Former Manchester United midfielder Kleberson has said Liverpool star Alisson is a better goalkeeper than Brazil rival Ederson, who plays for Manchester City.
The two Brazilian glovesmen are among the best in the world, and they both ended 2018/19 with silverware as the Reds won the Champions League and City secured a second consecutive Premier League title.
Liverpool are going for Champions League No.6 when they face Tottenham in the final in Madrid on Saturday – a game you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT.
Jurgen Klopp’s men go into the showpiece match as slight favourites but will know they’re in for a hard game against a Spurs side that beat Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Ajax along the way.
Spurs are making their first appearance in the final of the competition but Liverpool are a lot more experienced in that racket with Saturday’s game being their ninth final in Europe’s premier club competition.
The last time Liverpool won the Champions League was in 2005 when they sensationally came back from 3-0 down to eventually win on penalties against a star-studded AC Milan side.
The miracle of Istanbul is made all the more brilliant when you see the starting line-up that Rafael Benitez fielded.
Liverpool’s team now certainly has a lot more quality with a number of world class players at Klopp’s disposal.
But this got us thinking at talkSPORT.com, who would make a combined XI from Liverpool’s 2005 team and their current squad?
Below you can see which players have made this ultimate Liverpool line-up.
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Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker
Jerzy Dudek had the game of his life in Istanbul which saw him make an incredible double save to deny Andriy Shevchenko in extra-time and also force Milan into missing three penalties in the shootout.
But Alisson is a world class keeper and is far more reliable than Dudek ever was at Liverpool.
The Brazilian is also much better on the ball than Dudek ever was.
Defence: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jamie Carragher, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson
Jamie Carragher is the only defender from the 2005 team that makes this combined XI. He was never the greatest on the ball but he would die for the shirt and made a number of crucial tackles throughout his career.
He played through the pain barrier in extra-time after getting cramp in the closing stages but was still able to keep Milan’s world class attack at bay.
Elsewhere, Trent Alexander-Arnold gets picked ahead of Steve Finnan at right-back, while Virgil van Dijk is a shoo-in for the other centre-back slot.
Andy Robertson is in at left-back ahead of Djimi Traore. It’s not even a debate.
Midfield: Fabinho, Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard
If there’s anywhere where Liverpool’s current team are arguably weak it’s in midfield.
Despite Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum’s sterling performances against Barcelona, there’s no room for them in this combined XI.
Fabinho and Xabi Alonso are a perfect duo in defensive midfield with the Brazilian breaking up the play of the opposition and the Spaniard spraying the ball expertly around the pitch.
Steven Gerrard, arguably Liverpool’s greatest ever player, played in central midfield in Istanbul but he was at his best when playing just off the striker so would occupy the attacking role in midfield.
Attack: Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane
And up front you have the Red Arrows – Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
The trio are one of the most dangerous front lines in world football so have to be in this combined XI.
The likes of Milan Baros, Luis Garcia and Djibril Cisse may have had good moments at Liverpool but they were nowhere near Salah, Firmino and Mane’s level.
Tune into talkSPORT for LIVE commentary of Liverpool vs Tottenham in the Champions League final – FULL DETAILS HERE
When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield as Brendan Rodgers’ successor in 2015, few could have predicted the impact the German would have.
With the Reds drifting further and further away from the Premier League elite, Klopp set about transforming his beleaguered new side into world-beaters.
As the enigmatic German forced his squad to salute the Kop after a 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion, critics and cynics sniggered in unison.
Chances are, those same sceptics are the ones lauding the former Borussia Dortmund boss for taking Liverpool to a second successive Champions League Final.
The red half of Merseyside will cram into the Wanda Metropolitano to watch their heroes attempt to bring home a sixth major European trophy against Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Much of Klopp’s success can be attributed to his excellent man management and tactical aptitude – creating an unstoppable force both home and away.
But it is his savvy approach to the transfer market which has propelled the Reds from barely making the Champions League last season, to pushing Manchester City all the way for the title this year.
The CIES football observatory is a research group based in Switzerland which specialises in technically analysing player performance and scientifically estimating the transfer values of players.
Aiming to calculate the value of players as correctly as possible, the research CIES undertake is regularly mandated by prestigious organisations such as (among others) FIFA, UEFA, City Football Group, Chelsea, Club Atlético Madrid and Benfica.
Plenty of Klopp’s signings are still at the club and form the backbone of his strongest XI. And, using the data provided by CIES, we can determine just how incredibly
For the purpose of this investigation, we have included Trent Alexander-Arnold. Although not technically a Klopp signing, the right-back has established himself in the squad under the German. Just take a look at how drastically the squad has increased in value.
The selected players from the above graphic arrived at Anfield for a combined total of £390.5million.
In today’s market, and in accordance with the calculations made by CIES, the total value of thee players now stands at €905million (£796.7million).
At an increase of almost 50% it is clear to see just how much Klopp has transformed Liverpool and how his signings have taken the Reds to unbelievable new heights.
The 2018/19 Champions League has been one of the best competitions in recent memory.
There has been incredible drama from start to finish and every neutral will be hoping for more of the same in the final on June 1, which is live on talkSPORT.
In the last round, we witnessed two of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history when Liverpool and Tottenham both defied the odds to progress to the final in Madrid.
But who has made the Champions League Team of the Season? talkSPORT.com has given its verdict.
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ALISSON BECKER has had a superb debut season following his arrival from Roma for £68m and without him the Reds certainly wouldn’t have made it to the final.
The Liverpool shot-stopper put in a string of fine saves against Barcelona, particularly in the second leg of the tie where he remarkably came out with a clean sheet.
However, his most important save of the competition came in Liverpool’s final group game against Napoli, where he incredibly denied Arkadiusz Milik from point blank range to keep his side in the competition.
The left-back spot was a toss-up between JORDI ALBA and Andy Robertson but ultimately the Spaniard’s stats have been phenomenal in the competition.
Alba has provided five assists in his 11 appearances – the joint highest this season – and no player has made more crosses into the box in the tournament this campaign.
VIRGIL VAN DIJK and MATTHIJS DE LIGT have both been outstanding defensively and have been instrumental for their teams with their leadership qualities.
Both defenders have popped up with goals at crucial stages of the competition, too.
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD takes the right-back slot with ease, having provided three assists in the competition and showing the presence of mind to play the ball to Divock Origi to finish from a corner to complete the dramatic comeback against Barcelona.
It’s amazing to think how far MOUSSA SISSOKO has come in the Lilywhite shirt.
He is now one of Mauricio Pochettino’s most important players and he changed the tie as soon as he came on against Ajax in the semi-final first leg.
He changed the game with his powerful surging runs as soon as he set foot on the pitch and he continued to cause trouble for the Dutch side in the second leg. Without Sissoko, Spurs would be nowhere near the final.
FRENKIE DE JONG takes the other spot in front of defence for his assured displays throughout the campaign.
The Dutch midfielder has the incredible ability to always play the right pass and keep play ticking over in midfield. Barcelona have a real dime in their ranks.
SADIO MANE has had another great season in the Champions League, chipping in with four goals in Liverpool’s run to the final.
The Senegalese international works tirelessly for his side and caused problems for Barcelona throughout the semi-final tie.
The Premier League Golden Glove winner has been revealed upon the completion of the 2018/19 season.
And the award is shared this season between Alisson and Ederson of Liverpool and Manchester City respectively, as they both kept clean sheets in their final matches to make it 21 for the season.
Ederson’s final day clean sheet ensured City stayed ahead of the Reds to claim the Premier League title, becoming the first team to retain the trophy since local rivals Manchester United in 2007/08 and 2008/09.
Ederson and Allison join Edwin van der Sar in keeping 21 clean sheets in a single Premier League season; the former Red Devils glovesman achieved the feat during the aforementioned 2008/09 campaign.
However, they fall three clean sheets short of the current league record, set by Petr Cech in 2004/05. He kept 24 as Chelsea won their first ever Premier League title, conceding just 15 goals in the process.
This is just the second occasion the Golden Glove award has been shared between two players, with Cech and Wojciech Szczesny, then of Arsenal, each keeping 16 clean sheets in 2013/14.
So Ederson and Alisson take the crown, but who joins them in this season’s clean sheet rankings?
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And Reds boss Jurgen Klopp feels his side have unfinished business in the competition given what happened in last year’s final, which also saw Mohamed Salah forced off with a shoulder injury in the first-half.
He said: “Last year we really felt we have to go back. We have to go back, we cannot let it stand like this, that’s not possible.
“Now we get another chance and we will go for that, of course.
“I’m not sure if it will happen again because it’s so special.”
Liverpool will play either Ajax or Tottenham in the Champions League final. Tune into talkSPORT this evening to hear full commentary of their semi-final second leg clash, live from Amsterdam!
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