3 Liverpool stars who ruined chance to become legends
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Three Liverpool stars who ruined chance to become legends

A club with an illustrious and rich history such as Liverpool will be spoilt for choice when it comes to club-icons and legendary players.

To be regarded as a true Liverpool great amongst the fan base, there are a certain criteria of actions off the pitch that have to back up performances on it.

These Liverpool players failed to get this right and instead have seen their Anfield legacies tainted through their own choices…

14 Feb 1998: Michael Owen of Liverpool celebrates his goal during the FA Carling Premiership match against Sheffield Wednesday played at Hillsborough in Sheffield, England. The match finished in a 0-1 victory for the visitors Liverpool. Mandatory Credit: Phil Cole /Allsport

Michael Owen

Michael Owen was a key part of Liverpool’s success in the late 90s and early 2000s.

He played a significant role in the Reds’ unprecedented treble in 2001 which saw Liverpool claim the FA, League and UEFA Cup.

His heroics at the Millennium Stadium against Arsenal will always be remembered in club folklore after the former England international scored a late brace to turn the game on its head and snatch a later FA Cup final victory.

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Owen’s 2000/01 campaign was so emphatic that he even took home the prestigious Ballon d’Or award – the last Liverpool or England player to win the famous accolade.

The former Newcastle United figure was a popular member amongst the Liverpool camp and was adored by the fans, however, his relationship soured following his decision to trade England for Spain following a move to Real Madrid.

The decision was a game that ultimately backfired as, within 12 months of the move, Owen was desperate to force a return back to Merseyside.

His efforts ultimatley failed and he ended up at St James’ Park following a one-year sabbatical at the Bernabeu Stadium.

The final nail in the coffin regarding Owen’s Liverpool legacy came after the Englishman completed an acrimonious move to bitter rivals Manchester United.

Owen’s footballing achievements at a historic time for Liverpool were not enough to see him held in the same regard as former teammates such as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler.

As a Liverpool player, there is one thing you never do, and that’s join THEM.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: (THE SUN OUT) Fernando Torres celebrates after scoring a goal against Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Liverpool at Villa Park on December 29, 2009 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Fernando Torres

Words cannot describe just how deadly Fernando Torres was during his inaugural campaign at Anfield.

The Spaniard was easily the best striker in world football following a scintillating 2007/08 campaign that saw the striker clock up 33 goals in 46 appearances as Liverpool made their way to the Champions League semi-finals.

For the first time since Owen had left the club, Liverpool had the world-class striker required to take the Reds to the next level.

Alongside club-captain Gerrard, the former Liverpool duo enjoyed one of the club’s all-time best partnerships together registering 41 goals between each other during the 2008/09 season that saw the Reds just miss out on the title to United by four points.

Torres had established himself as one of the most feared forwards across the globe and then things changed.

After Liverpool’s fortunes dipped and Rafa Benitez left the club, Torres ultimatley ruined his legacy following his decision to join Chelsea.

He shunted the Reds rather abruptly and linked up at Stamford Bridge for a then Premier League record-fee of £50 million.

Torres was unable to replicate the same devestating form he unleashed on Merseyside and ever since his Anfield departure he went on to become a shadow of his former self.

Time is a healer, and we can now look back on his part in a Liverpool team that contained the likes of Gerrard, Torres, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Jamie Carragher and Pepe Reina and think how on earth did a team of that quality never win a PL title?

However, we cannot call Torres a legend, because to be perfectly blunt, he waived that right the moment he linked up with Chelsea.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 18: Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates scoring his side’s third goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on November 18, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho’s influence at Liverpool isn’t really held in the regard it should be considering his sustained brilliance at Anfield from 2013 – 2018.

Having been signed from Inter Milan for a pittance, the magnificent Brazilian was an instant hit amongst the Kop and it is amazing to think that Coutinho never won a trophy during his time with the Reds.

The little magician played a significant role in Liverpool’s title charge in 2013/14 and scored one of Anfield’s most iconic goals after Coutinho rocketed a late winner against Manchester City to put the title in the Reds’ hands.

After a number of world-class players departed the club such as Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and legendary skipper Gerrard, it was up to Coutinho to carry the mantle and take up the role as Liverpool’s main talisman.

His ability to single-handily change the course of a match has been vastly underrated since his acrimonious departure.

Everything was put in place for Coutinho to be the spearhead of a Jurgen Klopp team that had added the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

And then, all of a sudden, he left.

Whilst many supporters would still make room for any Brazilian No.10 with ‘inho’ in his name, Coutinho’s Liverpool legacy was tarnished through his controversial exit.

Klopp showcased how loyal he was to Coutinho in a desperate attempt to keep the 27-year-old on Merseyside. The German manager even made the talented playmaker captain on a number of occasions to demonstrate the unwavering faith Klopp had in his former No.10.

Sadly, Coutinho didn’t share that same loyalty and proved to be a disjointed figure in the squad after being refused his desired move to Barcelona. Coutinho behaved awfully and chaos turned to anarchy when the player handed in a transfer request the day before Liverpool’s opening match of the 2017/18 season against Watford.

It was too late, his actions had already muddied his achievements and just like that he was forgotten.

In the absence of Liverpool’s former Brazilan maestro, the Reds have never looked back.

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