Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side have defied expectations in the Champions League.
Few would have imagined at the start of the season that the Merseyside club will contest the final in Kiev.
But they have obliterated all in their path with some scintillating football. Klopp’s men will play Real Madrid in the final later this month, and the German has promised that his side will be on ‘fire’ in Ukraine.
Liverpool are the fifth most successful club in the competition’s history, and will be looking to win their sixth European title later this month.
The last time they won the trophy came 13 years ago in Istanbul, where the Reds pulled off a miracle comeback to win on penalties against AC Milan after being 3-0 down at half-time.
Both Rafa Benitez’s Champions League winning team in 2005 and Klopp’s team this campaign feature some world-class players.
And ahead of this year’s final, we have picked a combined XI of the best players of both team’s.
One thing must be said – it would make a quite incredible team.
OUR COMBINED XI: (3-4-3)
GK: Jerzy Dudek (2005)
Given Liverpool’s problems in goal in 2018, Dudek picks himself.
The Polish stopper pulled off a miraculous save to deny Andriy Shevchenko in the dying moments of extra-time, before sealing his place in the club’s history with his heroics in the penalty shoot-out.
CB: Jamie Carragher (2005)
‘We all dream of a team of Carragher’s’. You’ve got to be good to earn a chant like that.
Although not the most gifted of defenders, Carragher’s spirit and love for the club made him a fan-favourite in his 25-year spell as a Liverpool player.
CB: Sami Hyypia (2005)
Liverpool’s defence in 2005 can be considered much better than the 2018 edition, and Hyypia played a big part in that.
The Finn spent ten successful seasons at Anfield before leaving in 2009.
CB: Virgil van Dijk (2018)
What a signing Virgil van Dijk has been.
The Dutchman has settled in very quickly at Anfield since signing from Southampton for £75 million, and will undoubtedly play a big part in the Champions League final in a few weeks time.
DM: Dietmar Hamann (2005)
Dietmar Hamann actually didn’t start the 2005 Champions League final, instead coming on at half-time.
His introduction at the break sparked Liverpool’s comeback, speaking volumes of his influence as a player.
CM: James Milner (2018)
James Milner predominantly played at left back last season, but he has flourished in a more natural midfield role this term.
He set a new record for Champions League assists in a single season during Liverpool’s 5-2 win over AS Roma, where he recorded his ninth assist.
CM: Steven Gerrard (2005)
The focal point of the team.
Steven Gerrard inspired Liverpool to their comeback in 2005, and is an absolute certainty to be included in this XI.
CM: Xabi Alonso (2005)
Xabi Alonso was perhaps under appreciated during his time on Merseyside, where Rafa Benitez famously attempted to replace him with Gareth Barry.
He formed one of the best midfield partnerships in Liverpool’s history with Gerrard.
RW: Mohamed Salah (2018)
Once a Chelsea reject, he is now in the top three players in the world.
Liverpool will be looking to Salah for inspiration in the final in Kiev.
CF: Roberto Firmino (2018)
The Brazilian can do it all.
One of the most rounded strikers in the world at this current time easily beats out the likes of Milan Baros and Djibril Cissé in this team.
LW: Sadio Mane (2018)
You just have to put the three forwards of this season in the team.
Although he doesn’t get the plaudits that Salah and Firmino do, Sadio Mane has still been vital in his side’s run to the final.
Bench: Loris Karius (2018), Andy Robertson (2018), Joel Matip (2018), Jordan Henderson (2018), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (2018), Luis Garcia (2005), Milan Baros (2005)
What a team this would be.
What would be your combined XI of Liverpool’s 2005 and 2018 Champions League side’s? Have your say in the comments section below.