Jamie Carragher raised some eyebrows when he named his all-time Liverpool XI while doing the punditry for Wednesday night’s Champions League tie with Benfica.
Having already established a 3-1 lead in Lisbon last week, Liverpool secured a Champions League semi-final against Villarreal by drawing 3-3 with Benfica on Wednesday evening. As a result, they progressed through 6-4 on aggregate.
When discussing Liverpool’s performance at Anfield, Carragher explained how only three of the current side would make it into his ultimate XI. Instead he named the likes of Steve Nicol, John Barnes and Kenny Dalglish instead.
Jamie Carragher has named his all-time Liverpool XI and says it’s ‘not up for debate’
He select his side during the coverage of Liverpool’s Champions League draw with Benfica
When asked to name his dream-team, Carragher told CBS: ‘Well it would start with the goalkeeper, obviously, and that would be a toss-up between Ray Clemence and maybe the goalkeeper now, Alisson Becker.
‘But it has to be Ray Clemence. He was the legendary goalkeeper when Liverpool started winning European Cups and league titles, so it has to be him.’
Carragher’s choice of goalkeeper comes as no surprise considering Clemence was regarded as one of the finest stopper in Europe throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. His role between the sticks even helped Liverpool win five league title. and three European Cups.
Carragher chose Ray Clemence (above) as his first-choice goalkeeper for the starting XI
He picked Nicol, Van Dijk (above), Hansen and Alexander-Arnold as his key defenders
Carragher went on to name is back four, claiming he would choose the likes of Steve Nicol, Virgil van Dijk, Alan Hansen and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
He said: ‘Then you go to the back four, and that’s where I have two of the current back four in. So I’ve gone for Trent Alexander-Arnold, ahead of Phil Neal who won four European Cups but I’ve gone with that because I think the influence Trent has on this team is greater than Phil Neal.
‘Alan Hansen, before Virgil van Dijk came along, was the greatest centre back who played for Liverpool, so he’s alongside Virgil van Dijk.
‘And the position for Liverpool that is never set in stone, left back. Steve Nicol I’ve gone for, he wasn’t a renowned left back, he played right across the back four, he was Footballer of the Year, so a special player and I’ve decided to go with him.
CARRAGHER’S DREAM LIVERPOOL XI
- Steve Nicol
- Virgil van Dijk
- Alan Hansen
- Trent Alexander-Arnold
- John Barnes
- Graeme Souness
- Steven Gerrard
- Mohamed Salah
‘He’s had a great relationship with a player who’s going to play in front of him in the late eighties. (No Alan Kennedy?) Yes, because he is so famous for scoring two winning goals in European Cup finals. No-one else can say that in a Liverpool shirt, maybe not in any team really.
‘But it’s never been a position that’s had a world-class player. Some people would say at the end of his career Andy Robertson could go into that role. I love Barney Rubble, which was the nickname for Alan Kennedy, but sorry Barney if you’re watching, you’re not in!’.
Meanwhile, in the midfield, Carragher opted for the likes of John Barnes, Graeme Souness, Steven Gerrard and Mohamed Salah.
He said: ‘In midfield we’ve got some legendary figures in there and again someone from the current team.
‘Mo Salah has got to go in. He is a Liverpool legend, what he’s done in this Jurgen Klopp team. He goes into a position that, again, there was never a real standout figure for me on the right hand side of that attack. So Mo Salah.
‘Steven Gerrard, the greatest player to ever play for Liverpool, in my opinion, goes in. The goal against Olympiacos just sums him up, and then we go on to win the Champions League.
‘Without that goal, there’s no Istanbul and there’s no Steven Gerrard in a Liverpool shirt. I’m convinced he’d have moved on that summer because we’d have had no Champions League football.
‘Graeme Souness, until Stevie Gerrard came along, was Liverpool’s greatest ever midfield player, there’s no doubt about that.
‘If I was picking this team, Steven Gerrard was my captain (when I played) but I would still have Graeme Souness as captain in this team, so that shows what a leader he was and what a great player he was. Again, a legendary figure.
‘John Barnes. Some of the goals John Barnes scored, for me one of the greatest players of all time for Liverpool.
Carragher named the likes of John Barnes (above) and Steven Gerrard in his midfield
He then finished by picking both Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish (right) for his forward line
For people who haven’t watched John Barnes like Micah, the best way to describe him or to tell you what he was like, it was like watching Thierry Henry in the Premier League when he was at his peak for four or five years. From 1987 to 1991.’
Carragher finished by naming his forward line and insisted it was ‘not a debate’.
Speaking after Liverpool’s draw with Benfica he said: ‘Strikers. This is not a debate. Never been a debate! Any Liverpool fan, anywhere in the world, should always pick Kenny Dalglish, the greatest figure in Liverpool’s history in terms of player, manager, what he did around the Hillsborough disaster.
‘In his first season, scoring the winning goal in the European Cup final. King Kenny was born that night and he was always famous for that little dinked finish. We’ve got Ian Rush as well!
‘The manager would have to be Bill Shankly, the man who started the legendary club of Liverpool Football Club.’