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Greatest XI of all time - Liverpool 

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
8.89K   //    04 Feb 2018, 15:16 IST

Liverpool FC v FC Sion - UEFA Europa League
"Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool."

125 years ago, a dispute between Everton committee and club president John Houlding, who owned the Anfield ground as well, led to the formation of Liverpool FC. Since then, the club had its share of highs and lows over the decades, gaining one of the biggest fan bases in world football.

The Reds are now second on the most-successful English clubs list behind Manchester United while being the most successful club in the country when it comes to European competitions. Although the club has not won the Premier League, there have been periods of success in the past two decades.

Over the course of these 125 years, several players graced the hallowed Anfield turf and a few of them have ensured they are remembered forever. Out of them, a select few are the reason Liverpool Football Club is what it is today. So, let's see how many of them make it into the greatest XI of all time.


Goalkeeper - Ray Clemence

Liverpool Goalkeeper Ray Clemence
Ray Clemence was a brick wall between the sticks

Despite the goalkeeping problems for the club in this decade, it is a fact that Liverpool has seen some top-notch keepers guard their goal. Pepe Reina and Bruce Grobbelaar are two of the likely contenders for the Reds' greatest ever keeper given their exploits in the 2000s and 1980s respectively. However, the crown deservedly goes to Ray Clemence.

The Englishman joined Bill Shankly's Liverpool from Scunthorpe United in 1967 for a meager £18,000 as an 18-year old. Initially, he spent over a year in the reserves before receiving his competitive debut in the League Cup against Swansea. Clemence finally upstaged the then incumbent, Tommy Lawrence, by 1970, and started his first league game against Nottingham Forest in January of that year.

From then on, the shot-stopper formed the final wall of defense as Liverpool became an unstoppable force in England as well as in Europe. In a team which controlled possession, Clemence's concentration was just as important as his razor-sharp reflexes and a commanding presence in the box. In a skill unheard of at the time, the 6ft tall goalkeeper was unafraid to rush out of goal in order to pressurize the attackers, something which is a norm in today's game.

His stupendous performances coupled with the team's led to Clemence winning five league titles and three European Cups among others. At a personal level, he missed just six league games between 1970-1981 as he racked up 665 appearances (332 clean sheets). No wonder, he was considered to be England great, Peter Shilton's equal and picked up 61 caps for his country.

His saves in the 1977 European Cup final followed by conceding just 16 goals in the 1978-79 season are career highlights while he signed off in style after winning the 1981 European Cup. In terms of sheer quality, Pepe Reina might be the better pick but overall, Ray Clemence is the greatest no.1 in Liverpool history.

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