Such is the extent of Liverpool’s strength in depth, you could establish a plethora of outstanding five-a-side teams from the current squad.
But with the revered front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah combining with such relentless consistency, and Virgil van Dijk emerging as one of the greatest centre-backs in world football, there are some players who would be chosen in the vast majority of fans’ first-choice outfits.
Indeed, it’s unlikely we’d see too many wildly contrasting choices if fans were offered the opportunity to pick a dream five from Jurgen Klopp’s current crop.
However, change the parameters to include any player from the Premier League era and the choice is less clear-cut.
Selecting just five players from Liverpool’s back catalogue of outstanding talents is certainly not a straightforward task, but here at GiveMeSport we’ve taken on the challenge.
Facing the chosen quintet in an actual fixture, however, is a challenge we’d rather avoid.
Take a look at our selection below…
Was there really any doubt about this?
Jerzy Dudek, the club’s wobbly-legged icon, deserves a shootout for his cat-like reflexes, while Pep Reina was an equally adept shot-stopper during his time at Anfield.
Both of the aforementioned names stand at 6ft 2 and at 6ft 3 there is little to distinguish Alisson from the pairing.
The Brazilian’s shot-stopping ability, which is up there with the best in the world, earns his place between the sticks here.
The impenetrable force’s speedy, accurate distribution of the ball is also a pertinent factor that solidifies his credentials.
Apologies to Jerzy and Pepe, there is only one worthy winner here.
Defender: Virgil van Dijk
Who else would you want pivoting your free-flowing side?
Virgil van Dijk, otherwise known as the epitome of composure, has managed to establish himself as the greatest player to marshal Liverpool’s backline in the Premier League era.
In a small-sided environment his ability to detect danger and stunt attacks with the intelligence of his positioning would be a stifling presence for the opposition.
With power and pace supplementing the strength of his mental game, the Dutchman would force attackers to feed off scraps.
Going forward, meanwhile, van Dijk would be a reliable metronome in the deeper positions, offering an outlet for the forward players to recycle the ball.
Midfielder: Steven Gerrard
The first name on the teamsheet, without doubt.
It’s not hard to imagine Gerrard quite literally breaking the net on the five-a-side pitch, crashing one of his piledriving efforts with sufficient venom to prise the fabric apart.
Liverpool’s club legend is blessed with just about every quality you could wish for: boundless stamina, immaculate passing, cunning movement, tough tackling and, of course, the iconic ability to strike the ball into the net.
Add in the passion and leadership qualities he brings and we present you with the perfect small-sided player.
Midfielder: Roberto Firmino
Firmino is basically a futsal player who’s opted to play his second sport professionally.
Don’t get it twisted, the Brazilian is an excellent 11-a-side player, but the difficulty in labelling his actual position shows that he is a player who thrives in a fluid system of space interpretation.
No format of the game is conducive to spontaneous acts of flair and creativity quite like five-a-side, and in the parameters of football’s small-sided format he’d be a menacing prospect to deal with.
Tricks, flicks, Rabonas, stepovers, Cruyff-turns, you know name it, you’ll catch Firmino squeezing them all into a 30 minute game.
Rather than acts of vanity, though, they’ll give this Liverpool side a strong element of unpredictability, leaving defenders dumbfounded and second-guessing every fleet-footed move from the Brazilian.
Attacker: Luis Suarez
Is there anything less appealing than the prospect of marking a scuttling, rampant Luis Suarez in his prime?
His refusal to stand still for a split-second is the stuff of nightmares for defenders, and in a five-a-side format his movement would test the most iron-lunged defenders.
Give him a sniff of goal and the ball would be in the net before you can say “please don’t bite me, Luis”.
The combination play between the Uruguayan and his fellow South American, Firmino, is a YouTube compilation in-the-making, and one people would certainly pay good money to see.
Liverpool have had some excellent strikers down the years, but Suarez’s unrivalled blend of qualities make him a perfect prospect to lead the line.
Sub: Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane can consider himself extremely unlucky not to be in the starting line-up.
This is a player with just about everything in the locker – including defensive qualities that are overshadowed by his attacking prowess but equally make him such an effective pressing machine in Klopp’s system.
However, there is only space for three forward-thinking players in the side, and his current teammate Firmino marginally gets the nod.
The Senegal international could play in either attack or midfield, and his presence would guarantee fluidity as the substitutions roll on and off the field throughout proceedings.