Dirk Kuyt Craig Bellamy Ryan Babel Fabio Aurelio
Alberto Aquilani Charlie Adam Maxi Rodriguez
Nathan Eccleston David Amoo Stephen Darby
Fernando Torres Raul Meireles David Ngog
Paul Konchesky Christian Poulsen Emiliano Insua Philipp Degen
Thomas Ince Milan Jovanovic Sotirios Kyrgiakos
Javier Mascherano Yossi Benayoun Andriy Voronin Andrea Dossena
Charles Itandje Damien Plessis Lauri Dalla Valle
Nicolas Anelka Gary McAllister Christian Ziege Nick Barmby
Stephen Wright Jari Litmanen Pegguy Arphexad Bernard Diomede
Vegard Heggem Markus Babbel Emile Heskey Abel Xavier
Vladimir Smicer Mauricio Pellegrino El-Hadji Diouf Alou Diarra
Igor Biscan Gregory Vignal Richie Partridge Paul Harrison
Jon Otsemobor Mark Smyth Antonio Nunez Milan Baros
John Welsh Josemi Fernando Morientes Zak Whitbread
Bruno Cheyrou Neil Mellor Robbie Fowler Jerzy Dudek
Daniele Padelli Craig Bellamy Mark Gonzalez
Chris Kirkland Paul Jones Gabriel Paletta Darren Potter
David Raven Djibril Cisse Bolo Zenden Stephen Warnock
Jan Kromkamp Momo Sissoko John Arne Riise Harry Kewell
Anthony Le Tallec Peter Crouch Danny Guthrie Robbie Keane
Steve Finnan      

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Dirk Kuyt

Date of Birth: 22 Jul 1980
Birthplace: Katwijk
Nationality: Dutch
Signed for LFC: 2006
LFC Debut: 26 Aug 2006
LFC Appearances: 285
LFC Goals: 71


Dirk Kuyt is one of the hardest workers Anfield has ever seen - and his time at the club was punctuated by never-to-be-forgotten goals.

In six years at Liverpool the Dutchman fired in European and Carling Cup finals, scored hat-tricks and braces against our biggest rivals, struck late to earn us a place in the Champions League and smashed home numerous crucial penalties.

Originally purchased by Rafael Benitez in 2006 as a striker, he proved himself to be selfless and versatile by operating just as often on the right wing.

Kuyt arrived on these shores with a prolific goalscoring record in Dutch football, latterly Feyenoord, and he instantly found favour on the Kop with an all-action debut as a substitute at home to West Ham on August 26.

The Holland international notched his first Liverpool goal against Newcastle United on September 20, 2006, and he'd net a further 13 in his debut season.

He was already proving a hit with the fans, not least for his habit of applauding all four stands after each game.

The 2006-07 campaign ended with the Champions League final. Kuyt hit the winning penalty in the semi-final triumph over Chelsea and was rewarded with a starting place against AC Milan. It was he who scored the Reds' late consolation in Athens.

One of the No.18's finest moments in a red shirt arrived in October 2007 with a penalty brace at Goodison Park as Liverpool clinched a dramatic last-minute win over their bitter rivals.

This came just months after the death of his father, a personal tragedy which, by his own admission, impacted upon his game.

However, by the end of 2007-08 Kuyt had returned to top form, with priceless goals against Marseille, Inter Milan and Arsenal helping the Reds reach another Champions League semi-final. Defeat to Chelsea followed despite another goal in the Anfield leg to take his tally for the season to 11.

By the start of 2008-09, Benitez had moulded the six footer into an indispensable right winger, from where he scored 15 times to help Liverpool take champions Manchester United right to the wire.

Kuyt continued his knack of breaking Everton hearts with goals in both 2009-10 derbies en route to a final haul of 11. Sadly, it proved to be a poor season for the club as a whole, with failure to qualify for the Champions League resulting in Benitez parting company with the Reds.

The weeks that followed would go some way to easing Kuyt's disappointment, however, as Holland reached their first World Cup final in 32 years.

Our man started every game in South Africa, where his performances earned universal acclaim. Dutch icon Johan Cruyff was among those to laud the forward - claiming he was 'worth his weight in gold'.

Despite Kuyt's best efforts, though, it was clubmates Fernando Torres and Pepe Reina who returned to Melwood with World Cup medals following Spain's extra-time victory.

He found some consolation in top scoring for the Reds in 2010-11, with his tally of 15 including an unforgettable hat-trick against Manchester United at Anfield.

The following season saw Kuyt collect a first medal with Liverpool. He scored a goal in extra-time and then converted a spot-kick in the Carling Cup shoot-out win over Cardiff City.

It would prove to be one of his final acts in a Liverpool shirt. Kuyt left for a new challenge at Turkish side Fenerbahce in the summer of 2012 with his place as an Anfield great secure.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Date of Birth : 9 Aug 1947
Birthplace : Croydon

Games : 31
Games Won : 13
Games Drawn : 9
Games Lost : 9


The Reds confirmed on Saturday they had parted company with the 18th boss in the club's history after 31 matches at the helm.

Liverpool acted swiftly to appoint Hodgson in July after the Benitez era drew to a close by mutual consent. He arrived at Anfield with a gleaming reputation having helped Fulham to two of the greatest seasons in their history.

The Croydon-born coach's final act with the Cottagers was to steer them to the Europa League final against all odds, where they were narrowly defeated by Atletico Madrid in the Hamburg final.

However, Hodgson's endeavours were enough to clinch the LMA Manager of the Year accolade by a record margin, serving to add to an already rich footballing pedigree.

It was no surprise, therefore, to see the 63-year-old heavily linked with the vacant hot seat at Anfield and on July 1, the Reds confirmed his appointment on a three-year deal.

Upon signing in at Anfield, Hodgson commented: "This is the biggest job in club football and I'm honoured to be taking on the role of manager of Britain's most successful football club. I look forward to meeting the players and the supporters and getting down to work at Melwood."

After a below-par 2009-10 season, Hodgson's arrival reinstalled a wave of optimism amongst supporters, helped in no small part by the decision of star duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to commit their futures to the club shortly after speaking with the new manager.

The acquisition of England World Cup winger Joe Cole on a free transfer from Chelsea ahead of an extensive queue of other elite teams from across Europe only bolstered the feel-good factor reverberating around the walls of Anfield.

Things certainly begun brightly on the pitch for Hodgson too. He oversaw a routine 2-0 Europa League qualifying victory over FK Rabotnicki in Macedonia in his first competitive game in charge on July 29, before Liverpool won the return leg by the same scoreline at Anfield one week later.

On August 15, Hodgson took charge of his first Barclays Premier League game for Liverpool as Arsenal travelled to Merseyside on 2010-11's opening weekend.

Despite going down to 10 men on the stroke of the interval following a red card for Cole on his league bow, the Reds staged a gallant second-half display and duly took the lead through David Ngog. However, an uncharacteristic stoppage-time error from Pepe Reina gifted the Gunners a point.

A heavy 3-0 reversal at Manchester City was sandwiched in between Europa League victories over Trabzonspor as Liverpool secured a safe passage into the group stages - though the desire of Javier Mascherano to join Barcelona tempered any joy the Reds felt as they journeyed back from Turkey.

Hodgson moved quickly to swell his midfield ranks in the aftermath of the departure of the Argentina captain to the Nou Camp, signing FC Porto's Raul Meireles to add to the earlier purchase of Christian Poulsen. Full-back Paul Konchesky would later be drafted in from Fulham.

But Liverpool's form was beginning to stutter domestically and after a scrappy defeat of West Brom at home and a low-key goalless draw at Birmingham, they suffered a morale-sapping loss against Manchester United in mid-September.

Having gone two goals down, the Reds staged a dramatic fight back as two Gerrard goals restored parity at Old Trafford, only for Dimitar Berbatov to break Kopite hearts with a late winner.

That frustration was compounded by a shock penalty shootout exit from the Carling Cup at the first hurdle to League Two outfit Northampton Town at Anfield just days later.

A 2-1 defeat to newly-promoted Blackpool in front of the Kop on October 3 left Liverpool languishing in the bottom three of the table - and the Reds fared little better in Hodgson's first Merseyside derby, crashing to a 2-0 reversal against Everton at Goodison Park.

However, the Europa League was providing Liverpool with some welcome respite from their Premier League form, and a hard-fought goalless draw in Napoli proved the catalyst for the Reds to embark on their best run of the campaign so far.

Following a win over Blackburn at Anfield, Hodgson oversaw his first league away win at the helm against Bolton on October 31 courtesy of Maxi Rodriguez's dramatic winner at the death.

Napoli were then put to the sword at Anfield thanks to a superlative second-half hat-trick from Steven Gerrard to all but assure the Reds of a spot in the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Liverpool then manufactured arguably their finest performance of the entire calendar year, comprehensively dispatching defending champions Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield with an on-song Torres firing a memorable brace.

A draw at Wigan extended the Reds' unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions, however defeat at Stoke City was cause for further disappointment. Back on the continent, though, a 1-1 draw in Romania against Steaua Bucharest was enough to secure top spot in Europa League Group K with a game to spare.

Meanwhile, dominant home wins over West Ham and Aston Villa, and a spirited display at Tottenham gave cause for renewed optimism, only for Liverpool to slump to defeat at Newcastle.

A surprise 1-0 Anfield setback to bottom-of-the-table Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 29 intensified pressure on the Reds.

And though a New Year's Day win over Bolton was achieved, a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn - Liverpool's ninth of the campaign - sadly proved a result too far for Hodgson, who vacated the Reds' helm by mutual consent shortly after.

During his six-month stint in the hot seat, Hodgson took charge of 31 games in all competitions, winning 13 and losing nine.


Date of Birth : 16 Apr 1960
Birthplace : Madrid

Games : 350
Games Won : 194
Games Drawn : 77
Games Lost : 79

Honours with Liverpool : Champions League 2005, Super Cup 2005, FA Cup 2006, Charity Shield 2006


He was hailed as our Spanish messiah, a genial tactician who restored our reputation as one of Europe's biggest clubs and led us to one of the greatest triumphs in our history.

But after a six year reign of cup glory and league frustration Rafael Benitez Maudes' hopes of leading Liverpool to a record-breaking 19th League Championship were brought to an end following a disappointing 2009-10 campaign.

The Spaniard's first year in England had climaxed like a fairytale, one that was capped by a European achievement that will ensure his tenure will be immortalised and cherished in the annals of Anfield history.

For while even the late, great Bill Shankly took time to establish Liverpool as a force, Benitez made an almost immediate impact, shrugging off the disappointment of a fifth place finish in the Premiership to defy the odds and lead the Reds to a fifth European Cup success.

To say his legend can be summed up in six minutes would be to belittle his other achievements, but those few precious moments that followed half-time on Wednesday, May 25, 2005, were undoubtedly the most important.

A wave of optimism carried Liverpool into Rafa's second season and although the Reds secured a Super Cup win over CSKA Moscow, a fixture pile-up as a result of a series of Champions League qualifiers and inconsistent Premiership performances saw them struggle early on.

A run of one defeat in 18 matches, in which they set a new club record of 11 consecutive clean sheets, got the Reds back on track, culminating in a third place finish which at the time saw us notch up our highest points tally since the inauguration of the Premier League.

There was also another final to look forward to and, with more than a little sense of déjà vu, the Reds overcame West Ham on penalties to claim the FA Cup and a third trophy under Rafa in just two seasons.

The Spaniard had certainly shown he had the Midas touch, following on from his success at Valencia where he had a developed a reputation as one of Europe's finest coaches.

However, the media still doubted his understanding of the English game overall, as the frustration of yet another disappointing start in the Premiership in 06-07 was in stark contrast to the confident swagger the side had begun to display in the Champions League.

European Champions Barcelona stood in the way in the knockout stage, but Rafa and co produced one of the performances of the season to clinch a famous 2-1 win in the Nou Camp and lay the foundations for progress to the next round.

After overcoming PSV and Chelsea respectively, the final in Athens would be another repeat, but this time AC Milan gained revenge for 2005.

The arrival of Fernando Torres for a record fee was a firm statement of intent ahead of 07-08, and with his strongest group of players since taking charge, Benitez made his best ever start in the Barclays Premier League.

The Reds marched to a run of 14 league matches unbeaten but saw their title hopes derailed by a series of disappointing draws.

A shock FA Cup defeat at home to Barnsley heaped further pressure on the Reds before an impressive Champions League victory over Inter Milan proved the catalyst for an end of season surge.

A 4-2 triumph in an all-English quarter-final second-leg at home to Arsenal had supporters dreaming of a third European final in four seasons, but this time it would be Chelsea's turn to advance to Moscow.

A second year without a trophy raised the pressure again, but if it hadn't been for injuries to Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, a partnership that had terrorised defences home and abroad, the Reds could easily have finished the season as the 2009 champions after losing just two league matches.

Highlights would include league doubles over both Manchester United and Chelsea, with the 4-1 mauling of Alex Ferguson's men at Old Trafford a particularly sweet moment for fans, players and coaching staff alike.

The Red Devils would go on to close out the championship but Liverpool kept winning right until the end with 10 victories from our last 11 league matches. It ensured we finished the campaign by setting a new personal Barclays Premier League best, with 86 points.

Expectation was higher than ever heading into 2009-10, but all was not well in the Liverpool camp.

Xabi Alonso's on-off transfer to Real Madrid was the major theme of a disappointing pre-season schedule. The opening day defeat at Tottenham proved to be a sign of things to come and once again the injuries to Torres and Gerrard would have a huge bearing on results.

By November any thoughts of a title challenge were over and a group stage exit from the Champions League threatened to completely derail the season.

Rumours of disharmony within the squad did little to raise the team's morale and a shock FA Cup replay defeat at home to Championship strugglers, Reading saw many within the media speculating that Rafa's future was in question.

Any hope of finishing the season with a trophy were ended by Diego Forlan's crucial away goal in the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, while a 2-0 reversal against Chelsea in the final home match of the campaign quashed our chances of a top four finish.

The goalless draw at relegated Hull City would not only prove to be the final game of a disappointing campaign, but would also be Rafa's swansong as the club opted to part ways with the Spaniard less than four weeks later after a season that saw his side lose 19 games.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Steve Finnan
Date of Birth: 24/4/1976
Birthplace: Limerick, Ireland
Debut: August 17, 2003 v Chelsea
1st team games: 216
1st team goals: 1
Other clubs: Welling, Birmingham City, Notts County, Fulham, Espanyol
Honours with Liverpool: Champions League 2005, Super Cup 2005, FA Cup 2006, Charity Shield 2006

Right-back Steve Finnan was often described as an unsung hero during five years at Anfield – but you'll struggle to find a Kopite unwilling to sing his praises.

The Irishman was signed by Gerard Houllier in the summer of 2003. It was a long journey to the Premier League for Finnan, who began his career with non-league Welling United before turning professional with Birmingham City in 1995.

After only a handful of appearances he was on his way to Notts County, where a string of excellent performances attracted the attention of Fulham boss Kevin Keegan.

Finnan became a firm favourite at Craven Cottage following his £600,000 move in November 1998. Three years later he played a key role in the Londoners' promotion to the top flight.

Having made his international debut against Greece in April 2000, Mr Reliable had no problems adapting to the Premier League, and in 2001-02 he was selected in the PFA Team of the Year ahead of the likes of Gary Neville.

From there he appeared in all four of Ireland's matches during the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

Houllier was suitably impressed and swooped ahead of the 2003-04 season.

Finnan made his Reds debut in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on August 17, 2003. However, a series of injuries disrupted his first year on Merseyside, and the appointment of a new manager in the summer of 2004 prompted some to cast doubt on his future at the club.

The arrival of Spanish defender Josemi did nothing to strengthen the right-back's position, but his ultra-professionalism and composed defending won the day.

The number three started the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, though injury meant he was forced to withdraw at half-time.

In May 2007 he featured in his second European Cup final, playing 88 minutes before Benitez introduced Alvaro Arbeloa. Unbeknown to Finnan, the switch was a sign of things to come.

A year later, after increasing amounts of time on the bench, the likeable defender was sold to La Liga side Espanyol.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Danny Guthrie : Midfielder
Date of Birth: 18/04/1987
Birthplace: Shrewsbury
Debut : v Reading, October 26, 2006, League Cup, won 4-3
1st team games: 7
1st team goals: 0
Other clubs: Manchester United, Southampton, Bolton, Newcastle

Danny Guthrie was an Academy graduate who went on to play seven first-team games under Rafa Benitez.

The Shrewsbury-born midfielder was brought to Anfield after being released by Manchester United aged 15.

His competitive debut for the Reds came as a 62nd minute substitute in a League Cup match against Reading in October 2006.

The highlight of Guthrie's brief spell in the first-team squad came with a start in the Ataturk Stadium in December 2006 when Liverpool took on Galatasaray in the Champions League group stages.

In March 2007 he signed for Southampton on emergency loan, playing 12 games for the south coast side.

Instead of returning to Melwood ahead of the 2007-08 campaign, Guthrie headed for the Reebok Stadium where he could experience regular top-flight football.

His performances during 28 appearances for Bolton impressed Kop icon Kevin Keegan so much that he splashed the cash to bring the youngster to Newcastle in July 2008.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Peter Crouch : Striker
Date of Birth: 30/01/1981
Birthplace: Macclesfield
Debut : v FBK Kaunas, July 20, 2005, Champions League qualifier, won 3-1
1st team games: 135
1st team goals: 42
Other clubs: Dulwich Hamlet, IFK Hassleholm, QPR, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich, Southampton
International caps while with Liverpool: 27
International goals while with Liverpool: 14
Honours with Liverpool: FA Cup (2006), Charity Shield (2006)

Striker Peter Crouch became a cult hero after joining the Rafalution in the summer of 2005.

Many questioned Rafa Benitez's decision to pay Southampton approximately £7million for a player whose career had seen him jump around the Football League.

An incredible 19 games without a goal after arriving at Anfield did little to ease concerns, though in this time the Kop caught a glimpse of something that made Crouch stand out - and it wasn't just his 6ft 7 frame.

Despite being one of the tallest players ever to pull on a red jersey, the likeable frontman possessed an assured touch and a work ethic second only perhaps to teammate Dirk Kuyt.

It didn't take long for the faithful to devise the humorous "He's big, he's red, his feet stick out the bed" chant.

After breaking his duck with a brace against Wigan (the first of which had to go to the dubious goals panel after a freak deflection), the goals started to flow.

One of the most memorable was a winner in a fifth round FA Cup tie against Manchester United in January 2006. The Reds went on to win the competition in Cardiff, with Crouch getting the assist for Liverpool's second against West Ham.

Meanwhile, the Anfield number 15 was establishing himself as an England regular and was named in the 23-man squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

He scored in a warm-up game against Hungary and celebrated with his much-publicised robot dance. Four days later he bagged a hat-trick against Jamaica despite fluffing a penalty.

With Wayne Rooney injured, the Liverpool man partnered Michael Owen in the World Cup opener against Paraguay. He kept his place for the follow up versus Trinidad and Tobago, during which he hit his first competitive international goal. Crouch made two further substitute appearances in the competition.

The start of the 2006-07 season saw him head the winner in the Community Shield triumph over Chelsea, while under new coach Steve McClaren he became the first England player to score 10 in a calendar year thanks to braces against Greece and Andorra.

In September 2006 Crouch scored perhaps his best ever goal, a stunning scissor kick at home to Galatasaray in the Champions League. It was a trick he would repeat just a few months later against Bolton Wanderers.

A broken nose sustained versus Sheffield United interrupted his second season on Merseyside, though he did go on to net his first club hat-trick against Arsenal in March 2007; one with his left foot, one with his right and another with his head.

Crouch was named as a substitute in the 2007 Champions League final in Athens, coming on for Javier Mascherano with 12 minutes to go. Sadly, his introduction wasn't enough to spark another incredible comeback.

There was further heartache the following November when he was part of the England side that failed to reach Euro 2008. The striker looked to have spared a nation's blushes when he equalised against Croatia at Wembley. All Steve McClaren's side needed to do was hold on - but they couldn't.

Meanwhile, the arrival of Fernando Torres at Anfield meant first-team starts were becoming more difficult to come by.

Despite being offered a new contract in the spring of 2008, Crouch decided the time was right to move on. It was Portsmouth who eventually won the race for his signature in July 2008.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Anthony Le Tallec
Date of Birth: 3/10/1984
Birthplace: Hennebont, France
Debut : v Blackburn, September 13, 2003, Premier League, won 3-1
1st team games: 32
1st team goals: 1
Other clubs: Le Havre, St Etienne, Sunderland, Sochaux, Le Mans

Anthony Le Tallec was one of two 'French gems' brought to the club by Gerard Houllier but, like counterpart Florent Sinama Pongolle, his Anfield career never really took off.

Great things were expected of Le Tallec, for whom the word 'starlet' seemed to have been invented.

Such was his potential that he was snapped up by Le Havre aged just eight. The youngster came to the world's attention in May 2001 when he scored five goals in helping France reach the European Under-16 Championships final.

Three months later, aged 16, he made his club debut versus Grenoble. An incredible year was capped in September when France won the Under-17s' World Cup in England. Le Tallec was voted the tournament's second best player (behind Pongolle).

Houllier quickly pounced, signing the prodigious pair but allowing them to spend another two years in France to aid their development.

A wave of excitement flooded Anfield when they were finally unveiled in 2003 - though Le Tallec went on to amass just 32 appearances in a five-year Liverpool career.

The highlight undoubtedly came when he was selected against Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final in 2005 - and put in a great show.

Loan spells at St Etienne, Sunderland, Sochaux and Le Mans followed, the latter being made permanent in July 2008.


Harry Kewell
Date of Birth: 22/09/1978
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Debut : v Chelsea, August 17, 2003, Premier League, lost 2-1
1st team games: 138
1st team goals: 16
Other clubs: Leeds United
International caps: 20
International goals: 8
Honours with Liverpool: Champions League (2005), FA Cup (2006)

Harry Kewell was a player who threatened to deliver so much in a red shirt - but ultimately his stay at Liverpool will be filed under 'frustrating'.

A succession of long-term injuries prevented him reproducing the form witnessed at former club Leeds, where the Aussie winger had established himself as one of the Premiership's top talents.

Kewell's time in Yorkshire saw him voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 2000 before his love affair with the club came to an end in 2003.

Having turned down a move to Manchester United, the would-be Australia captain made his Reds debut in front of the Kop against Chelsea on August 17, 2003.

Kewell went on to score 11 goals in 49 games in his first season at Anfield - easily his best tally.

The following campaign saw him bag a single goal in 31 appearances. He was a shock starter in the Champions League final against AC Milan in Istanbul, though injury meant he was replaced by Vladimir Smicer after just 23 minutes.

A year later, after scoring three goals in 41 appearances during the 2005-06 season, fate again contrived against the playmaker as injury forced him to be substituted half way through the FA Cup final victory over West Ham.

Despite this, Kewell was fit in time for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. It was the first time Australia had qualified for the competition since 1974, and the Liverpool man was there in the opening game against Japan.

After a substitute appearance versus Brazil, Kewell scored a crucial equalising goal against Croatia which took his side into the second round. Unfortunately, another spell in the treatment room meant he played no part in the defeat to eventual winners Italy - nor indeed most of the following season back in England.

The winger returned to action in the penultimate league game of 2006-07 at Craven Cottage and went on to feature as a second-half substitute in the Champions League final against AC Milan.

Kewell now had a year to save his stuttering Reds career - he couldn't. More injuries prevented him playing any meaningful role in 2007-08 and his contract was not renewed.

He left Melwood for the final time in May 2008 wondering 'what might have been'.


John Arne Riise : Defender
Date of Birth: 24-09-1980
Birthplace: Molde, Norway
Debut : Aug 12 2001, Charity Shield v Man Utd
1st team games: 347
1st team goals: 31
Other clubs: Aalesund, Monaco
International caps: 71
International goals: 8
Honours with Liverpool: FA Charity Shield 2001, UEFA Super Cup 2001, Worthington Cup 2003, Champions League 2005, FA Cup 2006, FA Community Shield 2006.

Left-back John Arne Riise notched up well over 300 appearances during a seven-year association with the club through the Houllier and Benitez eras.

The Norwegian, who was famed for a fierce shot, joined Liverpool for approximately £4million in June 2001 having previously played for Aalesunds FK and Monaco.

His debut came in the Charity Shield against Manchester United on August 12, and it was in a fixture against the same opponents three months later that the flame-haired defender won a place in the heart of every Liverpool fan. From then until the end of his Anfield career, the Kop sang: "John Arne Riise, ooh, ah, I want to know how you scored that goal."

The full-back, who could also play left-midfield, remained a first-team regular as the Rafalution began in 2004.

It was he who opened the scoring against Chelsea in the 2005 Carling Cup final with a volley on 45 seconds - the fastest goal in the fixture's history.

During the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan, Riise provided the cross for Steven Gerrard to head home on 54 minutes - and in doing so helped trigger the greatest comeback European football has ever witnessed. The fact his penalty was saved by Dida in the shoot-out is now a historical insignificance.

The following season was again full of highlights, most notably another opening goal against Chelsea - this time in an FA Cup semi-final.

Three weeks later he erased memories of the Istanbul penalty miss by converting his spot kick to help the Reds clinch their seventh FA Cup.

Riise continued his knack of scoring against Jose Mourinho's men at the start of the 2006-07 campaign, this time in the Community Shield. The full-back ran from inside his own half before lashing the ball beyond Carlo Cudicini to open the scores. Liverpool went on to win the match 2-1.

Ironically, the Scandinavian's last notable act in a red shirt again saw him net against Chelsea -- though this time it was at the wrong end to give the Blues a priceless away goal in the first leg of the 2007-08 Champions League semi-finals.

Riise was sold to Italian side AS Roma in June 2008.


Momo Sissoko : Midfielder
Date of Birth: 22/01/1985
Birthplace: Mont-Saint-Aignan, France
Debut : July 26, 2005 v FBK Kaunas (A) Champions League qualifier: Won 3-1
1st team games: 86
1st team goals: 1
Other clubs: Auxerre, Valencia, Juventus
International caps while with Liverpool: 13
International goals while with Liverpool: 1
Honours with Liverpool: European Super Cup 2005-06, FA Cup 2005-06, Charity Shield 2006-07

Energetic midfielder Mohamed 'Momo' Sissoko spent nearly three years at Anfield after joining from Valencia in the summer of 2005.

The Malian had played under Rafa Benitez in Spain so it was no surprise when he chose Liverpool over the likes of Everton.

Benitez dared compare his new signing with Arsenal star Patrick Vieira - and the fans certainly weren't disappointed in his first two seasons.

Sissoko added steel previously lacking from the Liverpool midfield, though his first season on Merseyside was interrupted by a career-threatening eye injury sustained in a challenge with Benfica's Beto.

After just a month on the sidelines the African made a shock return against Birmingham. On doctors orders he donned protective goggles - though they didn't make it to half-time.

Two months later Sissoko put in a man-of-the-match performance in the FA Cup final against West Ham. The accolade would have been his but for the last-minute heroics of captain Steven Gerrard. Never mind; following a summer's break he was back at Cardiff for the Community Shield, and this time he did walk away with all the plaudits.

After an impressive start to the 2006-07 season, the Liverpool number 22 was back on the stretcher when he dislocated his shoulder against Birmingham. The injury ruled him out for three months.

Come February the African was back and putting in another stunning display, this time in the Nou Camp as the Reds beat Barcelona 2-1. The return leg saw him nearly break his goalscoring duck for the club - but he was denied by the crossbar.

Supporters would have to wait until the start of the 2007-08 season to see Sissoko get off the mark - and it proved to be a landmark goal for Liverpool. His 25-yard drive against Roy Keane's Sunderland at the Stadium of Light was the club's 7,000th league goal.

Despite this, the practicing Muslim was struggling to recapture the form he showed prior to his injuries and was sold to Juventus in January 2008 for a fee believed to be more than £8million.