Milan that sent the game to overtime and penalties when history was written. Albeit he left the club to play for Real Madrid and then Bayern, Alonso is still very loved in Liverpool and he himself has declared a Liverpool fan.
He never missed a chance to show his love for his team and the city, even saying he is “still a Liverpool fan and will be forever, absolutely”. Alonso played great in each one of the teams where he went, but his time in Liverpool surely left a marked in his live.
5. Luis Suarez
It seems like Liverpool has problems with the departure of their strikers and the way they handle things. Just a couple of days after Torres left the team, Liverpool announced the signing of Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who came from having outstanding displays with Dutch sides Groningen and Ajax, respectively.
Although his time in Liverpool wasn’t the best at the beginning, he started to get used to the pace of English football until he became the killer he’s nowadays. Suarez’s form at Anfield improved as the years went by; just like Torres before, he became a great wingman for Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge, who created a very good trio in Liverpool attack.
Suarez helped Liverpool to be Premier League runners-up in the 2013/14 season, when he scored 31 goals in 33 matches, broke several team records, won the Premier League Golden Boot and was awarded the Premier League Player of the Year. Months later, he left to Barcelona, but the things this guy made during his time with the Reds are still very impressive.
4. Robbie Fowler
A guy who grew up being an Everton fan is one of the most memorable footballers Liverpool has had in their staff. Robbie Fowler is considered a “God” in Anfield Road -a nickname given by the crowd- as his merciless in front of the rival’s net served him to become an idol in Merseyside, despite his dark past.
He is the sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League. He managed to score 183 goals in total for Liverpool, 128 scored in the Premier League. He was quick, opportunistic, very technique and could shoot with both feet despite being a lefty. Perhaps his facility to get injured didn’t allow this guy to be more successful than he was; plus, his antics and controversies didn’t help his career, either, but nobody doubts he’s very loved in Liverpool.
3. Ian Rush
No matter how good the other strikers in this list were, we’re about to see the best of the best in Liverpool’s history with our next two picks. We have to start with Ian Rush, a Welsh striker who managed to become Liverpool’s all-time leading scorer even though he went to play for another six teams besides the Reds.
Rush scored a total of 346 goals in all competitions with the club, from 1980–1987 and 1988–1996, including the impressive record 25 goals versus Merseyside derby rivals Everton. He is one of the greatest ever Liverpool players, collecting several awards both individuals and collective. He won five league titles, three FA Cups and two European Cups, as well as the English and European Golden Boot and was awarded PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1984.
2. Kenny Dalglish
This one is a player who did great not in one huge British team, but in two, as Kenny Dalglish knew how to be important both in Celtic and Liverpool. He landed in Liverpool in 1977 after eight successful seasons in Scotland and not only replicated but improved his performances at Anfield. He was nicknamed King Kenny by Liverpool fans thanks to his style of play and all the silverware he won with the Reds.
He went to play with Liverpool during the most successful periods of the team, getting to win six English league championships, the FA Cup, four League Cups, five FA Charity Shields, three European Cups, and one European Super Cup. He scored 118 goals in 355 caps for the team, which had the best players in history with this guy until the greatest Liverpool player of all time took over.
1. Steven Gerrard
There wasn’t another way to finish this top than with some guy named Steven Gerrard, who gave everything he had to Liverpool and became the greatest player in the club’s history thanks to the love he displayed to the team, his performances on the pitch and the things he helped Liverpool to win. A well-rounded central-midfielder who had a huge competition in his position, but always managed to shine and earn the best comments from rivals and teammates.
Stevie G racked up a total of two FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup, one FA Community Shield, and one UEFA Super Cup during his 17-year tenure at Anfield. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year a record eight times, the UEFA Team of the Year and the FIFA World XI three times, was named PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2006 and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009.
Despite having won all these awards, he was never able to win the Premier League, finishing as runners-up in three occasions. Gerrard was a player who ate and drank Liverpool and the way he loves his club will have him as the best players in the team’s history for many years to come.