Did you know… that a total of nine World Cup winners have played for Liverpool Football Club – and three suffered defeats in finals?
Of those nine winners, only two serving Reds have featured in a final and won; Roger Hunt and Fernando Torres.
Hunt was a starter for England the 1966 final, while Torres came on as a substitute in the 2010 final for Spain.
Three members of Bill Shankly‘s great Reds side of the sixties were involved in what is to date England’s only triumph. Hunt, Ian Callaghan and Gerry Byrne all played a part in helping England clinch the Jules Rimet trophy, in 1966.
The Kop would name Hunt ‘Sir Roger’ after his exploits helped England to a 4-2 triumph over West Germany. Meanwhile, Callaghan and Byrne would wait 41 years for their medals, as back then only the 11 players who featured in the final got a medal.
24 years later, Karl-Heinz Riedle was an unused substitute as his West Germany side overcame Argentina in the 1990 World Cup Final. The striker would join Liverpool in 1997 and featured in the exciting Roy Evans’ team of the late 90s.
A year later, Bernard Diomede would play three games in the 1998 World Cup in France. His country would go on to beat Brazil 3-0 in the final, but Diomede didn’t feature past the quarterfinals.
Gerard Houllier, the man credited with the rise of that French team, would bring Diomede to Liverpool in 2000, but he would make just two appearances in three years.
Four Liverpool players featured in Spain’s World Cup win in South Africa.
Pepe Reina and Alvaro Arbeloa were members of the Spanish squad but didn’t feature in the final.
However, both Torres and Xabi Alonso would get game time in the extra-time victory over the Netherlands. Of course, Arbeloa and Alonso had both left Liverpool a year earlier, in 2009.
On the losing side that day was Reds striker, Dirk Kuyt. The Dutchman holds the unwanted distinction of being one of three Liverpool players to feature on the losing side in a World Cup Final.
The other two were Dietmar Hamann for Germany, in 2002, and Javier Mascherano for Argentina, in 2014.
There are five Liverpool players left in the 2018 World Cup at the quarter-final stage; Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Simon Mignolet, Roberto Firmino and Dejan Lovren.
So, there’s every chance we could be adding to our World Cup hall of fame on the 15th July.
Jeff Goulding is the author of two Liverpool books; Red Odyssey and Stanley Park Story: Life, Love and the Merseyside Derby.