Kenny Dalglish leads top five iconic Liverpool European Cup legends

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  • Kenny Dalglish scores the winner in the 1978 final at Wembley.

    Two of European football’s heavyweights face-off in Kiev on Saturday night in the Champions League final.

    Liverpool have no shortage of history in the competition, having triumphed on five occasions in the past and finished runners-up on two other instances. Meanwhile, Real Madrid are the overall competition leaders with 13 titles wins to their name.

    But here, we shine the spotlight on the Merseysiders.

    Check out our top five Kop European legends.


    He may have played at full-back but Liverpool’s ‘Zico’ won four European Cups for the Merseysiders – and scored in two finals.

    In 1977, the year of the Reds’ first triumph in European football’s premier competition, he got scored Liverpool’s third from the penalty spot to seal the famous 3-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.

    Having also starred in final successes in 1978 and 1981, the England defender took advantage of a clearance to open the scoring in the 1984 final against Roma. The match eventually went to extra-time, and penalties, in which Neal netted Liverpool’s second spot-kick in what ended up being a 4-2 shootout triumph in Rome.

    He was part of the side a year later that lost to Juventus at Heysel Stadium, in a match remembered for the disaster where 39 people lost their lives due to a collapsing wall at the stadium.

    11th May 1978: The players of Liverpool Football Club carry the trophy on a lap of honour after their 1-0 victory over FC Bruges in the European Cup final at Wembley Stadium. From left to right are Jimmy Case, Phil Neal, Ray Clemence, Ray Kennedy, David Fairclough, Emlyn Hughes, Joey Jones, and the goal scorer, Kenny Dalglish. (Photo by David Ashdown/Keystone/Getty Images)

    Liverpool complete their lap of honour after beating FC Brugge in the 1978 final.


    Widely regarded as the club’s greatest-ever player, the iconic Scot was Liverpool’s star turn in a glorious period of dominance which saw three triumphs in quick succession: 78, 81 and 84.

    The former Celtic hero collected a pass from Graeme Souness and scored a deft finish in the 64th minute against Club Brugge at Wembley in the ’78 final. That was enough to secure a 1-0 win for Bob Paisley’s side.

    He also played a key role in Liverpool’s attack in each of his two other European Cup wins – though Real Madrid man-marked the half-fit Kop idol out of the game in the 1981 final in Paris.

    Dalgish couldn’t find the net in the 1-0 defeat to Juventus in 1981, despite the fact the Merseysiders enjoyed plenty of territorial possession.

    27 May 1981: Kenny Dalglish of Liverpool celebrates with the trophy after beating Real Madrid in the European Cup final in Paris. Liverpool won the match 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

    Victory over Los Blancos: A buoyant Dalgish.


    Come Saturday night, a member of Jurgen Klopp’s side may know what it feels like to score the winner against Real Madrid in a European Cup final.

    For now, that honour rests with the cultured left-back, whose late run and finish in the 82th minute downed Los Blancos all those years ago.

    It was Liverpool’s third Cup win and also a hat-trick of titles for Paisley.

    Kennedy’s Liverpool career was distinguished but this was his crowning joy.

    27 May 1981: Alan Kennedy of Liverpool who scored the only goal of the match kisses the trophy after the European Cup final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris. Liverpool won the match 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

    The match-winner in 1981: Alan Kennedy.


    The iconic boss, along with Carlo Ancelotti, are the only managers to have won the European Cup three times – though Zinedine Zidane could etch his name into that exclusive club in Kiev.

    Following on from the legend that was Bill Shankley, of whom he previously worked under as assistant manager, Paisley went on to average at least two trophies per season as Reds boss during a golden period between 1974 and 1983.

    Having played over 250 times for the club as a player, Paisley did everything at Anfield and also worked as a reserve team coach and physiotherapist. To add to his three chief European crowns, he also won the UEFA Cup in 1976 and six league championships.

    Sadly, he passed away aged 77 in 1996 but is still revered as one of Liverpool’s greatest-ever and banners salute his achievements every matchday in the Kop.

    27th May 1977: Liverpool football club manager, Bob Paisley embraces player Ian Callaghan after the final of the European Cup in which Liverpool beat Borussia Monchengladbach by 3 goals to 1 in Rome. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

    Bob Paisley embraces with Ian Callaghan following victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.


    Perhaps the only man to be mentioned in the same breath as Dalglish in terms of ability, and could lay claim to being the top Kop star of all time.

    The astonishing 2005 Istanbul triumph was the pinnacle of his glittering Liverpool career. A world-class midfielder, Gerrard lived up to his reputation in the final and almost single-handedly helped Rafa Benitez’s men turn around a 3-0 half-time deficit against AC Milan.

    The Englishman headed in Liverpool’s first and drove the team back to 3-3, before extra-time and penalties did the rest. The rest, indeed, is history.

    Two years later, he captained the Liverpool side that lost out to the Rossoneri, but that could not overshadow what happened in Turkey.

    ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 25: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard lifts the European Cup after Liverpool won the European Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan on May 25, 2005 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)

    Captain Marvel: Steven Gerrard.