The hardest part about compiling a list of the greatest Liverpool players of all time isn’t finding the players; it’s about choosing which ones to leave out. There are very few soccer clubs worldwide where so many of its players have become club legends.
With so many great squads being created over the years, making history, and winning trophies, it’s inevitable that some of the greatest players in Liverpool FC’s past have become ingrained in the club’s identity.
From the title-winning teams of the 1970s and 1980s, the list of genuinely outstanding players is incredible.
The modern Liverpool teams have also brought about their own share of the glory, with the Champions League being a particular hunting ground for this most famous of clubs.
With victories in 19 Premier League seasons and an astonishing six Champions League trophies, Liverpool players have carved their own slice of soccer history.
Today we will look at 25 of the greatest Liverpool players of all time, so let’s get to it; it’s a great list.
25. Steve HeighwayEmbed from Getty Images
A Republic of Ireland International with 11 seasons as a Liverpool winger, Steve Heighway was an integral part of the Shankly side that would go on to win four League titles and two European Cups.
Signed to replace an aging team, Heighway had pace and skill and would remain a key figure in the Liverpool team for over a decade.
24. Fernando TorresEmbed from Getty Images
One of the best strikers Spain has produced in years, Fernando Torres was a lethal goalscorer whose impact on Liverpool was immediate.
A pacy, focused striker, Torres only needed half a chance to get a shot on target. Torres scored 81 league goals in 142 appearances in his four seasons with the Anfield club and quickly became a fan favorite.
23. Steve McManamanEmbed from Getty Images
Steve McManaman was a creative attacking player with incredible dribbling skills, one of the most underrated midfielders of his generation. A Liverpool-born player, McManaman broke into
the first team in 1990 and stayed there for almost a decade before a surprise move to Real Madrid, where he was equally successful.
A member of the infamous “spice boys” group of young Liverpool players, McManaman played almost 300 league games for Liverpool and helped the team to an FA Cup and a League cup triumph.
22. Kevin KeeganEmbed from Getty Images
One of the most hard-working players in the game, Kevin Keegan made the most out of his talent, working harder in training than anyone else.
A gifted player, Keegan would go on to be awarded two Ballon d’Or awards and helped Liverpool to three league titles and a European Cup. One of England’s best players, Keegan scored 68 goals in the league for the Merseyside club.
21. Ian St JohnEmbed from Getty Images
Liverpool has long had an uncanny ability to raid over the border into Scotland and return with an outstanding soccer player, with some of the greatest players ever to play for the club hailing from Scotland.
Ian St John, bought from Motherwell in 1961, was no exception. St John would spend a decade at Liverpool, scoring a goal every three games and winning two league titles.
20. Roger HuntEmbed from Getty Images
A World Cup winner with England, Roger Hunt is still Liverpool’s leading goalscorer for the league, with 244 goals in 404 appearances, and was a part of the 1960s team that won two league titles and an FA Cup.
A lethal finisher, Hunt was one of the few players to remain at the club upon Bill Shankley’s arrival and would go on to become a club legend.
19. Virgil Van Dijk
It’s not often that the purchase of one player has such an incredible effect on a team’s fortunes, but that’s precisely what happened when the current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp splashed the cash on Virgil Van Dijk.
Liverpool looked like a tremendous attacking unit but didn’t look like title challengers due to their defensive woes, but the introduction of the giant Dutch defender changed everything.
Liverpool became more compact, able to drive forwards with the safety of having one of the best defenders in Europe patrolling the back line. A decisive buy and a great Liverpool player.
18. Bruce GrobbelaarEmbed from Getty Images
One of the most eccentric goalkeepers the English top division has ever seen, Zimbabwean legend Bruce Grobbelaar spent 13 years at Liverpool, making a total of 628 appearances for the club.
A member of the team that dominated domestically throughout the 1980s, Grobbelaar would win six leagues, three FA Cups, and the 1984 European Cup.
Renowned for his incredible reflexes, utter self-belief, and the great speed at which he would charge from the goalline to narrow the angle for strikers. A superb goalie, Grobbelaar would intimidate, distract, and use any means at his disposal to put opponents off their stride.
One of the most successful goalkeepers in Liverpool history, Grobbelaar has to be on the list of greatest ever Liverpool players.
17. Phil ThompsonEmbed from Getty Images
Liverpool born and bred, Thompson was always going to be a Liverpool player and signed his first professional contract with his boyhood club at 17 years old.
By the end of his career with the club, Thompson had become club captain, won seven league titles and three European Cups, and become one of the best defenders in the country.
As well as winning every domestic trophy available, the central defender also won two UEFA Cups and the European Super Cup, making him one of the most decorated players in the club’s history.
After retiring, Thompson would end up being caretaker boss for a while when manager Gerard Houllier became gravely ill. However, he eventually ended up as a TV pundit, albeit a pundit with a huge Liverpool bias.
16. Ray ClemenceEmbed from Getty Images
In a career that spanned an eye-watering 23 seasons, Ray Clemence became one of only 31 players ever to reach over 1000 appearances as a professional soccer player.
As the Liverpool number one, Clemence played 665 times for the Merseyside giants, 470 of them in the league. His last appearance for the club was in the 1981 European Cup final, in which Liverpool won 1-0 against Real Madrid.
One of the best goalkeepers of any generation, Clemence won every domestic and European title going, all of them for Liverpool.
Keeping an insane 323 clean sheets for the club, Clemence was an imposing figure and had to be the best goalkeeper Liverpool has ever had.
15. Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane could well be the most outstanding African soccer player of all time, and his impact at Liverpool as part of one of the most lethal strikeforce of recent history cements him into our list.
A selfless, hard-working, and incredibly talented striker, Mane used his pace and skill to drive into the area, scoring critical goals for Liverpool as he helped the club to win their first Premier League title in decades.
14. Emlyn HughesEmbed from Getty Images
A Liverpool and England captain that was there from the very beginning of Liverpool’s rise to dominance, Emlyn Hughes, or Crazy Horse to his friends, was a combative defender that could also play in midfield and was renowned for his tough-tackling. A passionate player, Hughes was a prominent character in the Liverpool dressing room.
Hughes looked like he enjoyed his soccer, and so he should; he won almost every trophy available, including four League titles, the FA Cup, European Cup, UEFA Cup, and UEFA Super Cup.
Described by colleagues as being the complete player, Hughes is one of Liverpool’s most successful captains in history.
13. Alan HansenEmbed from Getty Images
Alan Hansen was one of the three Scottish players bought by Liverpool in the late 1970s to replace aging players. Hansen, Graeme Souness, and the legendary Kenny Dalglish all moved to Liverpool and would go on to help the club become the most dominant team in England.
Hansen would play for Liverpool for 14 seasons and, at the heart of the defense, would become one of the finest center-backs the club had ever seen. An elegant, intelligent player, Hansen was assured on the ball, confident, and quickly became integral to the team.
One of the most decorated players in Liverpool’s history, Hansen won eight league titles, three European Cups, two FA Cups, four League cups, and the UEFA Super Cup. The Scottish international would later make it into the Team of the Century in a poll to find the greatest Premier League team of all time.
12. Phil NealEmbed from Getty Images
A Liverpool fullback with the nickname “Zico” should indicate how good a soccer player Phil Neal was, and the English international’s 11 seasons at Liverpool saw him score many vital goals.
Neal also won an incredible eight First Division titles (the precursor to the Premier League) as well as four European Cups, four League Cups, and the UEFA Cup.
In a truly outstanding career, the only trophy Phil Neal didn’t win was the World Cup with England. After racking up an impressive 455 league appearances and countless more in European and domestic cups, Neal will go down in history as one of the greatest fullbacks of any generation.
11. Jordan Henderson
Every great team needs a great captain, and the natural successor to Steven Gerrard, one of the best club captains the Premier League has ever seen, had to be Jordan Henderson.
An understated, elegant player, the former Sunderland midfielder almost didn’t make it at Liverpool and was almost sold a few years ago. Luckily for the Anfield faithful, he decided to fight for his place in the team.
Henderson has a will to win and a presence that ensures his teammates always give 110%; It’s no coincidence that Liverpool wins far more games with the England international sat in midfield than they do without him.
Jordan Henderson makes Liverpool tick, and while now closer to retirement than at the beginning of his career, he’s irreplaceable.
10. Luis Suarez
One of the most charismatic and enigmatic strikers of the past 30 years, there’s no denying Luis Suarez is a superb striker.
He’s also not averse to a little controversy, and the Uruguayan striker has been banned several times for biting opposing players.
His penchant for nibbling the arms of opponents aside, Suarez was a revelation for Liverpool, turning the team from also-rans into real title challengers.
Until his sale to Barcelona, Liverpool looked like they could finally win the league title that had eluded them for so many years.
9. Xabi AlonsoEmbed from Getty Images
Xabi Alonso spent five seasons with Liverpool and was a part of the famous team that won the 2004-05 Champions League.
At halftime in the final against AC Milan, Liverpool was 3-0 down and looking like a team bereft of ideas. An hour later, the comeback was complete, with three quick goals in the second half, one from Alonso.
Liverpool would go on to win on penalties, and the match, the players, and the competition would never be the same again. A defensive midfielder, Alonso was instrumental in the squad; his composure and leadership qualities were excellent.
8. Michael OwenEmbed from Getty Images
Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen were one of the most exciting products to come out of the Liverpool youth team for years.
With pace to burn and acceleration that left players for dead, Owen was lethal and rarely missed a chance on goal. A member of the team that won the 2001 UEFA Cup, Owen was as vital for England as he was for Liverpool.
A move to Real Madrid damaged the local players standing on the Kop, and Owen himself would later state that leaving Anfield was the biggest mistake of his life. But for eight seasons, the rapid striker terrorized defenses throughout the Premier League.
7. John BarnesEmbed from Getty Images
After six highly successful years as a winger at Watford FC, Liverpool swooped in for the hottest young player in English soccer in 1987, and John Barnes went on to spend a decade on Merseyside as one of the most talented wingers in the country.
Born in Jamaica, Barnes moved to England at 12 years old and quickly became obsessed with soccer.
At Watford, the young winger would play almost 300 games, scoring 85 goals; this eye for goal persuaded Liverpool legend, Kenny Dalglish, to buy Barnes for £900,000. At Liverpool, Barnes would help keep the club at the very top for several more years.
6. Mohamed Salah
The current superstar at Liverpool, Mohamed Salah, is the greatest Egyptian player of all time and has been one of the most important Premier League players of the past decade.
Helping Liverpool to their first league title in over 20 years, Salah is revered on the Kop, and in his first five seasons has scored 120 league goals in 186 league games.
Despite an earlier spell in the Premier League with Chelsea, things didn’t work out for the Egyptian, and it was only after returning years later with Liverpool that his talent began to show.
A quick and agile player that’s always on the move, Salah is a nightmare to mark, and thanks to his keen eye for goal, he’s a constant threat. After signing a new contract recently, Salah is set for legendary status in Liverpool.
5. Graeme SounessEmbed from Getty Images
Scotsman Graeme Souness was among the hardest players in the English leagues, building a fearsome reputation as one of the toughest players ever to play for Liverpool.
A winner in every sense of the word, Souness hounded teams for the ball, terrorizing players and scything down opponents.
This incredible will to win would eventually result in Souness becoming the Liverpool captain. He would lead the team to five league titles, three European cups, and four League Cups.
Widely regarded as one of the best club captains in history, Souness would eventually go on to manage Liverpool for three years in the early 1990s.
4. Robbie FowlerEmbed from Getty Images
Robbie Fowler scored a total of 183 goals for Liverpool, 120 of them in the Premier League, and has such a cult status at Anfield that the fans nicknamed the English striker “God.”
While Fowler’s divine status is yet to be confirmed, the player himself was one of the best young strikers to come through the Liverpool academy for some time.
A prolific goalscorer, Fowler scored his first hat-trick for the club in only his fifth game and scored 12 goals in his first 13 games.
Fowler would score several hat-tricks over his Liverpool career, including a four-minute treble against Arsenal that would be a Premier League record for years. That record would stand until future Liverpool striker Sadio Mane scored three in under three minutes.
3. Ian RushEmbed from Getty Images
Liverpool’s all-time leading goalscorer Ian Rush spent two spells at Anfield, making 427 league appearances for the club. With 199 goals in the league and 346 in all competitions, Rush will be forever a part of the club’s history and remains a huge fan favorite to this day.
In his time at Liverpool, Rush won 20 trophies, including five League titles and two European Cups. Nicknamed “The Ghost” for the way he would suddenly materialize out of thin air to score a goal, Rush would develop into one of the most feared strikers in European soccer, leading Juventus to buy the Welsh international in 1986.
Famously misquoted as saying that he couldn’t settle in Italy as it was like living in a foreign country, Rush quickly returned to Liverpool and remains one of the club’s most beloved former players to this day.
2. Steven Gerrard
Despite being one of the greatest Liverpool captains of all time, Steven Gerrard never won a Premier League trophy with his beloved Liverpool.
Coming into the team in 1998, Gerrard would remain fiercely loyal to his boyhood club, spending 17 years in the heart of the midfield.
Widely regarded as one of the best English players of his generation, Gerrard captained his club to two FA Cup victories, three League Cups, a UEFA Super Cup, and the UEFA Cup. The Liverpudlian is possibly most famous for his role in the 2005 Champions League victory over AC Milan.
Trailing 3-0 at halftime, a Gerrard-inspired Liverpool finished the 3-3 before winning on penalties in one of the most incredible cup finals of all time.
Loved by Liverpool fans, Gerrard is now a respected manager with Aston Villa, though Liverpool fans hope that one day the former legend will return home to Anfield for further success.
1. Kenny Dalglish
King Kenny, as the greatest Liverpool player of all time, is more reverentially known, played 515 times for Liverpool and also managed the club on two separate occasions. One of the greatest players ever, Dalglish was a superb goalscorer with an unparalleled will to win.
In 355 league games, the Scot scored 118 goals and set up a further 116; truly incredible statistics. Over his full 515 games, Dalglish scored 172 goals and created 167 more; that’s 339 goals that the prolific Scot had a hand in while at Liverpool.
With such figures, it’s no surprise that Kenny Dalglish is regarded as the greatest Liverpool player of all time.