Liverpool Greatest Xl v Rangers Greatest Xl: Who Wins?

Ahead of tonight's Liverpool v Rangers friendly, two fans share their thoughts on the greatest Xl players they have seen play...
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Ahead of tonight's Liverpool v Rangers friendly, two fans share their thoughts on the greatest Xl players they have seen play...

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Ahead of tonight's Liverpool v Rangers friendly, two fans share their thoughts on the greatest Xl players they have seen play...

Liverpool Greatest Xl

GK: Pepe Reina

Plays like a sweeper at times, has got better in the air, kicks off both feet, has a beautiful, perfectly smooth, round head and was the fastest keeper in our history to 100 clean sheets. Grob might have won more and Dudek danced us to victory in Istanbul, but neither touch Reina for sheer class. 9

RB: Rob Jones

If Rob Jones hadn’t had a back like a wet fence in Walton and a knee made of glass, that ratbag Gary Neville would have considerably less England caps. I loved watching ‘Chopsy’ Nicol as a kid, but it’s Jones for me. Could play on either side, knew how to defend with it, full of pace and great on the ball. That he retired at 27 made me weep. 7

CB: Alan Hansen

Although I could happily give him a right-hander for his vampiric performances on the MOTD sofa, Hansen was the first Liverpool player I really, truly, loved. Couldn’t tackle or head but he was as continental as British defenders got in the 80s. The dictionary definition of ‘not a hair out of place,’ though I suspect he has been using creosote on it since 1977. 9

CB: Sami Hyppia

‘Oooohhh Sami Sami, Sami Sami Sami Hyyppppiiiaaaaaa…’ was the first song my stepson heard sung at Anfield for his first, and Hyppia’s last, game. Criminally underused by Rafa in his final season (who almost didn’t bring him on against Spurs that day) he memorably stepped in at the last minute for the sacking of Old Trafford and played like Beckenbauer. 8

LB: Jamie Carragher

Not his best position by a country mile, but there is no way I could leave Carra out. Has made more last ditch tackles than any footballer in the history of the game, deep thinker tactically and won’t stand for any rubbish. Anyone who has seen him, close up, hammering Phillip Degen will agree. ‘Degen… DEGEN… DEEEEGGGEEEENNN you ******* ****, mark your man…” 8

RM: Steve McManaman

He might have looked like Rodney from Only Fools and Horses with a perm, but the ‘coltish’ (copyright Fleet Street, 1992) Macca breathed fresh air into Liverpool’s moribund midfield under Souness. Scorer of great goals – Celtic twice, Villa etc – our plan at corners when he played used to involve passing short to him and letting him dribble. What we’d give now for someone on the flanks who was as comfortable on the ball. 9

When Torres let the United defenders pass the ball around in last season’s FA Cup clash, my heart ached for Rushie. As devastating in the penalty box as anyone in the modern era, his work ethic was legendary.

CM: Steven Gerrard

He might have the worst haircut in the history of football and he might, due to the Chelsea courtship, be difficult to like at times but christ can he play. People might scoff, but when he had the security of Alonso and Mascherano behind him there was no-one better in his position. 10

LM: John Barnes

You can keep your Barcelonas, your Milans and your Brazils, the Liverpool team that Dalglish put together, featuring Beardsley and Barnes left such an indelible impression on a nine-year-old boy that whenever I’ve set a team up since, either coaching, on Fifa or Championship Manager, I play with two wide men and a number ten. Imagine what Barnes would cost in the modern game? Sod England and the fans who booed him, Barnes was a hero and was nearly as good in the middle of the park after his thigh injury. 9

CF: Kenny Dalglish

As much as I loved Beardsley, there is no way I could have him ahead of Kenny. Technically perfect, not scared to put his head in, unparalleled with his back to goal and wearer of the most aesthetically pleasing number 7 shirt in history. Dalglish is to Liverpool what Maradona was to Napoli. And then some. 10

ST: Robbie Fowler

It was the 90s, the glory days had slipped away and we were all in a funk. Then a snotty nosed tyro with dynamite in his left-boot arrived and started ploughing goals in from everywhere. Still the fourth highest scorer in Premier League history with 163 goals (15 ahead of that turncoat Welshman Michael Owen) watching Fowler was joy unconfined. My favourite goal was when he Cruyff-nutmegged Steve Staunton at Villa Park and hit an exocet at the catflap. God indeed… 9

ST: Ian Rush

When Torres let the United defenders pass the ball around in last season’s FA Cup clash, my heart ached for Rushie. As devastating in the penalty box as anyone in the modern era, his work ethic was legendary. I was seven when he scored the iconic camera-toppling goal against Everton in the 1986 FA Cup final, and my four-year-old brother was so distressed when he left that he continued to call John Aldridge ‘Rushie’. 10

Total: 97

Rangers Greatest XI

GK: Andy Goram – He is the man the Celtic fans love to hate, such is the frustration they had for the man known as the ‘flying Caravan’. He had blocked so many shots in his time as Rangers No.1, it sometimes looked impossible to get past him. He had the ability to marshal his defence perfectly and his passion for his club was as legendary as his ability to wind up the long suffering Celtic fans. 8

LB: Sandy Jardine – Jardine had true athletic prowess that could rival many of the best left-backs in current world football, even after 90 minutes he never looked tired. His versatility for Rangers was one of his greatest assets, along with his overall ability and his calm demeanour on the ball. 7

RB: Jim Baxter – He is one of a few players that is unanimously respected in Scotland, such is the legend of his skill and grace on the ball. When Scotland humbled England 3-2 in 1967 he was so confident in his own ability he started playing keepy-uppies in front of the team that had just won the World Cup, leading all Scottish fans of any allegiance to remember him forever. 9

CB: Terry Butcher – The blood smeared image of Butcher in an England shirt is well known throughout the world, as was his rock solid performances for his club team, Rangers. One of the big imports to the Glasgow club when English clubs were banned from European competition, Terry Butcher remains one of the reasons Rangers were a force in the eighties. 8

CB: John Greig – One of the reasons why the Scottish hall of fame was set up is to remember the contribution players like Greig had on Scottish football, as well as the way they were ambassadors for the Scottish game. A true battler in the days that Celtic and Jock Stein dominated the Scottish league, he held the standard high for all Rangers players and made sure the club was heard during those less trophy laden times. 8

LM: Iain Durant – A horrific injury in his youth at the hands of Neil Simpson left him a changed player, but glimpses of what could have been for Durant came about in his part of the campaign of 92/93 that equaled rivals Celtic with their 9-in-a-row league best. His presence is continued at Ibrox as the right hand man to Walter Smith. 7

The man who could fall in Glasgow’s river Clyde and still come out with a Salmon, Super Ally deserves his place as one of the best strikers in the county’s history with a goal ratio of more than a goal every two games.

RM: Derek Johnstone – One Rangers player that could play all over the park, even though he started off as a striker. He went on to score more than 200 goals for Rangers as well as appearing over 500 times for the club. He never achieved as much with Scotland as he did at Ibrox but he is adored by the fans for his contribution and love for the club. 9

CM: Graeme Souness – Whether he was a player or coach of Rangers, his dedication for the club was legendary. His temper sometimes got him on the wrong side of referees but the collection of silverware in the Ibrox trophy cabinet owes much to this man. 9

CM: Brian Laudrup – The debate rages between Celtic fans and Rangers fans over Henrik Larsson and Laudrup’s influence on the league and who was the better player. But ask fans of any club and they will tell you that seeing Laudrup in his heyday, he was as impressive to watch as any home grown hero. The “Prince of Denmark’ left Rangers with a huge hole than many since have tried, and failed, to fill. 10

CF: Davie Cooper – A Scottish hall of fame legend that had more skill than pace to beat his man. A true Rangers icon that tragically died early due to a brain haemorrhage, he is remembered by all Scottish fans as a true great and it was his partnership that allowed Derek Johnstone to score as many goals as he did. 8

CF: Ally McCoist – The man who could fall in Glasgow’s river Clyde and still come out with a Salmon, Super Ally deserves his place as one of the best strikers in the county’s history with a goal ratio of more than a goal every two games. Much to many Rangers fans relief he never was a hit south of the border and the Glasgow giants profited when he returned to ply his trade in his native Scotland. 9

Final Score: 92

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