Many have believe Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is a lock to become a candidate for manager positions in the soccer world after he retires as a player. He made his final and 737th appearance for Liverpool on May 19th. Liverpool TV asked Carragher to pick his ultimate starting 11 of all the players he has shared a locker room with.
Liverpool has had some incredible seasons and players in his tenure with club since making his professional debut in the 1996-97 season. His team is stacked with players and there are 5 current LFC players on the list (Agger, Johnson, Reina, Gerrard, Suarez) and Real Mardid stud Xabi Alonso. That’s a lot of current players for a team that is 7th in the Barclay’s Premier league. There is first season manager Brendan Rogers and some growing pains that could explain this seasons mediocre performance.
Fernando Torres was a big offensive juggernaut when he came to the team from Atletico Madrid. He was the fastest to score 50 goals for Liverpool, but Carragher passed on him for this list.
Finnan, Hyypia, Alonso and Gerrard all won the Champions League together in the 2005 season. Agger, Alonso, Gerrard, Reina, and Finnan all made it to the 2007 Champions League final along side Carragher but ultimately lost.
Here it is, and Carragher explaining why he picked these players.
GK: Pepe Reina
“It’s an obvious choice for me. Pepe’s a cut above the rest and very close to a lot of Ray Clemence’s records – and we all know what a top ‘keeper he was. He’s the most vocal of all the goalies I’ve played with – we’ve had a few arguments over the years! He’s so proud of his clean-sheet records.”
RB: Steve Finnan
“It was toss-up between Markus Babbel and Finnan for the right-back slot, but I’ve gone for Finn because he played a lot more games alongside me. He was key defensively in two Champions League runs and his consistency over two or three years under Rafa gets him in the side.”
LB: Glen Johnson
“I’ve gone for Glen because the performances he has put in over the last few years have gone to another level. I know he’s a right-back, but he has played down the left in recent years. I’ve put him in for his power and his pace and his physique, as well as his skill on the ball.”
LCB: Sami Hyypia
RCB: Daniel Agger
“In the last few years we’ve seen what a top-class player we have at the club. Everyone rightly talks about how cool he is on the ball, but I think that takes a little bit away from how good he is in the air, he’s aggressive and he ticks every box as a defender.”
CM: Xabi Alonso
“Xabi would be very close to one of the best players I’ve played with. It’s great to see what he has gone on to achieve with Real Madrid. He plays superb passes from a deep position and dictates the rhythm and the pace of the game. He’ll always be welcome back.”
CM: Didi Hamann
“There are lots of reasons for putting Didi in – and they’re not all football-related! I’ve put him in for Istanbul. He’s played in a World Cup final for Germany and he was a top player in the 2001 treble season. It was a tough decision between him and Javier Mascherano.”
CM: Steven Gerrard
“He’s a world star. In 10 or 20 years time, people will be telling their grandchildren that they saw Steven play. I remember his first game against Celta Vigo – he played a 40/50-yard pass in the first half. It took some courage to do that and when I saw it I knew he’d be a top player.”
FW: Robbie Fowler
“His record speaks for itself, but I think sometimes we forget just how good a footballer he was. He scored evey type of goal but then he’d come up with a little flick or a quality pass. I always loved how good he was in the air. The day he came back, he was like a kid on Christmas morning.”
FW: Michael Owen
“I’ve gone for Michael over Fernando Torres because of the 2001 FA Cup final. Michael won us the cup against Arsenal – it was ‘The Owen Final’. No matter what people may now think about him, for me, Liverpool is about winning things and that’s why Michael got the edge.”
FW: Luis Suarez
“The best I’ve played with would always be Stevie, but the more I played with Luis, the more I thought that he was coming second. I’ve never seen anyone nutmeg people so often. He’s that good, I think he could play for any team in the world.”