Xabi Alonso has hailed Liverpool’s team in the 2008/09 season as “the best I’ve played in”.
Alonso spent five years at Anfield after joining the club in 2004, helping them win a Champions League and an FA Cup during his time there.
The Spanish midfielder left for Real Madrid in a £30million deal in 2009, before going on to join Bayern Munich in 2014.
The 34-year-old has won a further Champions League since leaving Liverpool, as well as eight other titles during his time in Spain and Germany.
But, in an interview with The Guardian, Alonso has praised the Liverpool side which finished second in the 2008/09 Premier League as the best he has played in.
Managed by Rafael Benitez, the Reds lost just twice all season, but finished four points behind Manchester United.
“To win the league you need to have everything,” he said. “These were my happiest times at Liverpool: Pepe [Reina] to [Daniel] Agger, Agger to me, me to Stevie and Stevie to [Fernando] Torres. Sometimes it would take less than 10 seconds. The spine in that team was the best I’ve played in.
“You also have Carra and [Javier] Mascherano in the side – top-class players. There was skill, steel and speed; it was very competitive, very intense. Very, very determined and committed.
“This side did not win anything together but we felt we could win everything.
“We had a few stupid draws at home and in the end that’s why we did not win the league. We always had that feeling, that belief and confidence.
“Nobody scared us. We went to the Bernabéu and won. We went to Old Trafford and won. We went to Stamford Bridge and won: big games, big occasions that define seasons.
“It frustrates me so, so much. In 2005, we won the Champions League with a not-so-good team. In 2007, we lost the Champions League final with a better team and a more convincing performance. In 2009, we played the best football and lost the least amount of games but still did not win the league. That is the beauty of football, I guess. It is not a straight line.”