Clemence, Gerrard, Barnes & More – Best XI of England players capped while at Liverpool

Liverpool have seen some wonderful England internationals represent the club over the years, but who have been the best to be capped by the Three Lions while at Anfield?

Euro 2016 is now in full swing, and the Reds have five England players strutting their stuff in France.

Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge will all be looking for glory with England over the next few weeks – returning home as heroes in the process.

Throughout their rich and illustrious history, Liverpool have had endless England internationals to have played for them.

The question is: What has been their best ever starting line-up, made up of players who have been capped for them during their stay on Merseyside?

Here’s what we think, in what is a fairly unbalanced 4-3-3 formation…..

Goalkeeper: Ray Clemence

Widely regarded as Liverpool’s greatest ever goalkeeper, Ray Clemence enjoyed 14 years at Anfield, and won 61 caps for the Three Lions.

For much of his international career, he and the equally world-class Peter Shilton battled for a starting berth, and had Shilton not been around, Clemence would have made over 100 appearances for his country.

He was handed his international debut while with the Reds, in 1972, keeping a clean-sheet in a 1-0 victory over Wales.

Caps: 61

Goals: 0

Debut: Wales 0-1 England (1972)

Right-Back: Phil Neal

Phil Neal is Liverpool’s most decorated player of all time, winning eight league titles, four European cups and four League Cups during an amazing 11-year spell on Merseyside.

He was also England’s undisputed first-choice right-back throughout much of the 1970s and 1980s, playing with enormous consistency.

Like so many, it was Neal’s exploits in a Reds shirt that earned him his first international call-up, back in 1976.

Caps: 50

Goals: 5

Debut: Wales 1-2 England (1976)

Centre-Back: Jamie Carragher

CARDIFF, WALES - SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd, 2005: England's Jamie Carragher in action against Wales during the World Cup Qualifier at the Millennium Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

‘Carra’ will forever go down as one of Liverpool’s most committed, down-to-earth players of all time, and he was a fixture in the England squad throughout his peak years in the mid 2000s.

The centre-back always struggled to oust the likes of Rio Ferdinand and John Terry from the starting line-up, however, and a squad role was invariably the best he could expect.

Fabio Capelli’s decision to inexplicably start Matthew Upson ahead of Carragher at the 2010 World Cup was the final straw, and he retired from international duty that same year.

Caps: 38

Goals: 0

Debut: Hungary 1-1 England (1999)

Centre-Back: Phil Thompson

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 4, 2001: Liverpool's caretaker manager Phil Thompson celebrates the 3-1 victory over Manchester United during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Phil Thompson represented the Three Lions for six years, between 1976 and 1982.

Liverpool’s European Cup-winning captain doesn’t always receive the praise he deserves for his achievements for both club and country, but he was an outstanding centre-back.

He didn’t feature in a major tournament for England, which perhaps works against him, but he skippered them on six occasions.

Caps: 42

Goals: 1

Debut: Wales 1-2 England (1976)

Left-Back: Emlyn Hughes

Emlyn Hughes was a hugely popular figure for both club and country, and one of the most natural leaders England has ever produced.

He captained the Three Lions 23 times – only eight players have led them for more games – and his international career spanned three decades.

There are plenty of Liverpool players who have failed to replicate their club form with their country, but ‘Crazy Horse’ was not one of them.

Caps: 62

Goals: 1

Debut: Holland 0-1 England (1969)

Right Wing: Ian Callaghan

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 6, 2014: Former Liverpool player Ian Callaghan arrives on the red carpet for the Liverpool FC Players' Awards Dinner 2014 at the Liverpool Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s record appearance-maker may only have won four England caps, but he has still achieved something only two other English Reds players have. He’s won the World Cup.

Ian Callaghan ended up being a fringe player during the 1966 tournament, appearing against France, but he still played his part in the Three Lions’ success.

It is something of a mystery why he didn’t make more of an impact at international level, but he certainly made his mark on Merseyside.

Caps: 4

Goals: 0

Debut: Finland 0-3 England (1966)

Centre Midfield: Steven Gerrard

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 16, 2015: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard in action against Crystal Palace during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Steven Gerrard is Liverpool’s greatest ever player in the eyes of many, performing heroically for almost 20 years, and winning endless matches almost single-handedly.

His England career never came close to hitting those heights, however, with his flawed midfield partnership with Frank Lampard forever under scrutiny.

The former Reds captain appeared in three World Cups and two European Championships, but never got further than the quarter-finals. Only Shilton and David Beckham have appeared more times for the Three Lions.

Had he actually been played consistently in his best position, England fans may have seen more of the sensational talent that graced the Anfield turf for so long.

Caps: 114

Goals: 21

Debut: England 2-0 Ukraine (2000)

Left Wing: John Barnes

John Barnes (Picture by: Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport)

John Barnes is often in contention when it comes to discussing Liverpool’s best ever player, and few have produced more genius in a Reds shirt over the years.

Bizarrely, his England career never sparked into life, and there were occasions when he was even booed by his own fans.

The dazzling winger did score a magical solo effort against Brazil in the Maracana in 1984, though – a goal considered one of England’s best in history.

Caps: 79

Goals: 11

Debut: Northern Ireland 0-0 England (1983)

Forward: Kevin Keegan

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 14, 2012: Former Liverpool players Kevin Keegan and John Barnes, working for ESPN, before the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Liverpool and Everton at Wembley. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Kevin Keegan remains criminally underrated by some Liverpool supporters, perhaps due to him choosing to leave for Hamburg in 1977, but he was special footballer.

He was another who took his club form with him to the international stage, and 31 of his 63 Three Lions caps were as captain.

A tireless worker, a clinical finisher and a great team player, Keegan deserves to be remembered as both a Liverpool and England legend.

Caps: 63

Goals: 21

Debut: Wales 0-1 England (1972)

Striker: Michael Owen

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Saturday, May 15, 2004: Liverpool's Michael Owen in action against Newcastle United during the final Premiership game of the season at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Robbie Fowler has the edge over Michael Owen when it comes to their respective Liverpool careers, but the latter always outshone the former for England.

Like Keegan, Owen’s stock has nosedived because of his acrimonious exit back in 2004, but he was a world-class striker during the early 2000s.

He scored 40 goals for England, which puts him fifth on the all-time list, including a remarkable goal against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup, and a hat-trick against Germany in 2001.

Caps: 89

Goals: 40

Debut: England 0-2 Chile (1998)

Striker: Roger Hunt

Only Ian Rush has found the net more times for Liverpool than Roger Hunt, and he scored 18 goals in 34 international appearances also highlights his lethal strike-rate.

Hunt famously won the 1966 World Cup, along with Reds teammates Gerry Byrne and Callaghan, and he was a regular in the team throughout the tournament.

There were few better strikers in Europe during his peak, and his goalscoring feats have deservedly stood the test of time.

Caps: 34

Goals: 18

Debut: England 3-1 Austria (1962)


Liverpool, England - Wednesday, November 27th, 1996: Liverpool's Robbie Fowler in action during the 4-2 victory over Arsenal during the 4th Round of the League Cup at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

David James

Caps: 53

Goals: 0

Debut: England 2-0 Mexico (1997)

Gerry Byrne

Caps: 2

Goals: 0

Debut: England 1-2 Scotland (1963)

Steve McManaman

Caps: 37

Goals: 3

Debut: England 1-0 Nigeria (1994)

Peter Beardsley

Caps: 59

Goals: 9

Debut: Egypt 0-4 England (1986)

Robbie Fowler

Caps: 26

Goals: 7

Debut: England 1-0 Bulgaria (1996)

    More from This Is Anfield

    Fan Comments