Listing The Greatest Liverpool Midfielders

Published by Chris Jenkins
29th Aug 2023

In the rich history of a club of Liverpool’s stature, there have been an array of world-class midfielders to grace the greatest of stages under the lights at Anfield. Spanning the club's long history, there is much debate over the greatest midfielders that Liverpool has ever seen.

Throughout this post, we are going to be discussing the iconic careers of some of Liverpool Football Club's most iconic midfield starlets and the ways in which they have earned their cult hero status across the city.


Ian Callaghan

Serving under the great Bill Shankly, Ian Callaghan was an integral part of the great success that his Liverpool side faced in the 60s and 70s, having made a club record 857 appearances over an 18-year spell.

Callaghan joined Liverpool in 1960 as an apprentice and debuted in a 4-0 victory over Bristol Rovers. Beginning his career on the right, Callaghan quickly became a pivotal part of the first team as they looked to clinch promotion back into the top division of English football.

In 1962, they achieved this feat by winning the second division title 1962 with Callaghan being a stalwart member of the midfield. Once Shankley’s red men had been promoted, it took them just 2 seasons before they won the first division title in 1963/64.

By the end of his Liverpool career in 1978, Ian Callaghan had amassed 5 Division One championships, 2 FA Cups, 2 European Cups and 2 Uefa Cups among a famous World Cup win with England in 1966.


Xabi Alonso

A midfield maestro that is much more fresh in the memory of the Liverpool faithful, Xabi Alonso was a wonderful football player to watch in the mid to late 2000s in a Liverpool shirt.

Alonso has had his share of legendary moments for Liverpool, the most memorable of which being his goal following a missed penalty in the iconic 2005 UEFA Champions League final which got Rafa Benitez’s reds to penalties with a formidable AC Milan side.

Alonso joined the Merseyside giants in 2004 and enjoyed plenty of success in the Liverpool team before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009. During this time, he made 143 appearances and scored 14 goals for the club from defensive midfield all while showcasing his incredible passing ability throughout the years.

After joining Real Sociedad, Alonso made his Premier League debut against Bolton Wanderers on August 29th 2004. He then went on to score his first goal just 2 months later on October 16th from a free kick against Fulham.

By the time Real Madrid came calling for his services in 2009, Xabi Alonso had won one Champions League trophy, an FA Cup, A Super Cup and the 2006 Community Shield placing him in Liverpool folklore forever.


Jordan Henderson

One of Liverpool’s most successful captains in recent years, Jordan Henderson has won everything there is to win as a player in the top flight of English football.

While his final season for the Reds may not have been exactly how Liverpool fans would have hoped, his legacy is undoubtedly one of the greatest Liverpool midfielders and captains of all time.

Liverpool signed Henderson as a 20-year-old from Sunderland in 2012 with many people tipping him to be the replacement for the ever-aging Steven Gerrard. Under Sir Kenny Dalglish, he had been deployed on the right of a midfield 4 and faced much criticism from the English media for not having as serious an impact on the game as expected.

Henderson eventually gained the captaincy in 2015 and held this honour until 2023 when he left the club for Al Ettifaq in the summer. While he was captain, Henderson led Liverpool to 7 trophies and won an 8th beforehand in 2012.

Having won the Premier League title, Champions League title, FA Cup, Uefa Super Cup, Club World Cup, two league cups and a Community Shield, Jordan Henderson truly has won everything there is to win on a club level.


John Barnes

John Barnes played for Liverpool in the late 80s moving into the 90s, mainly on the left side of a midfield four. Barnes made 407 appearances across 10 years at the club and scored 108 goals in this time.

While never technically playing in central midfield, towards the latter stages of his career he would move into a more central attacking midfield position and was incredibly effective when doing so.

Being situated on the left side of Liverpool’s 4-4-2 greatly benefitted the left-footed Barnes allowing him to easily get crosses into the likes of Ian Rush and John Aldridge while also giving him the freedom to get into the box himself.

Living fondly in the memories of matchgoers in the 80s and 90s, John Barnes managed to collect 2 first division league titles in 1988 and 1990, two FA Cups, one League Cup and three Charity Shields.


Steven Gerrard

Who else? Steven Gerrard is quite possibly one of the most iconic Liverpool players of all time and is commonly regarded as the greatest to ever play for the red half of Merseyside.

It is a widespread consensus to believe that many years of Gerrard’s captaincy were spent with him single-handedly dragging the team through matches to win trophy after trophy which is why so many people believe he is one of the greatest midfielders the Premier League has ever seen.

Despite playing alongside the likes of Xabi Alonso and Jordan Henderson throughout his career, the former Liverpool captain was so often regarded as the sole reason why Liverpool enjoyed the success that they did in the 17 years that he was at the club.

Throughout this time, Gerrard amassed a ridiculous 709 appearances for the Merseyside giants scoring 186 times making him one of the most prolific goalscoring midfielders of all time.

One of Gerrard’s most iconic feats of heroism was helping his side claw back from 3-0 down in the Istanbul Champions League final in 2005, giving the supporters and players some belief to complete the great comeback that they did.

By the end of his Liverpool career, Gerrard had reached multiple Champions League finals, winning one of them, winning two FA Cups, three League Cups one Uefa Cup, one Super Cup and one Community Shield.

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