It’s the World Cup, the transfer rumours have gone quiet, so how about a themed XI of the best British and foreign players to play for Liverpool.
We may be in the middle of the World Cup, but that doesn’t stop us talking about our beloved Reds.
With eight current Reds representing their respective countries in Russia, we’ve been thinking about who would make it into an all-time best XI in both categories.
Here’s what we think.
Goalkeeper: Ray Clemence
Unquestionably the greatest goalkeeper in Liverpool’s history, it will take something special for an individual to usurp Ray Clemence any time soon.
Five league titles and three European Cups isn’t too shabby, over a stunning 13-year Anfield career.
Right-Back: Phil Neal
Has there ever been a more consistent player to represent the Reds?
Phil Neal was almost a freak of nature during the 1970s and 1980s, and astonishingly, playing 417 consecutive matches from 1976 to 1983.
The definition of solid, and also an expert penalty taker.
Centre-Back: Jamie Carragher
Emlyn Hughes, Phil Thompson, Tommy Smith and Ron Yeats deserve honourable mentions, but Jamie Carragher gets the nod at centre-back.
A player who fans could relate to on the pitch, “Carra” put his body on the line, especially during the incredible Champions League triumph in 2005, and was a magnificent out-and-out defender.
Centre-Back: Alan Hansen
The most elegant defender Liverpool have ever had, Alan Hansen is a true great who won 16 major honours during his time on Merseyside.
Left-Back: Steve Nicol
An unsung hero who could play in multiple positions, Steve Nicol thrived most at right-back, but can easily slot in on the opposite flank.
Strong, powerful, technical and good in front of goal for a defender – he scored 46 goals in 468 games – the Scot was a manager’s dream and a crowd favourite.
Right Wing: Billy Liddell
Football before the 1960s was so, so different to the game we watch today, and many would simply look out place physically and technically.
Billy Liddell was a departure from the norm, however, and is rightly seen as one of Liverpool’s top five players of all time. In his 534 appearances for the Reds, he found the 228 times.
Record appearance-maker Ian Callaghan misses out.
Centre Midfield: Graeme Souness
A colossus of a footballer who was not only terrifying but also genuinely world-class, Graeme Souness was almost as influential as any player in British football in the 70s and 80s.
There was nothing he couldn’t do, from tenacious tackling to defence-splitting passes, and he skippered Liverpool in the 1984 European Cup final victory over Roma.
Ignore his disastrous reign as manager and remember him for the special player he was.
Centre Midfield: Steven Gerrard
The best player Liverpool have ever had? If he’s not, Steven Gerrard is definitely in the top-two.
England have not produced many better footballers in history, and when he was at his peak, the former captain was arguably as good as anyone on the planet.
Istanbul, Cardiff, long-range screamers, raking passes, lung-busting runs and captain’s performances – imagine him in Jurgen Klopp‘s team.
Left Wing: John Barnes
For a generation of Liverpool supporters growing up in the late 80s, John Barnes was their undisputed idol.
A ridiculously gifted footballer who was unplayable on his day, he would be worth somewhere over £100 million in the modern game. Probably third behind Kenny Dalglish and Gerrard in the all-time list.
Striker: Kenny Dalglish
Speaking of Dalglish!
To many, he is Liverpool’s best ever player, and the genius he produced during 13 years at Anfield makes it an understandable opinion to have.
His vision was second to none, but he was also a born winner.
Striker: Ian Rush
Ian Rush is the Reds’ record goalscorer, and it is hard to see his tally of 346 goals ever being beaten.
Rush himself would admit that more talented players have graced the Anfield turf, but when it came to finishing and a big-game mentality, there was nobody better.
Roger Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Kevin Keegan all miss out, which goes to show how good Dalglish and Rush were.
Goalkeeper: Bruce Grobbelaar
Eccentric and error-prone? Yes. Brilliant? Absolutely.
Bruce Grobbelaar’s colourful character often works against him, and it should never be forgotten that he was a world-class goalkeeper who won six league titles, three FA Cups, three League Cups and a European Cup.
Right-Back: Steve Finnan
There was absolutely nothing flash or special about Steve Finnan, a little like Nathaniel Clyne, but he was a great servant between 2003 and 2008.
He almost never performed below a six out of 10, and a lot of the time it was sevens or eights.
Centre-Back: Mark Lawrenson
The perfect centre-back partner for Hansen, Mark Lawrenson was an unbelievable defender who possessed blistering pace and a perfect reading of the game.
Since becoming “Lawro”, he has become something of a laughing stock, but he was phenomenal at his best.
Centre-Back: Sami Hyypia
What a player Sami Hyypia was.
He arrived as a complete unknown from Willem II in 1999, but a decade later he had become one of the Premier League‘s greatest ever centre-backs, captained Liverpool, won the Champions League and a cup treble.
As an added bonus, he was a lovely man.
Left-Back: John Arne Riise
John Arne Riise may not have been perfect, but he was a great servant to the Reds, and came up with some memorable individual moments from left-back. Goals against Man United and Barcelona stand out the most.
Fabio Aurelio is the hipster’s choice, and although the Brazilian was a more polished player than Riise, he didn’t do nearly as much in a Liverpool shirt.
Right Wing: Dirk Kuyt
Liverpool’s ultimate big-game player, Dirk Kuyt went from a slight flop of a striker to one of the most effective right-wingers in the business.
When he was bad, he was terrible, but his finishing, work-rate, team ethic and sheer will to win see him included. The Reds’ rivals must have found him a real pest, which is the ultimate compliment.
Centre Midfield: Jan Molby
Jan Molby may have carried a bit of timber, but his ability on the ball made even Alonso look inferior.
A huge influence during a wonderful spell in the 80s, the big Dane dictated matches with ease, and scored 61 times for Liverpool.
Centre Midfield: Xabi Alonso
One of the best midfielders of his generation, Xabi Alonso’s playmaking ability was a joy to watch during five years at Liverpool.
He won the Champions League in his first season and was such an influence with his passing ability, composure and underrated steel.
Left Wing: Philippe Coutinho
Steve Heighway could easily have made the cut, but Philippe Coutinho gets the nod in controversial circumstances!
The Brazilian was a Red for nearly half a decade and was so often been the talisman when the team have most needed him, scoring endless magnificent strikes.
Striker: Luis Suarez
It’s a bold call, but Luis Suarez is the most talented individual who has ever donned the Reds jersey.
The magic that ‘El Pistolero’ produced in 2013/14, in particular, was beyond belief, and he scored 81 goals in 142 appearances in total.
There have been few better strikers in the last 20 years.
Striker: Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres’ arrival in the summer of 2007 was one of the biggest statements Liverpool have made in their history, and he didn’t disappoint.
The Spaniard was the best striker in the world in the late 2000s, ripping some of the best defenders in the business apart, and scoring goals by the bucketload.
He may have soured things a little when he joined Chelsea in 2011, but not including Torres would be a sin.
So, with both teams chosen, who gets the nod in an Ultimate Liverpool XI? It’s fair to say it is a British-dominated lineup.
Clemence has to be in ahead of Grobbelaar because of his sheer consistency, and exactly the same applies to Neal, who was on another level to Finnan.
Hansen and Lawrenson were a dream pairing together, and they pip Carragher and Hyypia, despite them forging their own rock-solid partnership earlier this century.
Nicol is an obvious choice ahead of Riise – Alan Kennedy also deserves a mention – and on the right side of midfield, Liddell comfortably beats Kuyt.
Gerrard and Souness are Liverpool’s two greatest central midfielders ever, so their inclusion is a given, and it is also impossible to leave out Barnes.
In attack, it just has to be Dalglish and Rush, who did it over a longer period of time than Suarez and Torres, both of whom didn’t last four years at Anfield.
So there you have it, just one foreign player makes it into Liverpool’s best XI in history – do you agree?