Two Liverpool legends made the cut as France Football revealed their shortlist of forwards for the Ballon d’Or Dream Team.
France Football won’t hold the usual Ballon d’Or this season. Instead, they’re going through the greats to complete a ‘Dream Team’ – essentially, the greatest XI of all time.
Now there were no defenders or goalkeepers from Liverpool’s history on their shortlist but a midfielder did make the cut. Steven Gerrard was named on the shortlist for defensive midfielders – although, as we said at the time, that was a strange decision.
Monday saw them announce the forwards. There are three different groupings – right-forward, centre-forward, and left-forward. And we got our second and third Liverpool legends on the Ballon d’Or shortlist as a result.
The first is Kevin Keegan. Making the cut for ‘right-forward’, the diminutive striker will go up against the likes of Garrincha and George Best.
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Keegan was a revelation at Liverpool after joining as a 20-year-old in 1971. Initially a right-midfielder, Bill Shankly soon pushed him forward to play as a striker, birthing a legendary partnership with John Toshack.
Shankly would retire three years later but Keegan played some of the best football of his career in that time. By 1974, Keegan had played a huge part in delivering a league title, an FA Cup and the UEFA Cup.
Bob Paisley then took over and the next three years proved even better for Liverpool. Keegan was again at the forefront as the Reds won two more league titles, another FA Cup, another UEFA Cup, and, finally, the European Cup in ’77.
That would prove to be it for Keegan at Liverpool, though. He moved to Hamburg that summer, where he’d win the Bundesliga once as well as two Ballons d’Or.
And funnily enough, Liverpool replaced Keegan with the other name on France Football’s shortlist – Kenny Dalglish.
It would take an age to go over Dalglish’s Liverpool career, of course, so we’ll stick to honours. The Scot arrived in ’77 and went on to win six league titles, an FA Cup, four League Cups, a European Super Cup, and three European Cups.
Individually, Dalglish was twice Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, a one-time PFA Player of the Year, and runner-up to Michel Platini in the 1983 Ballon d’Or.
Dalglish means far more than just the trophies to Liverpool, of course. His work as a manager has him among the greats, while his efforts in handling and finding justice for Hillsborough is unforgettable. Dalglish is, unquestionably, one of the absolute most important people in the club’s history.