Back in 2016, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher picked the best Liverpool and Man Utd players they faced.
As part of Fantasy Football Club, the two former rivals sat down to choose their #One2Eleven from the opponents they played against.
Here’s who they picked…
Neville’s Liverpool #One2Eleven
(Speech in October 2016)
GOALKEEPER – Pepe Reina
I don’t think Liverpool have ever had a goalkeeper I liked that much to be honest but I’ll go for Reina.
DEFENSE – Markus Babbel, Stephane Henchoz, Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher
I don’t think Liverpool had many good full-backs and I always remember at the time it felt like they had this big narrow back four and they were a nightmare to play against. There were no gaps, every time you crossed it they went ahead or played down the side, they had someone covering it.
For me that was Liverpool’s strongest back four, otherwise I can’t think of a great right-back or left-back. I think using Carragher at left-back just to bring him in primarily then it also brings in Henchoz and Hyypia.
MIDFELD – Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso and John Barnes
With Mascherano and Alonso in midfield, it was the only time in my career that I thought ‘they’re really good here’. Gerrard was number 10 and Torres was up front, with Carragher and Hypia in the middle and with Reina in goal, I thought, ‘One or two more signings here and they’re going to win the league or they’re close.’
I’ve played against Barnes three or four times and played with him for England and although he was near the end when I played him in 1995/96 I think he’s a brilliant player purely on the basis of his ability and ability was. With him on the left it’s a good foursome in midfield.
STRINGS – Michael Owen and Fernando Torres
These two were lightning fast. Owen was electrifying in his early years and those two or three years at Liverpool he was devastating, especially on the left channel where I played and it was tough.
Torres was probably a world-class center forward for me. I didn’t play Luis Suarez otherwise I would have had him before Torres, but for two or three years at Liverpool Torres was outstanding and one of the best strikers in the world.
Owen and Torres were equal in that losing that pace Liverpool lost their main threat while other players are able to adapt. They weren’t great players technically but you wouldn’t want it against them in their prime as their pace was what kills you as a defender.
The team I picked is one I really don’t want to play against. The back four is solid, there is a midfield that can pass, run, cross and could supply the front two.
Carragher’s Man Utd #One2Eleven
(Speech in October 2016)
GOALKEEPER – Peter Schmeichel
I think he’s the best goalkeeper we’ve seen in the Premier League era, maybe one of the greatest of all time and certainly during my time against United so he goes in.
DEFENSE – Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra
I think the back four was as good as anything in Europe around 2007/08. Reaching a few Champions League finals on the go and certainly the centre-back partnership at the time – along with John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho who were outstanding – I think those two partnerships were the best ever.
I think a lot of what United did in that team with Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo up front was based on Edwin van Der Sar in goal and especially those two centre-backs and also the back four.
Evra may have been controversial when it comes to Dennis Irwin – Manchester United fans might go for him – but I think I played Evra a lot more and he was outstanding.
MIDFELD – Cristiano Ronaldo, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs
It’s probably one of the greatest midfielders you would see in any era. I think fourth midfield was with David Beckham if you go back when that team played, but with Ronaldo you can argue he’s one of the greatest players we’ve seen in the Premier League, certainly alongside Thierry Henry.
Roy Keane; Will United ever have a figure like that again? He’s a fantastic central midfielder. Scholes would pick you as your #1 or maybe the best player you’ve played with. And Giggs is one of the most successful players football will ever have.
FORWARDS – Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy
Van Nistelrooy hasn’t won a European Cup like some of United’s great centre-forwards, but his goal record has to be one of the best when it comes to goals per game. I wouldn’t say he gave you a massive problem in games, I don’t remember playing Van Nistelrooy and thinking that, but whenever you saw him play you just knew he was going to score .
It was either Rooney or Beckham, but I chose Rooney because I went there at his age, for the fee he did, to do what he did on his debut, to be there for so long to be considering what great players United have had.
You think of the players that Untied had, George Best, Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law, and as the top scorer of them he deserved his spot.