What a decade this was in New England sports! As we move into the 2020s, join NESN.com in looking back at the best of the best with the Liverpool FC All-Decade Team! (And check out the rest of our “Best of the Decade” content here.)
A galaxy of stars have added bright new chapters to Liverpool FC’s history.
Liverpool’s best players of the last 10 years have experienced triumph, heartbreak and everything in between. Many featured in the Reds’ UEFA Champions League-winning and Premier League runner-up team of 2019, with others falling agonizingly short of domestic supremacy in 2014. One player even was part of both groups.
Here are our picks for the starting XI and manager on Liverpool FC’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s.
Goalkeeper: Alisson (July 2018-present)
Alisson instantly justified the world-record transfer fee for a goalkeeper paid to AS Roma, helping the Reds win the Champions League and claiming Best FIFA Goalkeeper in 2019.
Left-back: Andrew Robertson (July 2017-present)
After joining from relegated Hull City, Robertson took a few months to win the starting job but has since made the most of the opportunity. He helped Liverpool finish runner-up in the Champions League in 2018, win it in 2019 and continue to rack up trophies in the final months of the decade.
Center-back: Martin Skrtel (January 2008-July 2016)
Skrtel was ever-present at the heart of the Reds’ defense from the turn of the decade until just before his departure. He helped them win the League Cup in 2012 and was part of their Premier League near-miss in 2014.
Center-back: Virgil van Dijk (January 2018-present)
The Dutchman’s arrival marked the point at which Liverpool transformed from pretenders to contenders. His world-class defending helped the Reds finish runner-up in the Champions League in 2018 and then win it in 2019. He won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award in 2019 and was second in both Best FIFA Men’s Player and Ballon d’Or voting this year.
Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Summer 2016-present)
After graduating from the Reds’ academy, the Liverpool native cemented himself as a starter by age 18, and his heads-up corner kick in the epic 2019 Champions League semifinal comeback against Barcelona made him a club legend before age 20. He was named to the Champions League Squad of the Season and PFA Team of the Year in 2019 and already is one of the finest fullbacks in the world.
Midfielder: Steven Gerrard (1998-July 2015)
The longtime Liverpool captain emotionally ended his career with the club halfway through the decade, but not before he helped the Reds end their six-year trophy drought in 2012 and led the team’s dogged pursuit of the Premier League title in 2014.
Midfielder: Jordan Henderson (June 2011-present)
Henderson has gone from being branded as a failed transfer to being considered a worthy heir to Gerrard as captaincy. He has played more than 250 games for the Reds in a variety of midfield roles, lifted the European Cup in 2019 and might do the same for the Premier League trophy early next year.
Midfielder: James Milner (July 2015-present)
Milner arrived as a battle-hardened 29-year-old and injected poise and professionalism into the squad as vice-captain. His creativity was instrumental in the Reds’ Champions League campaign in 2018, and he made valuable contributions in the 2019 triumph.
Forward: Sadio Mane (June 2016-present)
He was Liverpool’s player of the season in his first year with the club, helped the Reds reach the Champions League final in his second and shared the Premier League Golden Boot for top goal-scorer in his third while also setting up the winning goal in the 2019 Champions League final.
Forward: Mohamed Salah (June 2017-present)
He joined as Liverpool’s record signing and since has proven himself to be a bargain. His 32 Premier League goals in 2017-18 are a record (in the current 38-game format), and he won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards in his debut season. He shared the Premier League Golden Boot and scored the winning goal in the Champions League final in the ensuring campaign.
Striker: Luis Suarez (January 2011-July 2014)
Sometimes a hero, sometimes a villain, always at the center of events. Suarez was Liverpool’s brightest star of the early part of the decade, helping the team win the League Cup in 2012 and fall just short of the Premier League title two years later. He also won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year awards in 2014.
Coach: Jurgen Klopp (October 2015-present)
The German brought a new attitude to Liverpool, and positive results soon followed. He guided the Reds to runners-up finishes in the EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League in 2016 and the Champions League in 2018. He then masterminded the Champions League victory of 2019 and the stunning start to the ensuing Premier League campaign.
This team helped Liverpool end the decade in a better place than where it started. Chances are a few of these players will appear in Liverpool’s All-Decade team for the 2020s, too.
Thumbnail photo via NESN.com