My All time 11

23. april 2015

One of the things that I get asked about a lot is to make my team of the 11 best players I have played with. I have done it a few times before, but I keep changing my mind on certain positions. Now I have put some thought into it and I will try again:)

Into the consideration is not only how good a player he is, but also as a person and how important he was to me while I was playing with him. Some positions are very easy, while some are difficult to choose only one in that position. I have been very fortunate and I feel very lucky to have been able to play with these amazing players.

Keeper: Pepe Reina

Easy choice. I have payed with some great keepers, but Pepe is different class. Amazing with his feet, great passer, amazing shot stopper. And he is such a great person. Always smiling and joking. Best keeper by far.

Right Back: Steve Finnan

Mr Consistent. So calm and relaxed it was a joke. He never looked like he was stressed or nervous. Great with both feet. Not the most offensive right back, but he rarely made a mistake. Really enjoyed playing with him.

Centre Back: Jamie Carragher

He tells you when to press, when to go, when to smash, when to tackle. Some players you don’t hear because of the crowd but his voice you can hear through everything else, it was irritating on the ears but in a good way. I remember a game against Blackburn when he broke his leg. He didn’t want to be carried off, he wanted to walk off or carry on playing! He was a proper defender and the best I ever played with. Also a great passer with both feet. True legend. Greta guy.

Centre Back: Sami Hyypia

Had a great right and left foot. Yes he was tall, but still amazing in the air. Didn’t have much pace but the way he read the game was different class. His understanding of the game was amazing. Scored some crucial goals. Bad taste of music, having dinner at his house he always put on some finnish heavy metal. Awful! One of the nicest guy I have ever met in Football. Took really good care of me when I came.

Left Back: John Arne “Ginger” Riise

As I have been fortunate to have played most games at every club I have played for, I had to pick myself. No chance I would take myself out of this team.

I am going for a diamond in the middle. One holding midfielder, 2 players on each side of him, and one offensive midfielder.

Holding midfielder: Mascherano

He is the dog. I know the opposition hated playing against him because he is always on your heels, always tackling you. I struggled with him and Didi Hamann because I think Didi is the perfect holding midfielder. He is so calm and reads the game perfectly. But I think Mascherano had more to his game, could go forward more and be more of a killer in that role. He covered so much ground and was a real team player. The job he did was immense!

Inside Right Midfield: Daniele De Rossi

Very calm, easy going and sees openings and tackles that not many players see. He was probably the only player who spoke English when I came to Roma and he helped me adapt into the team. He will go down as one of Roma’s best players. Great passer. He could see a pass that wasn’t really there. Loves his club and plays with his heart.

Inside Left Midfield: Xabi Alonso

He is the pass master. Nobody can pass the ball like him. I remember his debut at Anfield, it was 39 minutes before he made a wrong pass. He is an unbelievable player. When I played left wing, he always found the pass to me. Could tackle as well. Great strike also. But he will always be the best passer of the ball I have ever played with.

Offensive Midfield: Steven Gerrard

The best player I have played with without a doubt. I am really privileged to have played with him because he will go down as one of the greatest of all time. The game that comes to my mind is the Milan game, he was probably playing right-back, centre-back, right wing, left wing, centre midfield and striker. His goal gave us belief and you could see the energy he got, and gave the fans, from scoring that goal. He is an amazing person also, he always supports you and backs you up. He was the perfect captain. A player that had everything when I was there.

Striker: Fernando Torres

He has got a bit of stick since he left Liverpool but while I was there he was a scoring machine and a very good person. He always works hard for the team and never moaned. Scored from every angel possible!! He did what a strike should do, just score goals. Amazing striker. I had some options on this one striker position. Michael Owen, David Trezeguet, Thierry Henry ( played left wing at Monaco for 6 months while I was there only), Robbie Fowler to name a few. But Torres got it. Great striker

Striker: Francesco “The God” Totti

The God of Rome. I have never seen anything like it. Steven Gerrard is very big in Liverpool but it can’t compare to how big Totti is in Rome. As a player he is not quick at 38, but he has the technique, vision and touch that is God’s gift. It was unbelievable to see him in training and play with him. I was lucky to get to know him quite well over the three years at Roma and I could see how important he is to Roma as a club and as a city. A true gentleman that I will never forget I have played with. He always sticks up for you. Always smiling and joking around. Scored some amazing goals, and was just a true legend. When it comes to best players I have played with, him and Gerrard are the top 2.

So here is my team. Not easy!! I know I have left out some amazing players. I saw these players not only on games, but in training and daily life, that’s also one of the reasons they got  picked. But I am very happy with my team. I was gonna make a bench, but I can’t. Even that’s difficult.

Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts about my team and if I missed someone.

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  • Reply Joakim Rasdal 23. april 2015 at 10:09

    Helt fantastisk lag,enste jeg kanskje ville gjort var Abeloa på høyre, for å få litt mer offensivitet, selv om det ville gjort lage mindre bra deffensivt. Dette laget hadde vunnet PL ?

  • Reply David Bryning 23. april 2015 at 10:15

    John you’ve talked about the team but who would be your best manager RAFFA THE GAFFA? That team would open a can of whoop ass back in the day maybe even now that is a strong team would of won some trophy s probley the premier league but for now all we can do is DREAM of winning our first premier league title I would still love to see you xabi Torres matcherano pepe still in the team today carra well he give to many pens away and scored a few own goals but STILL a absolute LFC LEGEND. I’m off to go fishing now take care M8t YNWA

  • Reply David Pope 23. april 2015 at 11:35

    How come I didn’t make the cut ? seriously good team

  • Reply Mats Jorgensen 23. april 2015 at 11:50

    Not that i would leave anyone out of that team, but I always loved seeing Luis Garcia play for Liverpool. Some of the goals he scored we’re amazing. Btw John, I still have a Riise shirt from your time in Liverpool, though one letter I has fallen of, so now your Rise. ?

  • Reply Bård 23. april 2015 at 12:15

    Man skjønner hvor imponerende karriere du har hatt (har) når man ser det laget du setter opp. Wow! Eneste forskjellen jeg ville ha gjort er inn med C. Panucci eller W. Sagnol, men jeg stoler på deg ?

  • Reply Ciaran O shak Nail 23. april 2015 at 12:58

    John I love the team but I always loved watching Daniel Agger play, had a great left like you too. Must of been hard to choose though. YNWA

  • Reply Edina 23. april 2015 at 15:09

    Hadde vært gøy å sett detta laget spille! Imponerende karriere du har hatt, og fremdeles har. Du kan være stolt over deg selv, virkelig. Ikke mange norske som får oppleve alt du har gjort ?

  • Reply Steven Adams 23. april 2015 at 17:47

    Who would you have had at left back John, if not yourself?

  • Reply Sky 23. april 2015 at 18:06

    It’s just great to see such a team… Though missing someone… Probably you should just make a 23-man list XD

  • Reply Jonas Theis Moe 23. april 2015 at 19:33

    Hallo. Hvorfor sluttet du i Liverpool egentlig?Hvorfor spiller du ikke i en storklubb?Har du fortsatt kontakt med de du spilte sammen med i Liverpool? Digger dette innlegget. Spennende å lese. Ha en fin dag.
    Mvh Jonas

  • Reply Ale 23. april 2015 at 20:41

    Grandissimo John! Spero di rivederti presto a Roma! In bocca al lupo!

  • Reply Big nose who knows 24. april 2015 at 18:56

    Hei John Arne. Hvem er den beste Everton-spilleren du har møtt? Håper på svar☺

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