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Liverpool 2005 vs Liverpool 2018 - which Champions League finalists had the best players?

17:00 BST 25/05/2018
Steven Gerrard Liverpool 2005
Liverpool are aiming to be European champions for a sixth time, but how does their current team compare to their last winners?

  • Jerzy Dudek

    GK: Dudek vs Karius

    Jerzy Dudek edges out Loris Karius here. Karius has impressed since being installed as Liverpool's No.1 ahead of Simon Mignolet, but he has a long way to go if he wants to match the feats of Dudek.

    Even though Dudek conceded three goals in the final against AC Milan, he was the hero in the shootout, channelling his inner Bruce Grobbelaar to save three penalties, including the decisive spot-kick from Andriy Shevchenko. 

    Winner: Dudek

  • Steve Finnan

    RB: Finnan vs Alexander-Arnold

    Steve Finnan's greater experience gets him in this team over Trent Alexander-Arnold.

    Republic of Ireland international Finnan was one of the most consistent full-backs in England during his time with Fulham and Liverpool, earning himself a spot in the PFA Team of the Year in the 2001-02 season.

    Alexander-Arnold has shown all the qualities needed to be a top-class defender but, aged just 19, his inexperience means he must give way to Finnan.

    Winner: Finnan

  • HD Jamie Carragher Liverpool

    CB: Carragher vs Lovren

    Hard to argue with this one. Jamie Carragher is a club legend, making over 700 appearances for Liverpool during his career. 

    Lovren has improved this season alongside Virgil van Dijk but it would take something special to keep Carragher out of this team.

    Winner: Carragher

  • Neville's Liverpool XI Sami Hyypia

    CB: Hyypia vs Van Dijk

    In years to come this selection may change as Van Dijk has been immense for Liverpool so far since joining from Southampton in January but Hyypia is a hero on Merseyside. 

    Indeed, the Finn is one of the best defenders in Liverpool history but, if Van Dijk keeps playing the way he is, he could surpass his achievements at Anfield.

    Winner: Hyypia

  • Andy Robertson Liverpool

    LB: Traore vs Robertson

    Andy Robertson makes it into this team due to the fact John Arne Riise was playing further forward in the final. 

    The Scot has been fantastic since signing for Liverpool from Hull last summer and he has shown he is a top left-back, both defensively and in attack.

    Djimi Traore, thus, misses out, even though he performed well in the second half of the final against Milan and produced a game-saving goal-line block.

    Winner: Robertson

  • Xabi Alonso Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan Champions League 04-05

    CM: Alonso vs Henderson

    Xabi Alonso was one of the world's best midfielders in his prime and the scorer of Liverpool’s third goal in Istanbul.

    Henderson has enjoyed arguably his best season at Anfield but he still doesn't measure up to the Spaniard.

    Winner: Alonso

  • James Milner Liverpool

    CM: Hamann vs Milner

    Dietmar Hamann didn't start the final but many believe the game changed when he came on at half-time as Liverpool switched formation. 

    This is one of the most difficult decisions to make in the team with both players being very similar in quality.

    In the end, Milner just about edges it, having been consistent throughout his whole career, as well as the fact that this season has broken the record for most assists in a Champions League campaign, with nine.

    Winner: Milner

  • Steven Gerrard Liverpool 2004-05

    CM: Gerrard vs Wijnaldum

    There may not be a player in history who could keep Gerrard out of this team. 

    'The miracle of Istanbul' just wouldn't have happened without Gerrard, as the captain put in the performance of his career, scoring Liverpool's first and winning a crucial penalty for the equaliser.

    The new Rangers manager's leadership got Liverpool over the line that night and he was rightly named man of the match.

    Winner: Gerrard

  • Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2017-18

    RW: Garcia vs Salah

    Mohamed Salah has had one of the most spectacular single seasons in English football history.

    The Egyptian, who joined Liverpool from Roma last summer, has broken the record for Premier League goals scored in a 38-game season, as well as spearheading their charge to the Champions League final.

    Luis Garcia was a good player in his own right, and helped Liverpool reach the final with crucial goals against Juventus and Chelsea, but nothing could keep Salah out of this team.

    Winner: Salah

  • Roberto Firmino Liverpool

    CF: Baros vs Firmino

    Roberto Firmino easily beats out Milan Baros to take the central striking berth.

    Firmino has flourished this season, especially in the Champions League, where he has hit 11 goals.

    Baros endured a fitful Liverpool career and was largely ineffective in the final in Istanbul before leaving the club just three months later.

    Winner: Firmino

  • Sadio Mane Liverpool

    LW: Riise vs Mane

    If John Arne Riise had been playing in his preferred position of left-back in the final, he would have made this team ahead of Robertson.

    But the Norwegian was playing further forward that day and cannot compete with Sadio Mane.

    The former Southampton attacker is also better option than Harry Kewell, who was forced off injured in Istanbul. 

    Indeed, while sometimes erratic, the lightning-quick Mane has played a pivotal role in Liverpool's run to the 2018 final, netting nine times along the way.

    Winner: Mane

  • Rafa Benitez Gallery 5 Liverpool Arrival 2004

    Manager: Benitez vs Klopp

    Now, this is a tough call. Both managers’ careers almost mirror one another.

    They both took an unsuccessful team in a foreign league and turned them into champions – Rafael Benitez with Valencia and Jurgen Klopp with Borussia Dortmund. In doing that, they both overcame the giants of their respective leagues.

    Both then went on to manage Liverpool and became fan favourites. Benitez just about edges Klopp due to his Champions League success, but that could all change if the German masterminds victory over Madrid on Saturday.

    Winner: Benitez