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Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC is a professional football club from Liverpool in North West England.

It competes in the Premier League, the highest league in England. Liverpool has a huge support base over the globe with over 200 official fan-clubs in 50 countries. Forbes ranks it as the 5th most-valuable football club with an estimated worth of $4.1 billion.

Among the most successful and prestigious clubs in Europe, Liverpool has domestically won 19 top-division titles, 8 FA Cups, 9 League Cups and 15 FA Community Shields. On the international stage Liverpool has claimed 6 European Cups, 3 UEFA Cups as well as 4 UEFA Super Cups. It has also picked up a FIFA Club World Cup title.

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Identity

Liverpool can be easily recognized by its all-red playing strip and hence the team is also known as The Reds. The club crest features a shield featuring a liver bird, the symbol of the city, with an image of the iconic Shankly Gates above it. The twin-flames on the side are a reference to the Hillsborough Memorial.

Since its inception Anfield has been the home-ground for Liverpool, which is renowned for its unique atmosphere. Each game precedes with a rendition of its anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, which has now been adopted by various clubs. The stadium has a capacity of 53,394 but is set to rise further in the near future.

The supporters of Liverpool have been involved in two major tragedies. The Heysel Stadium disaster of 1985 resulted in 39 fatalities and handed the English clubs a 5-year ban from Europe. The Hillsborough disaster of 1989 claimed the lives of 97 Liverpool supporters and marked the end of standing terraces in the major English stadiums.

Liverpool competes with Everton in Merseyside derby and has been its longest rival due to the entwined history of the two clubs. There is no fan segregation during these games and is therefore termed the friendly derby. Nevertheless, this fixture has produced the most red-cards in the Premier League.

Historically, Manchester United is the biggest rival for Liverpool, which stems from the competition between the cities since the 19th century Industrial Revolution. Being the two most successful clubs of England, it ranks amongst the biggest football rivalries in Europe and is regarded as the biggest match in the country.

History

The roots of Liverpool FC are embedded with Anfield which has served as the home-ground for Everton since its opening in 1884. A dispute arose between the Everton committee and John Houlding, owner of the land at Anfield. Eventually, Everton left for Goodison Park and the latter set up a new club for the vacant stadium on 3rd June 1892.

Originally named Everton FC and Athletic Grounds Ltd, it was officially recognised as Liverpool FC by the FA three months later. It started in the Lancashire League and won the division on goal-difference over Blackpool in its debut campaign. In 1893, the club was elected into the Football League.

The Early Decades

Liverpool began 1893/94 in the Football League Second Division and picked up the title in its very first outing. This set it up for a one-off Test match against Newton Heath from the First Division. The Reds won the game 2-0 at Ewood Park to earn its first promotion to the top-flight.

In 1894/95, Liverpool began its maiden journey in the First Division but ended the season at the bottom of the table in 16th position. It then lost the Test match 0-1 to Bury and was relegated to the 2nd tier. But the club swiftly bounced back by winning the Second Division title in 1895/96.

Upon its return to the First Division, Liverpool finished 1896/97 in 5th position. Two years later in 1898/99 it ended as runners-up behind Aston Villa. A couple more years further ahead, Liverpool claimed its first major silverware by winning the First Division title in 1900/01.

However, the Reds were relegated just a few years later after ending 1903/04 in 17th position. Liverpool returned to the Second Division in 1904/05 and won the title for a 3rd time to earn promotion back to the top-flight. It then went on to become First Division champions in 1905/06.

After winning its 2nd top-division title, Liverpool dropped down into the mid-table before ending 1909/10 as the runners-up to Aston Villa. However, it was not able to maintain its momentum and finished in the lower-half of the standings until the advent of World War I when the Football League was suspended for 4 years.

During this time, Liverpool managed to reach its first FA Cup final in 1913/14 when it lost 1-0 to Burnley. When the war was over and football activities resumed, the Reds came out a much stronger side in comparison and finished the 1919/20 and 1920/21 campaigns in 4th position.

In 1921/22, Liverpool went on to win the First Division title for the 3rd time with a 6-point advantage over its nearest challengers Tottenham Hotspur. The Reds successfully defended the title in 1922/23 with Sunderland ending as the runners-up this time by the same margin.

But Liverpool fell back in the following years and would have to wait a long while before seeing any more trophies. Its best performances during this time were a couple of 4th place finishes in 1924/25 and 1928/29. In the 1930’s, it mostly remained in the bottom-half of the division until the start of World War II.

The Post-War Era

The war had halted the Football League for 7 years. When it resumed in the 1946/47 season and most clubs were still recuperating from the aftermath, Liverpool went on to win the First Division title for the 5th time. It also reached the FA Cup final in 1949/50 where it lost out 2-0 to Arsenal.

However, it quickly slipped downwards into the mid-table over the next few years. In 1953/54, Liverpool finished at the bottom of the league-table in 22nd position and was relegated to the for the third time. But unlike the previous occasions, the Reds could not earn an instant promotion.

Liverpool remained in the Second Division when Bill Shankly was appointed as the new manager in December 1959. He started rebuilding the side with his assistants Joe Fagan, Reuben Bennett and Bob Paisley. The Reds were promoted back to the top-flight after winning the Second Division in 1961/62.

Upon returning to the First Division, Liverpool ended the 1962/63 campaign in 8th position. Liverpool improved further in 1963/64 and finished ahead of its two biggest rivals Manchester United and Everton to win the league-title which ended a 17-year drought for a major trophy.

In 1965/66, Liverpool featured in its maiden campaign at the European Cup where it was knocked out in the semi-final stage by Italian side Internazionale. Despite finishing the league in 7th place, The Reds ended the season by clinching its first FA Cup with a 2-1 extra-time victory over Leeds United.

Liverpool went on to reclaim the First Division title in 1966/67. But it was not able to add any more trophies in the next 6 years. In 1972/73, Bill Shankly led the Reds to the league title once again before retiring at the end of the season. The club also secured its maiden UEFA Cup with a 3-2 aggregate-win over Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The Golden Age

Bob Paisley became the manager of Liverpool in 1973/74 and the Reds won its 2nd FA Cup by beating Newcastle United 3-0 in the final. After finishing as runners-up in the First Division for the next two seasons, Liverpool took the title in 1975/76 before defeating Club Brugge 4-3 on aggregate to win the UEFA Cup.

The Reds defended its league-title in 1976/77 to be crowned First Divisions champions for the 10th time. Liverpool then registered its maiden European Cup triumph with a 3-1 victory over Borussia M’gladbach in the final. Just a few days earlier, it had lost the FA Cup final to Manchester Utd which prevented a glorious treble.

Liverpool started the 1977/78 campaign by beating Hamburg 7-1 on aggregate to win the UEFA Super Cup for the first time. But despite a fine showing, it lost the league title to Nottingham Forest. Stil, it was able to retain the European Cup by edging past Club Brugge 1-0 in the final at Wembley.

In 1978/79, Liverpool won the First Division title once again and retained the crown in 1979/80. It dropped out from the top-4 in 1980/81 but managed to win its first League Cup with a 2-1 win in the final over West Ham United. The Reds later ended the season by taking home its 3rd European Cup after beating Real Madrid CF 1-0 in the final.

Liverpool became First Division champions in 1981/82 and completed another double having already defended its League Cup title. It won its 3rd consecutive League Cup in 1982/83 before retaining the league-title as well. However, Bob Paisley had announced his retirement at the end of the season.

His assistant Joe Fagan was promoted to take over the role and Liverpool enjoyed its most successful season in 1983/84. The Reds won the League Cup for the 4th year in a row before completing a hat-trick of First Division titles. It capped off the campaign by beating AS Roma in the European Cup final to lift the trophy for the 4th time.

Liverpool lost the First Division to arch-rivals Everton in the following season after Joe Fagan had announced his retirement. Club-captain Kenny Dalglish took over as player-manager and reclaimed the league-crown in 1985/86. The Reds also clinched their 3rd FA Cup by edging Everton 3-1 in the final.

Everton snatched away the league-title again in the subsequent campaign but Liverpool was able to win it back in 1987/88. The Reds dramatically lost the league to Arsenal in 1988/89 after conceding a stoppage-time goal on the last day. The Reds then recovered by beating Everton 3-2 after extra-time in the final of the FA Cup.

In 1989/90, Liverpool reclaimed the league-title which pulled the curtains on a glorious decade in the history of the club. Kenny Dalglish left the club midway through 1990/91 and Greame Souness was later named as his replacement. He led the club to its 5th FA Cup in 1991/92 courtesy of a 2-0 victory against Sunderland in the final.

The Contemporary Period

For the 1992/93 campaign, Liverpool FC became one of the founding members of the Premier League but could only manage 6th place in the inaugural season. Liverpool won the League Cup in 1994/95 with a 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers in the final which turned out to be it’s only trophy until the end of the 1990’s.

Fading Glory

Liverpool entered the 20th century without any silverware for 5 years until winning 3 trophies in 2000/01 under manager Gérard Houllier. It first picked up the League Cup by defeating Birmingham City in the final before beating Arsenal to win the FA Cup. A few days later it beat Deportivo Alaves and lifted the UEFA Cup for the 3rd time.

In 2001/02, Liverpool finished as runners-up of the Premier League for the first time although it could not really challenge for the title. It was not unable to make any further progress in the following years either and Houllier was dismissed from his post at the end of the season.

Rafael Benitez came in as the replacement at the start of 2004/05 and Liverpool somehow reached the final of the UEFA Champions League with a fairly mediocre squad. The Reds fell 3 goals behind AC Milan at half-time but levelled the match at 3-3 before winning the penalty shoot-out to script a fairy-tale victory.

The squad was strengthened further in the next couple of years and Liverpool went on to win the FA Cup in 2005/06 by beating West Ham United in the final via a penalty-shootout. Liverpool reached the final of the UEFA Champions League again in 2006/07 but this time it was beaten 2-0 by AC Milan.

In 2008/09, Liverpool went toe-to-toe with Manchester United for the Premier League title before finishing as the runners-up. However, the Reds dropped out of the top-6 at the end of 2009/10 and Benitez vacated his position as the manager after falling out with the new ownership.

His successor Roy Hodgson lasted just 6 months amidst massive fan protests and Kenny Dalglish returned to the club for his 2nd stint in charge. In 2011/12 Liverpool won the League Cup and also reached the final of the FA Cup. But Dalglish was dismissed after the Reds scrambled to finish in 8th spot in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers was named as the new manager at the start of 2012/13 which Liverpool finished in 7th position. Yet the Reds somehow turned into hot contenders for the Premier League in 2013/14 but ultimately surrendered the title to Manchester City with a dramatic collapse towards the end of the season.

Liverpool dropped out of the top-4 in the following campaign before making a sluggish start to 2015/16. Rodgers was relieved from his duties and replaced by Jüergen Klopp who could only salvage an 8th place finish. But the Reds did manage to reach the UEFA Europa League final where they were beaten 1-3 by Sevilla FC.

Recent Resurgence

In 2016/17, Liverpool finished the Premier League in 4th spot to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. It secured a top-4 finish again in 2018/19 before carving an unlikely route to the final of the UEFA Champions League where it suffered a heart-breaking 3-1 defeat against Real Madrid.

Liverpool continued to improve under Klopp and emerged as a leading contender for the Premier League in 2018/19 before losing out to Manchester City by a single point. The Reds returned to the final of the UEFA Champions League and won the trophy for the 6th time after a 2-0 victory against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds began the 2019/20 campaign by claiming the UEFA Super Cup with a penalty-shootout win over Chelsea before adding the FIFA Club World Cup. Liverpool then put on unstoppable form and despite the Covid-19 interruption was able to finally lift its 19th top-division title and its first in the Premier League era.

Despite the highs from the previous two seasons, Liverpool looked a lacklustre side in 2020/21 and ended the campaign without any silverware. The Reds had to actually produce a hot run of form towards the back-end of the season to finish in the top-4 and continue its run in the UEFA Champions League.

In 2021/22, Liverpool came extremely close to achieving an unprecedented quadruple. The Reds took the League Cup by defeating Chelsea in the final before winning the FA Cup against the same opponents. It lost the Premier League title to Manchester City by a single point and went down 0-1 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final.

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