Best Liverpool Players to Play for England

Over the decades, Liverpool have seen 74 players called up for England international duty while at the club. With well over 1,000 caps between them, this makes Liverpool one of the top clubs when it comes to supplying the English national team with players.

This got us thinking, how good could an all-time England XI be if it only included players who also represented the Merseyside club? It turns out the answer is very good indeed; imagine how well the following team would perform with all players in their prime years.

Liverpool’s England Eleven

For this team, we thought it would be fitting to opt for the preferred 4-4-2 formation of Mike Bassett, the fictional England manager played by scouser Ricky Tomlison.

Goalkeeper – Ray Clemence

Ray Clemence
Ray Clemence (Marcel Antonisse |

Ray Clemence is often regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in English football history. During his time at Liverpool from 1967 to 1981, he was instrumental in the club’s success, winning five league titles, three European Cups, two UEFA Cups, and numerous other domestic trophies. For England, Clemence earned 61 caps between 1972 and 1983 but this figure would have been much higher had his career not coincided with that of fellow legend Peter Shilton. The pair battled it out for a decade for that England number-one spot, giving England managers a real selection headache.

Right Back – Phil Neal

Phil Neal
Phil Neal (Eddie Janssens |

Although fellow right-back Glen Johnson represented England four more times than Neal (although some appearances came when not at Liverpool) this was not a tough decision to make. Johnson had three (of six) good seasons at Anfield while Neal is a club legend having made 650 appearances for the Reds. Lovingly nicknamed Zico by the fans, he not only had a knack for scoring important goals but was consistently reliable as a defender too. With his calm and solid presence at the back, he helped Liverpool secure eight league titles and four League Cups.

Centre Back – Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher (Mr. Phillip Chambers | Wikipedia)

Jamie Carragher is synonymous with Liverpool, having spent his entire professional career at the club. From 1996 to 2013, Carragher made 737 appearances for Liverpool, a number only topped by Ian Callaghan (857).

Starting off as a defensive midfielder and then a fullback, Carragher moved to centre-back in 2004 following the arrival of Rafael Benitez. While this move helped Carragher reach another level, it was a position where England had much competition from the likes of Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry. For this reason, despite exceptional club form, Carragher only played 38 times for the Three Lions.

Centre Back – Emlyn Hughes

Emlyn Hughes
Emlyn Hughes (Comet Photo AG | Wikipedia)

Emlyn Hughes, affectionately known as “Crazy Horse”, was a dynamic and versatile player who captained both Liverpool and England. Hughes joined Liverpool in 1967 and went on to appear 665 times for the Reds, amassing 13 trophies in this time.

For England, he earned 62 caps between 1969 and 1980 and although many came at left back, he moved to central defence later on in his international career. Hughes’ leadership, tackling, and ability to read the game made him a standout defender for both club and country.

Left Back – Alan Kennedy

Alan Kennedy
Alan Kennedy (Jarvin |

Part of the decision to put Hughes centrally is that we can select Alan Kennedy at left-back instead. You may think this is a weak inclusion as Kennedy only played twice for England but he was unlucky to be competing against Arsenal’s Kenny Sansom for the same spot. Even so, for a player of his ability, a mere two England caps is criminally low. Kennedy was by no means a star man but he was a regular presence during a large chunk of Liverpool’s heyday. Most famously he was the man that scored the winning goal in the 1981 European Cup final, plus the winning penalty in the 1984 shootout.

Right Midfield – Steve McManaman

Steve McManaman
Steve McManaman (Chensiyuan |

Although the two-footed McManaman could impress on either wing, we are sticking him on the right-hand side. The Liverpool faithful enjoyed this extremely talented winger between 1990 and 1999, during which time he would regularly dazzle with his dribbling and creativity. He was so impressive, the born and bred scouser landed a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. For a man of such talents though he did not play as many times for England as you might expect. A combination of inconsistent international form and being overlooked by managers meant Macca only earned 37 caps for his country, scoring just three goals.

Central Midfield – Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard (Ruaraidh Gillies |

The first name on this team sheet was Steven Gerrard, arguably the greatest Liverpool player of the modern era. Almost a one-club man, Gerrard made over 700 appearances for Liverpool from 1998 to 2015, winning two FA Cups, three League Cups, a Champions League and an abundance of individual awards including PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

Although England often struggled to find the right partner for Gerrard, he managed to earn himself 114 caps between 2000 and 2014 and he wore the captain’s armband on 38 occasions. Only David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Peter Shilton have featured in more games for the Three Lions.

Central Midfield – Terry McDermott

Terry Mac was an integral part of Liverpool’s dominance in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Joining the club from Newcastle in 1974, McDermott won five league titles and three European Cups, contributing significantly with his goals and assists from midfield. On an international level, McDermott earned 25 caps between 1977 and 1982. Known for his work rate, vision, and ability to score from midfield, McDermott partners Gerrard to form a formidable central midfield duo.

Left Midfield – John Barnes

John Barnes
John Barnes (Pangalau |

It would not be inaccurate to say John Barnes is one of the most talented and influential players to have played for Liverpool and England. The Jamaican-born man is best remembered for his exceptional dribbling, creativity, and goal-scoring ability. For the Reds, he managed over 100 goals in 403 appearances and had many assists on top of this. He was not quite as prolific for England but still netted 10 times across 79 caps between 1983 and 1995. Of these 10, his solo effort in 1984 against Brazil remains one of the greatest England goals of all time.

Striker – Michael Owen

Michael Owen
Michael Owen (Brian Minkoff-London Pixels | Wikipedia)

Owen burst onto the scene as a teenager with Liverpool in the late 1990s, quickly becoming one of the most feared strikers in Europe. He won the Ballon d’Or in 2001 and was instrumental in Liverpool’s treble-cup-winning season of 2000/01. Although he would later be plagued by injuries, after a stint at Real Madrid, he still managed to amass a whopping 89 England caps. Equipped with bags of pace and exceptional finishing ability, he scored 40 goals in this time, making him England’s sixth top goalscorer.

Striker – Roger Hunt

Roger Hunt
Roger Hunt (Eric Koch |

Although Robbie Fowler was a serious consideration for the second striker spot, we have opted for Liverpool legend, Roger Hunt. With 285 goals for the Merseyside club, he is their second-top goalscorer of all time. Although he retired a fair way off Ian Rush (346), he did have a superior goals-per-game ratio. As well as several club trophies such as three league victories (two in the First Division) Hunt was a key player in the 1966 World Cup-winning team, scoring three goals in the tournament, including a brace against France. Overall he made 34 England appearances, netting 18 times.