Here we take a look at Liverpool’s players, from the great Liverpool of 1970s and 80s to these days’ great Liverpool side, to see who are the best Liverpool midfielders of all time.
As the most successful team in England with 48 major trophies (excluding the Community Shield), Liverpool has had some of the greatest footballers in English football and sometimes even the world play for them so we thought it would be a great idea to see the midfielders who actually drove those great Liverpool teams forward and controlled the game on the pitch and find out who among them makes
the best Liverpool midfielders of all time
Obviously a lot of the players on this list will be from the Golden years of Liverpool in the 1970s and 80s where the club established itself as one of the European Giants and constantly won the domestic league and cups. But we have also tried to include players outside those 2 decades. Apart from the era they played in, all of these all-time best midfielders at Liverpool have gave it all for the club and their dedication as well as their quality are what makes them appear on this list. so let’s see who they are:
Our list of best Liverpool midfielders ever starts with Steve Macmanaman who achieved most of his success outside Liverpool but was great in his times with the Reds as well. Let’s see who else made it onto the list:
One of Liverpool’s famous
and one of the most successful English players of the modern era, is the great Macmanaman who starts our list of greatest Liverpool midfielders of all time. despite winning no league trophies in his 9 year stay at Liverpool, Macmanaman established himself as one of the best players of his generation which earned him a move to Real Madrid where he received most of his career honors.
A great dribbler and a playmaker, Macmanaman had the versatility to play in a number of positions, including central midfield, winger or his preferred position of an attacking midfielder which coupled with his attacking abilities made him one of the greatest players in his time in that position. His partnerships with the likes of Robbie Fowler and Jamie Redknapp, who were the other members of the so called Spice Boys, made Liverpool deadly in attack and earned them 2 trophies.
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Although Macmanaman would go on to win 2 Champions League and 2 La Liga titles with Real Madrid after he left Liverpool in 1999, his time with Liverpool only resulted in 1 FA Cup trophy and a League Cup trophy. On an individual level, he became Premier League’s top assist provider once and was named in the Team of the Year in 1997. All of which has let us to consider Steve Macmanaman as one of the best Liverpool midfielders of all time.
Jan Molby is one of only few players on our list of
best ever Liverpool midfielders
who is not British, as Molby is Danish, having represented his country 33 times during his career. Most of Molby’s career was spent at Liverpool as he was part of the club for 12 years from 1984 to 1996. Although there were seldom seasons where Molby was a regular starter for the Reds, he made his impact on the club nonetheless.
After a couple of great seasons with Ajax, Molby transferred to Liverpool in 1984, although it wasn’t until a season later where player-manager Kenny Dalglish trusted Molby to be a regular starter. That season they won the league and the FA Cup double. Molby pretty soon established himself as Liverpool’s first choice penalty kick taker and by the end of his career had scored 44 goals from the spot for Liverpool.
With Molby in the heart of midfield, controlling Liverpool’s rhythm and creative play, Liverpool went on to win the league two times more in the 90s. although there were periods where he was not favored by managers and were completely left out of the first team.
Although he had his ups and downs during his career at Liverpool, Jan Molby found his way to play amongst some of the greatest Liverpool players ever in the 80s and established himself as one of the best Liverpool midfielders of all time. he helped Liverpool win 3 First Division League titles as well as 2 Fa Cup trophies by appearing 281 games for Liverpool and scoring 58 goals.
Liverpool’s current club captain is the number 8 on our list of the all-time best midfielders at Liverpool. Henderson who was a product of Sunderland youth academy and broke into their first team, attracted Liverpool’s attention quite early on and joined the Reds in 2011 when he was only 21. Despite early success in the form of 2 domestic cup finals in his first season with the club, which resulted in a League Cup trophy, most of Henderson’s success with the club has come in recent years.
Perhaps Henderson’s technical abilities are not as prominent as some of the greatest midfielders of his generation but his tenacity, stamina and work rate as well as his great leadership on the pitch is second to none, as he immediately proved himself to manager Jurgen Klopp when he took over in the 2015. He also possesses an incredible ability to read the game both in attack and defense, which helps him greatly in leading Liverpool from the middle of the pitch.
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Henderson has appeared in mor than 370 games for Liverpool and has scored 29 goals and as mentioned before most of his success with Liverpool came in recent years. In his 9 year stay at the club, he has helped Liverpool a Champions League, 1 League Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup. But his greatest achievement, which actually makes him one of
the best Liverpool midfielders of all time
, was leading Liverpool to a Premier League trophy last year, after 30 years without a league trophy for the club.
One of the more controversial and yet brilliant players on our list of
all-time best Liverpool midfielders
is the great Jimmy Case who played a big part in the 70s and early 80s in making Liverpool one of the European Giants as well as one of the greatest English teams ever. Although his career extended to a several other teams where he then again showed his brilliance in teams like Brighton and Southampton.
Case whose powerful shots, goal scoring prowess and tough tackles were like none other, started his footballing career at Liverpool in 1973 but he was handed his debut for the club almost 2 years later. After his debut he quickly became a regular. He helped the club win the league 4 times during his 269 appearances for the club.
But perhaps his biggest achievement with the club was the 3 European Cups (now called the Champions League) that he won with the club. Two of which were consecutive in 1977 and 1978. He did also help Liverpool win the UEFA cup in his first season at the club, even scoring in the first tie of the final agains FC Bruges.
With 4 league titles, 3 European Cups, 1 League Cup and a UEFA Cup, Jimmy chase is undoubtedly one of the most decorated players in Liverpool’s history which, given his position, also makes him one of the best Liverpool midfielders of all time. even though his time with the Reds was cut short, because of his struggle with alcohol, in 1981, Case is still remembered fondly by Liverpool fans and remains as one of their all-time favorite players.
One of the most gifted footballers in Liverpool’s history is the incredible Terry Macdermott who joined Liverpool from Newcastle in 1974 and would go on to represent Liverpool for more than 7 seasons. Although it took Macdermott a couple of seasons to establish himself in Liverpool’s first team, with him not getting enough games to win a winner’s medal for the 1975-76 league title. In the following season though he started playing more regularly and just like Jimmy Case became an integral part of the greatest Liverpool side in the 70s and 80s.
Macdermott’s incredible stamina, winning mentality coupled with his great vision and passing ability made him a deadly player who was able to feed great passes to Liverpool’s forward line and bring numerous amount of goals for Liverpool. He was also an accomplished goal scorer himself, reaching double figure number of goals in 3 of his 7 seasons at the club. All of which made him one of
the best Liverpool midfielders ever
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With Macdermott’s help Liverpool won 5 league titles, 3 European Cups, 2 League Cups and a UEFA Cup. His individual achievements also include, scoring the goal of the season in the 1976-77 season, as well as being named Player of the Year in the 1979-80 season. He also was the Champions League top goal scorer in the 1980-81 season where Liverpool won the competition. After 329 games and 81 goals for Liverpool, Macdermott left the club in 1982, having established himself as one of the best Liverpool midfielders of all time, and went back to play for Newcastle before retiring in 1984.
One of the greatest Spanish players of all time, Xabi Alonso is the man that takes the 5th place in our list of best Liverpool midfielders ever. Alonso, who made a name for himself playing for Real Sociedad, joined the Reds in 2004 and there he established himself as one of the best midfielders of his generation. His partnership with Steven Gerrard made one of the best midfield duos in Europe and the pair helped Liverpool reach 2 Champions League finals.
Xabi Alonso’s great range of pass, long distance shots, vision, tackling and composure on the ball made him perfect to play alongside Steven Gerrard who had a more attacking role and was freed by the defensive responsibilities that Alonso took. He performed the same role in Spain’s midfield too as he let players like Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas more free reign over attacking duties. He was not one to shy away from taking shots at goal too, which resulted in some of the most outrageous goals from the halfway line or from the volley outside the box.
Xabi Alonso stayed at Liverpool for 5 seasons, playing in 210 matches and scoring 19 times. Perhaps his most crucial goal was the one he scored from a deflected penalty spot in the Champions League final of the 2004-05 season, where they drew 3-3 with AC Milan and went on to eventually win it in the penalty shoot-outs. His Champions League trophy coupled with the FA Cup they won a year later was enough for the 2 times Euro and 2010 World Cup winner to become one of the best Liverpool midfielders of all time and to make it onto our list.
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The Left-footed midfielder and winger John Barnes who was built like a Rugby player was a nightmare to many a defender throughout his career at Liverpool. Barnes who was quick and also possessed great technique was part of Liverpool’s success in the late 80s, having joined them from Watford in 1987. He soon established himself as one of
the all-time best midfielders at Liverpool
and played well into the Premier League years as he left the club in 1997.
Barnes first 4 season at Liverpool were when the bulk of his success at the club happened as he constantly scored more than 15 goals a season and helped Liverpool win 2 league titles as well as an FA Cup. He was also named for team of the year in 3 of his 10 seasons at Liverpool as well as being named Footballer of the Year 2 times. With his personal best season being in the 1989-90 season where he scored 28 goals in all competition and was named Footballer of the Year.
Barnes played in 403 matches for Liverpool and scored 106 goals. he was a huge presence in the left side of the Liverpool’s midfield as they won 2 league titles, 2 FA Cups and a League Cup title, therefore establishing himself as one of the best Liverpool midfielders of all time and taking the number 4 spot on our list.
You may know him as one of the best Skysports pundits but in his playing days, Graeme Souness helped Liverpool achieve immense success which in turn made him one of the best ever Liverpool midfielders. The Scotsman, who also was the manager of Liverpool between 1991 and 1994, joined Liverpool from Middlesborough in the January of 1978 and went on to play for the Reds for the next 6 seasons.
Souness, who joined Liverpool with fellow Scottish players, Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hensen, was part of perhaps the greatest ever Liverpool side as in his six and a half years at the club they won the league 5 times, 3 of which were consecutive, as well as winning 3 League Cups and 3 European Cups (now known a Champions League). He even became Liverpool’s captain towards the end of his tenure there and he ended his career at Liverpool in style, by winning a European Cup in 1984.
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Graeme Souness appeared in 359 matches for Liverpool and scored 59 goals for the club. He also represented his country Scotland in 44 matches and in 3 different World Cups. He was a complete midfielder who had a bit of everything, which made him a vital part of the Bob Paisley era Liverpool team. Having won 11 major trophies as a player and an FA Cup as a manager with Liverpool, Souness has become one of
the best Liverpool midfielders of all time
and takes the 3rd position on our list.
Liverpool’s record appearance maker, Ian Callaghan, is 2nd in our list of
the greatest Liverpool midfielders of all time
. Callaghan, who represented Liverpool 857 times, is one of only two World Cup winners among the players on our list. That, coupled with the numerous trophies he won with Liverpool during the 60s and the 70s, makes him one of the greatest English players of all time.
Callaghan made his debut for Liverpool in 1959 when Liverpool was actually in the Second Division and he helped them win promotion 2 years later in 1961-62, a year which he incidentally broke into the first team. From then on Callaghan rarely missed games for Liverpool as he helped them win 5 league titles, 2 FA Cups and 2 consecutive European Cups and 2 UEFA Cups.
Towards the end of his career Callaghan saw his opportunities become lesser and lesser as Graeme Souness, who is 3rd on our list, started replacing him in the first team which made Callaghan leave the club. But he left the club in style as a European Champion and one of the best Liverpool midfielders of all time, having represented Liverpool in 857 games in which he scored 68 goals.
In his 17 years stay at Liverpool, Steven Gerrard became not only the best Liverpool midfielders ever but also their greatest player of all time which is no small feat, as Liverpool are the most successful club in England. Despite the fact that he played in a period of club that were devoid of any league success, Gerrard helped his team reach 3 European finals, 2 of which they won largely thanks to him.
Gerrard was a powerhouse as he was physically strong and tactically intelligent. He also possessed a great shooting ability which made him able to score from seemingly impossible distances. The qualities and versatility that Gerrard showed as a midfielder led to praise from the likes of Zidane and Pele, who both called him “the world’s best player” in 2009. But amongst his best qualities as a midfielder, his great leadership quality, which at times seemed to single-handedly drag Liverpool to success, was his best.
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He showcased all these on many occasions but 2 jump out from the rest, the first was in the 2005 Champions League Final where after going down 3-0 in the first half, Liverpool came back to draw the match 3-3 and win in the penalties. Gerrard took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half as he scored a goal and won a penalty. He did the same a year later in the FA Cup final against West Ham, where he scored 2 and made the game 3-3, only for Liverpool to win it in the penalties.
Gerrad made 504 Premier League appearances, scoring 120 goals and assisting 92 more. He won 3 League Cups, 2 FA Cups, 1 UEFA Cup and 1 Champions League with Liverpool. He helped them reach another Champions League final in 2007 which they lost. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest midfielders of all time, whether he is or isn’t is debatable but he is without a doubt the best Liverpool midfielder of all time.