When it comes to the best midfield partnerships in Premier League history, few compare to Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso at Liverpool.
Between them they had everything, but it was their telepathic understanding and vision that really stood out.
Alonso’s role was to protect the defence and spray passes, which he did for fun, while Gerrard would go on his marauding runs forward looking to create goalscoring opportunities.
They complemented each other perfectly and even now Liverpool’s midfield doesn’t compare, even if they are the champions of Europe.
It says a lot that Gerrard considers Alonso to be one of – if not the – best he ever played alongside in the middle of the park.
“Xabi is a world-class player and also a top-class human being,” Gerrard said last year ahead of a Liverpool Legend’s game. “I miss being around Xabi on a daily basis.
“I used to love working and playing alongside him. I saw him not so long ago and he was in good form and good spirits, he’s staying nice and fit for the game.
“To play alongside him in a big fixture at Anfield, hopefully in front of a full house, will be rolling back the years and something I’m looking forward to very much.
“He could be the best [midfielder I played with] but that would be disrespectful to all of the other world-class players I played with: Dietmar Hamann, Gary McAllister, Danny Murphy, Javier Mascherano.
“Xabi was certainly up there but not just with the players I played with, he is up there with the world’s best.”
Alonso produced some outrageous moments in a Liverpool shirt and one of them came during a 2-0 win away to Sunderland in 2005.
From inside his own half using his weaker left foot, Alonso swivelled and carved open Sunderland’s defence with a pass to put Luis Garcia through on goal.
Garcia produced a tidy finish past the goalkeeper, but it was Alonso’s through ball that stole headlines from the game. It was incredible.
It’s been 14 years since Alonso’s stunning assist – it’s undoubtedly one of the best in Premier League history – and we’re still wondering how he did it.
The fact it’s being shared by Liverpool fans again shows just how good it was and just how much they adored the Spaniard.