Ranking all 19 of Liverpool Spanish players

The Rafa Benitez’s revolution brought about the first wave of Spanish players since the turn of the millennium. Some might not have created the Anfield legacy they had hoped for, but man, are they all good looking assh*es.

Here, we take a look at the 19 Spanish players who have made at least one appearance for the Reds since 2000 – and tell you who is the best (and worst), footballing-wise of course.

19. Sergi Canos

Image: Brentford FC

Sergi, who? Sergi Canos made a grand total of one appearance for the Reds, featuring in the final game of the 15/16 season against West Brom. It is fair to say that the young winger who graduated from La Masia haven’t quite hit the heights of the other graduates from Barcelona’s famed youth academy, and is now currently plying his trade at Brentford.

He had represented Norwich in the Championship too, although never quite securing a place in the team – mainly featuring in cup competitions. Injuries throughout his budding career meant that he was never ever going to break into Jurgen Klopp’s first team, and there was also a sense that he was perhaps not quite good enough.

18. Daniel Ayala

Image: Sky Sports

The player from Sevilla’s youth team signed for Liverpool in 2007 and went on to make five appearances for the Reds. The central defender was actually alright during the handful of appearances, often coming on due to sending offs or injuries; he was even offered an extended contract until the summer of 2012.

But his loan spell at Hull City proved to be the start of his Championship journey, as he spent most of his career in the second tier of English football. He is currently a mainstay and vice-captain at Middlesbrough, although he was also a part of their disastrous return to Premier League in the 16/17 season.

17. Antonio Nunez

Image: Liverpool Echo

This is a strange one.

The former Real Madrid man spent just one season at Liverpool, making 27 appearances and contributing with just a single goal. But the right midfielder somehow has a Champions League medal to show for (he was an unused substitute in Istanbul), and the quite extraordinary honour of being the only player to score his only goal for the team in a major cup final, when he netted during the League Cup final against Chelsea.

What did Carlos Queiroz (the man who was very much part of the Galacticos era) see in Nunez to promote him to Real Madrid’s first team surely remains one of football's least talked about mysteries.

16. Josemi

Image: The Anfield Wrap

Both Josemi and Nunez had a few things in common: they were both Rafa’s first few Spanish signings, both played predominantly on the right side and were both not very good players.

Josemi was brought into the club to challenge Steven Finnan for the right-back spot, but dismal performances saw the former Malaga man made just 35 appearances before moving to Villarreal CF – with Dutchman Jan Kromkamp part of a swap deal.

Just when you thought the nightmare has ended.

15. Javier Manquillo

Image: Liverpool Echo

The current Newcastle United man featured for the Reds during his largely forgettable loan spell which lasted slightly under a year. He had made just 10 Premier League appearances, with Glen Johnson the preferred right-back.

Manquillo is not quite the first name on the team sheet, but he has been a decent option for the Magpies and will look to continue his stay in the Premier League. It is also remarkable to note that he is only 26 this year, which means he can still prove to be a player capable of competing in the Premier League.

14. Daniel Pacheco

Image: Liverpool Echo

Daniel Pacheco signed for Liverpool from Barcelona in 2007, joining the Reds on the back of a burgeoning reputation. He was touted as one of football’s rising stars, having shone in Barcelona’s youth system.

His career somehow never quite kicked off, as El Asesino left Anfield for a loan spell at Norwich City, and never saw his career hit the heights it initially promised. With his amazing technique and flair, it is a shame to see the Spaniard fizzle out, having once had the world at his feet.

13. Luis Alberto

Image: Bleacher Report

Signed in 2013 as a talent for the future, Luis Alberto was a product of Sevilla who went on loan with Barcelona, plying his trade in the second tier of Spanish football. His ability to score goals and link up attacks were catching the attention of other clubs, eventually leading to the Anfield move that did not quite work out.

Alberto’s debut was a substitute appearance against Manchester United, which clearly showed the quality and faith the coaching staff saw in him. Another solid performance in the 5-0 demolition of Tottenham indicated signs of a real player. That slowly fizzled out, as he went on to make only 12 appearances for the Reds and went on loan to Malaga – with his training attitude reported as one of the problems.

Fast forward 2016, Alberto signed for Italian club S.S Lazio and has since been displaying the potential that Barcelona and Liverpool saw in him, becoming one of the key players of the club and Serie A.

12. Iago Aspas

Image: Empire of the Kop

Named in two consecutive UEFA La Liga Team of the Season (17/18 and 18/19), it is astounding how the current RC Celta de Vigo forward did not flourish in his Anfield spell. He represented the Reds only 15 times, netting a measly single goal during his unfortunate stay – which is unfortunately remembered up by THAT corner kick.

Aspas has surely put that behind him though, scoring a whopping 95 goals in 174 appearances for Celta since his return to the Spanish club. He is also part of the Spanish national team, looking to play a part in the upcoming European Championship.

Never let a single moment define you, kids.

11. Fernandez Suso

Image: Liverpool FC

Another young and promising Spanish whose time at Anfield failed to live up to his promise; Suso was one of many who had to leave Anfield for greener pastures to revitalize his career. The gifted attacking player clearly had something special in him, and had shown the Kop glimpse of it during his 21 appearances.

The left-footed Spaniard failed to establish himself in the team despite his obvious talent, with the eventual signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho making his task all the more impossible. It is nice to see Suso now performing at the level the Kop knew he was capable of with AC Milan in the Serie A, where perhaps the less physical league was always more suited to his style of play.

10. Fernando Morientes

Image: HITC

Signed as an elite striker with an excellent goal-scoring pedigree, the former Real Madrid man unfortunately failed to live up to his expectations. Signed in the January 2005 transfer window, he made 60 appearances in the red kit, scoring 12 goals in the process.

The Spaniard made his name in the Berbabeu – terrorizing defenders with his pace, creativity and tremendous ability to score goals with both his feet and head. Not quite the ultimate flop, Morientes’ spell at Anfield did see him lift the FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup despite his short stint at Anfield.

9. Pedro Chirivella

Image: TalkSPORT

Pedro Chirivella was signed from Barcelona in 2013, along with Sergi Canos. After loans spells at the Eredivise with Go Ahead Eagles (who named them?) and Willem ll, the Spanish midfielder returned to Anfield and has been featuring for the U-23s.

It is fair to say that he has not quite fulfilled his initial potential, but time is still on his side. The 23 year old recent showing in the FA Cup derby tie against Everton showed the Kop that he might still have a future on the red side of Merseyside, and have to consistently seize similar opportunities to prove to the gaffer he belongs at the highest level.

8. Alberto Moreno

Image: Premier League

Runner-up in the Champions League, League Cup and Europa League, and of course a Champions League medal – Moreno’s career at Anfield can hardly be described as a failure. His defending at times might have forced supporters to squirm as if he was starring in a Quentin Tarantino film, but his attitude and contribution bumped him up into the top 10 of this list.

Moreno’s initial performances were brilliant, with his amazing solo effort against Tottenham leading to fans thinking we had signed the next John Arne Riise. His defensive fragilities were soon exposed though and he was playing like a ticking time-bomb, with a mistake or two in him bound to occur.

Robertson came to the fore and the rest was history, but Moreno’s professionalism and attitude was truly commendable. He worked hard in training, never moaned, was a great character in the dressing room and was always prepared when called upon. Perhaps he might have just been one of the reasons why Robertson is playing at a level as he is today?

7. Jose Enrique

Image: Liverpool FC

One of the more underrated players in the league, Jose Enrique was a decent and consistent full-back, making 99 appearances at the Merseyside club. The former Newcastle United defender established himself at St James’ Park and was at the centre of attention of some of the top clubs, with Manchester City interested in the Spaniard’s services too.

Enrique was never one to set the league alight – he had average attacking abilities, above average defending qualities – but was always capable of producing at least a 6/10 performance. Injuries definitely hindered his progress too, but his longevity at the club should not be underestimated.

6. Albert Riera

Image: Liverpool FC

The Liverpool’s number 11 made his name at Espanyol, prompting Rafa Benitez to add to his tally of Spanish signings. Riera displayed some excellent performances on the left wing for the Reds, winning the admiration of the Kop in his two seasons at Anfield – filling up a Harry Kewell-sized hole.

Riera made 56 appearances and scored five goals, playing as a traditional left winger with his directness and excellent crossing abilities. But, just like many others, he had unfortunately shared a strained relationship with Rafa, which led to some unsavoury incidents and his eventual departure.

We would love to think he perhaps deserved a little more time at Melwood.

5. Adrian

Image: Liverpool FC

In a crazy first 6 months of his Anfield career, Adrian has already firmly established himself as a cult hero. The 33 year old Spaniard, signed as a deputy for Alisson, has already went through a hell of a journey that no one would have expected.

There were so many moments that even a seasoned pro like Adrian might struggle with – making an unexpected debut in under a week, winning the UEFA Super Cup while saving a penalty at it, getting tackled by a fan, making his Champions League debut and being part of the FIFA Club World Cup – but it is fair to say the free signing has handled it like a duck to water.

4. Pepe Reina

Image: Bleacher Report

Joining Adrian in the top five is another custodian between the sticks – this time a longer serving shot stopper who saw him go down as one of the club’s greatest goalkeepers of all time. Reina was a technically superb goalkeeper, possessing excellent positioning, shot-stopping and agility. He was also known for his penalty saving abilities and was one of the first few goalkeepers who were comfortable with the ball at his feet – as affirmed by the world’s best in Gianluigi Buffon.

Eight hugely successful seasons at Anfield saw the bald-headed goalkeeper broke numerous records, achieved key personal accolades – including a hat-trick of Premier League Golden Glove award – and lift the FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup.

Why did we let him go for Simon Mignolet again?

3. Luis Garcia

Image: Liverpool FC

“Luis Garcia, he drinks sangria… he came from Barca, to bring us joy!”

Liverpool’s beloved number 10 arrived from Barcelona in 2006 and went on to establish himself as a cult hero and club legend in just under three seasons. The diminutive Spaniard was a magician on the pitch, capable of conjuring up brilliant moments with a deft touch or an outrageous goal.

Garcia’s heroics on European nights further cemented his place in Anfield folklore, and who can forget some of the goals he have scored (or ahem, might not have scored)? He also went on to win the FA Cup, Champions League, Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup, netting 30 goals in 122 appearances for Liverpool; the former Barcelona man shared a special relationship with fans and will always be fondly remembered.

2. Xabi Alonso

Image: Independent UK

Quite easily one of the world’s best midfielders, Alonso came to Liverpool and showed the Premier League how exactly to play football. The former Real Sociedad man was not the quickest, but was always calm with the ball and had an air of elegance to his play, making him the perfect partner for the more dynamic Steven Gerrard.

The two combined to devastating effect, dominating the midfield battles with power and poise. The Spaniard has an innate understanding of the game too, always seemingly five steps ahead of his opponents.

Alonso went on to complete his illustrious career at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, winning major titles including the domestic titles along the way, all while being crowned European (twice) and World Champions with Spain.

Such was his influence on the game; he will definitely be regarded as one the Godfather of football for future generations.

1. Fernando Torres

Image: Liverpool FC

And lastly sitting at top spot and occupying the crown of best Spanish player to have played for Liverpool since the 2000 is none other than Fernando Torres.

Almost 10 years since he left Merseyside, Torres is still a divisive figure amongst the Liverpool fan-base today. That perhaps speaks of the worship and adoration fans had for him when the lad from sunny Spain came and took the league by storm.

Who can forget his first Anfield goal, where he introduced himself to the league and warned them what’s to come - combining pace, power and technique to perfection, putting Tal Ben Haim to bed and slotting past a Petr Cech at the peak of his powers?

Torres had truly some wonderful moments during his spell at Anfield. The baby-faced Spaniard was the reason why fans had paid to watch games, and what made football such a special sport.

Despite not having the fairy-tale ending we all wished for, Torres was undoubtedly the best (in the looks department too) Spanish player that played for Liverpool and the Kop was treated to some of the finest moments thanks to this lad from sunny Spain.

Who can forget Liverpool's number nine?

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