A look at the history of Liverpool player's successes for their nations

Over the years, countless Liverpool players have represented their nations in various competitions all over the world, and to varying degrees of success. We take a look back at some of them.
Jun 16, 2022; New York, New York, USA; A detail view of The FIFA World Cup Trophy sits on a stand outside of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.  Mandatory Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2022; New York, New York, USA; A detail view of The FIFA World Cup Trophy sits on a stand outside of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports / Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to the Club v. Country debate there is only one winner when it comes to Liverpool fans.

Scousers use the mantra ‘Scouse not English’ to make clear the preference of their club over their country.

International breaks tend to be a bee in the bonnet for Liverpool fans too. There are a number of reasons for this position such as geography, mindset and politics to name a few.

Another reason that could shape this thought is the success or lack of in International Tournaments for Liverpool players.

For the most part Liverpool players have mainly been British and the only success of the Home Nations has been the 1966 World Cup.

Roger Hunt

Liverpool’s 2nd top goal scorer of all time was in the England Squad that won the 1966 World Cup on home turf under Alf Ramsey. Hunt was the strike partner of hattrick hero Geoff Hurst in the final against West Germany.

Hunt scored 3 goals in 6 matches during this tournament. He was joined by his Liverpool teammates Ian Callaghan and Gerry Byrne in the 22-man squad.

Jimmy Greaves
England v Uruguay 1966 FIFA World Cup Finals / Getty Images/GettyImages

Neither got a World Cup medal as they didn’t feature in the final. Callaghan played against France in the group stage.

During the 70’s and 80’s international success for the home nations was at a premium. There were failures to even qualify for the World Cup in 1974 and 1978 for England.

The 1980’s saw the European Championship grow in number of participants but saw no qualification from England and a disaster of a tournament in 1988 where England finished last in the group.

A Scottish team which featured a talented contingent of Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Alan Hansen and Steve Nicol also struggled at tournaments. Most tournaments would result in an exit at the group stage.

Kenny Dalglish of Scotland
Kenny Dalglish of Scotland / Simon Bruty/GettyImages

This was a stark contrast to the Liverpool team itself as it ruled the waves domestically and in Europe during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

The 1990’s saw the emergence of the Premier League. That bought with it an influx of foreign stars playing in England’s top league. Most of the players were from Europe to start with.

In 1998, France won the World Cup on their own shores. In that French Squad is a player called Bernard Diomede. He does not feature beyond the quarter finals in the tournament. Gerrard Houllier signed him in 2000 but he didn't make any kind of impact as he only featured in 5 games for the Reds.

Didi Hamann

The German international came close to winning the World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002. Germany lost in the final to a Ronaldo inspired Brazil.

Germany had Didi Hamann in the starting line up throughout the World Cup and it is Didi who provided a solid foundation for Germany to progress throughout the World Cup.

In a Liverpool shirt, Didi also proved to be a solid signing as he starred in the treble winning side in 2001 and ended his Liverpool career in the epic Champions League win in 2005.

Milan Baros

Milan Baros was bought in by Gerard Houllier in 2001 as a 20-year-old.

Therefore there was no immediate expectation from the fans. It was thought that Baros would be a long-term replacement for the strike force. After 2002 Houllier’s Liverpool struggled to push on from the treble winning season and went into decline. The style of football was the biggest concern for the fanbase.

It is for this reason that Baros’ career didn’t progress as fans would have hoped. With this being said in the 2004 Euro’s, Baros represented his country Czech Republic and finished the tournament as top goal scorer with 5 goals.

Milan Baros, Theodoros Zagorakis
UEFA Euro 2004 Semi-Final: Greece v Czech Republic / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

This gave Liverpool fans hope that Baros had turned a corner and his career would kick on especially with a change in management. Although Baros played his part in the road to Istanbul, his Liverpool career was short lived thereafter.

Fernando Torres & Xabi Alonso

We go into a golden period for Liverpool player success on the international stage. It comes from the Spanish contingent.

Liverpool being managed by the Spaniard Rafa Benitez and was on an upward trajectory and looking to win the league.

The Spanish team leveraging the emerging stars of Barcelona and Real Madrid were ready to take on the world.

Liverpool’s new star striker Fernando Torres scored the winner against Germany in Euro 2008 to win the tournament in Austria. Xabi Alonso also came on as a sub in that game. Pepe Reina was the reserve goalkeeper in the Spain squad for this tournament.

Two years later in South Africa, Spain demonstrated their world domination by winning the World Cup against the Netherlands.

At this point Alonso had moved on to Real Madrid while Torres and Reina were still at Liverpool and are very much part of the Spanish Squad.

Bobby Firmino & Allison Becker

As the game becomes more global, the interest in tournaments beyond Europe became more popular and mainstream.

The South American equivalent of the Euro’s is Copa America. Bobby Firmino & Allison Becker brought home the Copa America title in 2019.

They were both in the starting line ups throughout the tournament to star for Brazil. The team also featured ex-Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho.

Jordan Henderson

In a delayed Euro 2020 due to Covid-19, England made their first final since 1966. Gareth Southgate’s side eventually lost to Italy on penalties.

The England squad featured Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson. Henderson is a senior figure not only in the Liverpool dressing room but also in the England dressing room.

As Henderson is coming into the twilight of his career his positive influence on younger players is priceless. Henderson comes on as a substitute in the final at Wembley.

Sadio Mane & Mo Salah

The 2021 African Cup of Nations saw two Liverpool players pitted against each other in the Final. It was Sadio Mane who got the better of Mohamed Salah as Senegal beat Egypt to take the title.

Sadio Mane took the winning spot kick to achieve International acclaim.

In 2023 Mo Salah returned to the competition which ended rather disappointingly as Salah returned back to Liverpool following injury.

Egypt was unable to progress without their star player. So while Salah enjoys unlimited success at Club level the same cannot be said about his International career.