The 22nd FIFA World Cup is finally upon us. With the tournament kicking off today, goings on at Liverpool will take a bit of a backseat.
For one of the world’s biggest clubs, the Reds are surprisingly underrepresented in Qatar.
Whereas Manchester’s both City and United have pretty much their whole first team squad going, Liverpool can count just seven call-ups.
Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily a surprise for Liverpool. Whereas some top European clubs can count endless lists of World Cup winners throughout their history’s, the Reds number just five.
A further four have been on the losing side of world football’s showpiece event – the World Cup final. Here, we’ll take a look at which of those nine players have had the privilege of not just playing for Liverpool but taking to the field in football’s ultimate match.
Of the five players to experience winning the World Cup whilst at Liverpool, only two actually got any game time in the final. Of those two, only one started the game.
Yes, Liverpool’s very first World Cup final representative remains the only one to start, and win, the trophy.
That man was the legendary Roger Hunt. Hunt played the full game in England’s winning 1966 final against Germany.
Joining him with the distinction of playing in a winning final whilst at Liverpool is Fernando Torres. By 2010, Torres was no longer a starter for Spain. But the then 26-year-old did come off the bench to play the final 15 minutes of extra-time in the 1-0 win over Holland.
So it is in football, someone has to lose. Still, there’s great pride to be taken in reaching the very pinnacle of the world game with your country.
Since the first tournament in 1930, three Liverpool players have been on the losing side of a World Cup final.
Firstly, Dietmar Hamann felt the pain of defeat when his Germany team lost out 2-0 to Brazil in 2002. The then Liverpool midfielder played the full 90 minutes as two Ronaldo goals won the cup for the Selecao.
Dirk Kuyt was the next to suffer the heartbreak of a runners-up medal. With Torres and Pepe Reina in the Spain squad, Liverpool knew they’d have a World Cup winner returning to Anfield in 2010.
Unfortunately for Kuyt, it was Torres and Reina’s Spain who came out on top. Kuyt played 71 minutes before being replaced by Eljero Elia in Johannesburg.
Finally, Dejan Lovren was the next Liverpool player to come up just short. Fresh from losing out in the Champions League final with the Reds, Lovren’s Croatia then went all the way last time out in 2018.
The centre-back can hold his head up, having played the full 90 minutes of the 4-2 loss to France.
Fingers crossed one of Liverpool’s magnificent seven can add to the winner’s side of this list on December 18th. It’s looking a little thin!