Steven Gerrard has named his dream line-up from players to have played in his lifetime, including just one Liverpool player from Jurgen Klopp’s current squad.
Earlier this week, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher tasked his Twitter followers with naming the best world XI that ‘have played while you have been alive but no two players can be from the same country or have played for the same club’.
After being sent the challenge by his former Liverpool team-mate, Gerrard delivered his line-up during an appearance on The Football Show on Sky Sports.
When asked about his line-up, the Rangers manager said: ‘Jamie (Carragher) sent me the challenge and what I will say is that it took me more than a couple of hours. I’ve been stewing on this for a couple of nights.
‘I felt like I had a team that I was happy with. I had (Zinedine) Zidane in it, I had (Roberto) Carlos in it, (Franco) Baresi in and then you get a text of Carra saying “no, that’s wrong, they played together here, there and everywhere” so it’s actually more challenging than you think but we got there in the end.
‘You can tell by my team that I’m a bit younger than Carra because I’ve gone for a few more who are still playing now whereas I think he’s shown his age there by going for a few oldies.’
Starting in goal, Gerrard went with Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak. The Slovenian was superb in the Spanish side’s Champions League triumph over Liverpool last month and undoubtedly worthy of his place between the posts.
Gerrard selected a back four of Brazilian icon Cafu, former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and current Liverpool ace Andy Robertson on the left.
It was quite a pick from Gerrard to name Robertson as his choice from Jurgen Klopp’s squad but it comes as a clear indication of how highly the Scotland international is regarded.
Opting for a 4-2-3-1 formation, Gerrard reserved special praise for one of his deeper midfield selections, former Manchester United captain Roy Keane.
He said: ‘Roy was a certain to go in there. He was someone I was a big fan of growing up. I studied his game a lot and enjoyed a lot of battles against him.
‘He was a top player. I don’t think you appreciated how good he was until you were up against him to see how fit and strong he was.’
Keane was partnered at the base of the midfield by Real Madrid and Germany star Toni Kroos.
Gerrard named an all-star cast to play in the three attacking roles behind his sole striker with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi an easy pick on the right-hand side but there was no place in the team for rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The former England captain opted for French starlet Kylian Mbappe on the left flank with Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero in the No 10 role, pulling the strings.
Speaking about the ex-Juventus star, Gerrard said: ‘I had to go back to my old Channel 4 years when you could watch Serie A. I met Del Piero a few years ago and he was an absolute gentleman.’
That leaves just the striker’s position to fill. Gerrard played with the likes of Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres, Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney but he picked a man who tormented the Liverpool defence for several years.
Didier Drogba was his selection up top, a man who scored a number of goals against the Reds during his successful spell at Chelsea.