Ranking every Liverpool captain of the Premier League era
The Reds have had plenty of legendary players lead them in their history
Liverpool have had some legendary captains in the Premier League but their captains haven’t always been able to deliver success. Since its birth in 1892, Liverpool have been one of England’s biggest clubs. The Reds are considered one of the best clubs in the world. Liverpool have also demonstrated their might on the European circuit over the years.
The Merseyside team have been crowned European Champions six times in their illustrious history, their last Champions League title coming in 2019. Despite being perennial title contenders in the Premier League era, they won their first league title in 30 years only two seasons ago.
Under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage, their long wait for a league title ended in the 2019-20 campaign. It goes without saying that captains play a pivotal role in the success of any club. Leaders render direction and motivation, often leading by example in times of need. Liverpool had the good fortune of having some great leaders wear their iconic red kits.
On that note, here we have ranked all the Liverpool captains of the Premier League era from worst to best.
8. Jamie Redknapp
Redknapp had been Liverpool’s vice-captain before being promoted to club captain by Gerard Houllier in 1999. Jamie Redknapp’s Liverpool captaincy pretty much went the same way as the rest of his career, blighted by injuries, and he only played 31 times in all competitions over the three years that he held the armband. Redknapp was Liverpool club captain for the 2000/01 Cup treble season but he didn’t actually play a single minute during that campaign because of his knee trouble. So, as harsh as it is, based on his contributions as captain, Redknapp is bottom.
7. Mark Wright
Wright led Liverpool to the FA Cup as captain in 1992 and retained the armband for the start of the Premier League era, but the Reds had a disappointing season in 1992-93, finishing sixth and trophyless. The England defender would go on to enjoy another five mostly good years at Anfield, but he lost the armband in 1993. He lost the armband in 1993 but still went on to spend another five years at the club.
6. Paul Ince
Despite previously spent six years at Manchester United, Ince was named Liverpool captain after joining the club from Inter Milan in 1997. He said, “I just felt Liverpool were a club where they had some very, very exciting players, Michael Owen coming through as a young kid, and I needed something different.
“That change in attitude, that change in mindset, because they hadn’t won anything for years and they wanted to win the title. “So I thought it was a project for me to kind of go and do, and change the way the Liverpool players were thinking because I just felt they were good players, but just wanted to go out all the time, and I just thought that wasn’t the way. “I just thought they needed that professionalism on the pitch, it was probably the right move for me to do because it was exciting.”
It was a mixed couple of years for the club, with third and seventh-place finishes under Ince’s leadership the former matching their best finish in the Premier League era at that time and the latter their second-worst.
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5. John Barnes
John Barnes was very much nearing the end of his distinguished career when he inherited the Liverpool captaincy in 1996. By that time he’d been at Anfield for nine years. Barnes was already wearing the Liverpool armband on a regular basis the season before he was appointed permanent skipper. The club didn’t win anything but it was an important transitional period that he helped oversee nonetheless.
4. Ian Rush
Like Barnes, Rush was in the twilight of his career when he was appointed club captain in 1993 during his second spell at Anfield. However, the Liverpool legend scored a not-too-shabby 45 goals in 128 games wearing the armband and helped them win the 1995 League Cup. He eventually lost his place to Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore and joined Leeds United on a free transfer in 1996.
3. Sami Hyypia
Sami Hyypia was already Liverpool’s primary captain for much of the club’s cup success under manager Gerard Houllier and was handed the honour properly when Jamie Redknapp departed. The Finn was a popular figure and remains a club legend for his service and leadership, while he was also the first and still only non-British or Irish to be Liverpool club captain. He showed humility and professionalism in other ways when the captaincy was taken from him in 2003.
2. Jordan Henderson
Henderson was often a much-maligned figure in his early years at Anfield, but the midfielder was named as their official club captain in 2015 following Steven Gerrard’s departure and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The central midfielder leads fearlessly from the front.
In addition to his leadership, he is also an intelligent ball player who can initiate attacks and pull strings from the middle. Henderson is also passionate about the club and he is not shy about doing the dirty work for his team. He has etched his name into the history books by leading Liverpool to their sixth European title and a Premier League title in 30 years.
1. Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard is arguably the biggest name in Liverpool folklore. The midfielder was one of the best of his generation, widely regarded as the best midfielder in the Premier League era. Gerrard was the heartbeat of the team and became synonymous with Liverpool over the years. Gerrard was an all-rounder in the middle, knowing when to pass the ball when to shoot and when to initiate attacks. In addition to his playmaking abilities, ‘Stevie G’ was a leader, inspiring Liverpool to do the impossible.
Under his leadership, the Reds claimed victory in the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ and won the Champions League in 2005 by beating AC Milan. Gerrard’s only regret might be not winning the Premier League title as a Liverpool player. He went on to spend 17 years at Anfield and played over 700 games, scoring 186 goals and providing 150 assists.
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