Through the past five decades, some of the best players in the world not only contributed to making Liverpool one of the most decorated clubs in England but have been among the best in the world. In this best Liverpool players of all time list, we take a look at the very best players that ever represented the Reds.
Liverpool’s history is full of interesting events and memorable moments. Winning the Premier League title 19 times and the Champions League 6 times, Liverpool is one of the most decorated clubs in the world.
Liverpool’s history is characterized by numerous domestic and international victories. The club has won 19 League titles, eight FA Cups, and six European Cups. During the 1970s and 1980s, the club cemented its status as a dominant football force under the leadership of celebrated managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.
The club’s rich history is made by some of the current best players of Liverpool as well as some of their legends from older times. Here, we take a look at their greatest players ever.
Greatest Liverpool Players of All Time
With 19 Premier League titles, 8 FA Cup trophies, and 6 Champions League titles, there were many world-class players amongst the best Liverpool players of all time. So, let’s see who these players are.
10- Kevin Keegan
First on our list of the best Liverpool players of all time is the phenomenal striker, Kevin Keegan. Despite starting his career as a midfielder, Keegan’s attacking skills saw him get transitioned to a center-forward by Bill Shankly. Spending six years with the Reds, Keegan scored 100 goals and provided 56 assists for the Reds. He helped the Reds win three league titles, two UEFA Cups, one European Cup (Champions League), and one FA Cup title.
Kevin Keegan’s club career spanned several teams and countries, beginning with his professional debut at Scunthorpe United in 1968. After two seasons at Scunthorpe, he joined Liverpool in 1971 for a then-club-record fee of £35,000.
During his time at Liverpool, Keegan was one of the world’s most talented and exciting players. His performances helped the team win three First Division titles, an FA Cup, and two UEFA Cups. He was a fan favorite at Anfield and was adored by the Kop faithful for his commitment to the cause.
When Keegan moved to Hamburg in 1977, he quickly became a fan favorite for his style of play. He won the Ballon d’Or twice while playing for the German club.
Although many of the Reds don’t appreciate his move to Hamburg, he is certainly one of the best players in Liverpool of all time. He not only won Ballon d’Or twice but also helped the Reds to their first European trophies.
9- Graeme Souness
Despite his bitter spell as the Reds boss, Souness was the tough midfielder in the core of Bob Paisley’s team that won 5 league titles and three European Cups. Hence, he is undoubtedly one of the best Liverpool players of all time.
Before the days of pass-completion measurements, Souness’s unerring, arcing balls to switch play from left to right extended the opposition to the limit, with full-backs Phil Neal and Alan Kennedy supplementing the wide midfielders Case and Ray Kennedy. In the passing triangles that became an on-field Liverpool Way, the Scot played shorter, cleverly wall-passes with teammates to make space before looking for a more creative ball.
Regularly the recipient would be McDermott jogging through the center on one of his surging runs. Rightly lauded as Liverpool’s most prominent midfield, the foursome’s adequacy was predicated on Souness’s capacity to stand up to challenges, hold the ball, draw in rivals and discharge it into space at the last minute. While he was an outstanding playmaker, his dribbling ability allowed him to navigate challenges and his technique in cutting across the ball to fire home helped him to 55 goals from midfield.
8- Billy Liddell
An icon from the World War II era, Billy Liddell set the bar for the greatest Liverpool players of all time for a long time as he scored 228 goals across 534 appearances for the Reds.
The Scottish winger served only one club during his 23-year playing career from 1938 to 1961. His impact on the club was so significant that Liverpool fans nicknamed the club “Liddellpool” after Billy Liddell. A strong and pacey player with a powerful shot, Liddell could play anywhere in the front line including both wings and in the center.
After then-Liverpool captain Matt Busby recommended the young Liddell to the club, Liddell signed for Liverpool on 27 July 1938. Being only 16 years old, Liddell signed his first professional contract with the club nine months later. Although injury and the World War postponed Liddell’s debut, he made his first appearance for the Reds in 1946 against Chester City, when he scored the match’s opener. Liddell further helped Liverpool win their first league title in 24 years.
Despite the club’s relegation to the Second Division in 1954, the Scot decided to remain in Liverpool despite his top form and remained with the Reds until his retirement. Although he missed the Shankly revolution and the great successes that followed. Liddell is still fondly remembered by those who saw him play as one of the best Liverpool players of all time.
7- Alan Hansen
An integral part of the meanest defense in the Reds’ history, the next player in our list of the best Liverpool players of all time is Alan Hansen. Remembered as the best Liverpool defender in history, Hansen won eight First Division titles with the Reds along with two FA Cups, four League Cups, and three European Cups.
Alan Hansen was a remarkably talented and poised defender, who played a vital role in Liverpool’s dominant success in both domestic and European competitions during the 1980s.
Hansen had a telepathic partnership with Lawrenson in the Liverpool defense. Lawrenson was quick and accurate in the sprint and had a knack for tackling with precise timing, almost like a surgeon. Hansen could predict his opponents’ moves before they even made them, making Liverpool’s central defensive partnership the strongest in Europe, leading to a steady flow of trophies to the Anfield boardroom.
Hansen frequently receives recognition as one of the top defenders in the history of British football. He has earned a spot in the PFA Team of the Year six times and was also selected for the same organization’s prestigious ‘Team of the Century’. A documentary about Hansen’s sporting achievements and personal life was broadcasted on BBC in 2014.
6- John Barnes
Scoring 108 goals through 407 appearances, John Barnes is among Liverpool best players of all time. Barnes won two league titles with Liverpool in the 1987-88 and 1989-90 seasons. In addition, he won the FA Cup twice, League Cup once, and FA Charity Shield three times.
For Liverpool fans, John Barns had everything a footballer needed. Powerful shooting, powerful heading, sublime control, flawless passing, precise crossing, mesmeric dribbling, perfect balance, robust tackling, lightning pace, brute strength, peripheral vision, and unflappable temperament.
However, the bond between Barnes and Liverpool fans goes beyond his football career. His experiences at Hillsborough, and his work in the aftermath, coupled with a period of great success on the football field have cemented the relationship between Barnes, generations of Liverpool supporters, and the people of Merseyside.
Barnes is one of the greatest English players of all time. He came sixth in a poll by Liverpool fans as their greatest player ever in 2006. A year later, FourFourTwo named him Liverpool’s best all-time player. The Times selected Barnes as England’s greatest-ever left-footed player in 2016.
5- Robbie Fowler
Liverpool had a lot of special players, hence, you have to be extraordinary to yield the nickname of “God” during your teenage years. Even though his injuries shortened his Liverpool career, Fowler will remain one of the best Liverpool players of all time.
Shortly after his first appearance for Liverpool, he began scoring goals at a rapidly. Before making his international debut at the age of 21, he scored 80 goals in 135 games for Liverpool.
Fowler’s record of 36 goals for the Reds during the 1995-96 season is a feat that has yet to be surpassed. Brave in the air despite his physical shape, Fowler possessed a playful speed, however, he was not a pure sprinter. It appeared as though he transitioned effortlessly from playing on the playground to playing in the Premier League.
4- Ian Rush
Next on our list of the best Liverpool players of all time is the club’s record goalscorer with 346 goals in 660 matches, Ian Rush.
Liverpool fans gave Rush the nickname “the Ghost” for the way he snuck up behind defenders. Rush was a tireless worker who was continuously closing down defenders and attempting to steal the ball from goalkeepers. Despite his height, he was also a very decent header. As a finisher, he was clinical and calm. In addition to scoring tap-ins, his all-around work and his selfless dedication to the team characterized him. Still, as a self-devoted striker, he managed to score 408 career goals.
Rush is the highest goalscorer ever in the history of Liverpool. He earned the title of Liverpool’s Top Goalscorer in 8 seasons. The Welsh striker also won the European Golden Boot and First Division Golden Boot both in 1984. He was also named in the PFA Team of the Century in 2007.
3- Mohamed Salah
Being dubbed the “Egyptian King”, Salah has been phenomenal since his arrival. He has won one Premier League title, one Champions League trophy, one FA Cup, and one EFL Cup with the Reds.
Scoring over 186 goals for the Reds, Salah is also Liverpool’s all-time Champions League goals leader. Playing as a winger in modern football’s 4-3-3 system requires a combination of specific skills. Salah possesses exceptional traits as a footballer, including remarkable speed, dexterity, and strategic acumen. He also has an impressive ability to score and manipulate the ball, particularly when cutting in from the right side.
He primarily uses his left foot and this proves useful when he shifts towards the center and attempts to score. Although Salah prefers to play as a right winger, he possesses the ability to adapt to different positions.
2- Kenny Dalglish
Known for his incredible skill on the pitch, his leadership as a manager, and his off-field persona as a gentleman and philanthropist, “King” Kenny Dalglish is the next in our list of the best Liverpool players of all time.
Dalglish began his football career with Celtic in 1971, where he won four Scottish League championships. He then moved on to Liverpool in 1977, where he established himself as a prolific goalscorer. Dalglish also played for the Scottish national team for 15 years, earning 102 caps and scoring a record 30 goals before retiring in 1984.
King Kenny’s impact on football extends beyond his success as a player and manager. He has made significant contributions to the Scottish national team and Liverpool.
Dalglish had exceptional technical ability and vision in the field. His passing accuracy was particularly noteworthy. Dalglish’s ability to unlock defenses and anticipate the game made his playing style otherworldly. His skill on the ball was complemented by his ability to read the game, allowing him to create opportunities. These attributes made him a fierce force on the field, and his impact on the game is still felt today. Dalglish’s versatility and adaptability in different positions were also key components of his playing style.
Dalglish has won six League titles with Liverpool, an FA Cup in 1985-86, four Football League Cups, and three European Cups.
1- Steven Gerrard
Top of our list of the best Liverpool players of all time is the club’s “Captain Fantastic”, Steven Gerrard.
Coming through Liverpool’s youth ranks, Gerrard became a cornerstone of the club’s history as he served the club for 17 years. Being chosen by the Reds’ fans as their greatest player ever, he also captained England and won 114 caps. In this Steven Gerrard biography, you’ll learn more about the Reds’ icon inside and outside the pitch.
After winning a cup treble in 2001 with Liverpool, he captained the Reds to the Champions League triumph in 2005. He also lifted two EFL Cups, one Community Shield, and one FA Cup. He won 114 England caps before moving to the MLS outfit LA Galaxy and retiring as a player.
Gerrard was a complete midfielder, a player that can play in every position in the midfield. He made his name on the professional stage as a strong ball-winner. A great game-reader as well, he would intercept or break down opposition attacks. He’s an excellent passer as well, Gerrard stands head and shoulders above the rest for his composure in a crisis and his appetite for big moments.
One of Gerrard’s main traits was being able to score from a distance. His ball-striking was elite, creating lots of power and accuracy that would regularly give goalkeepers no chance at all.