Liverpool have one of the most storied histories of any club in the world. Liverpudlian's have had the beautiful game in the their blood since the day they were born on the banks of the Mersey river, and there is no doubt they are some of the greatest fans in the world.
In their time the Kopites that hail Anfield as their Mecca and the Cult of Bill Shankly as their religion have gotten to bear witness to some of the best players in history.
However, with those that are the best players there are still those that are more important in the long run, or have played bigger parts than some have ever noticed, given them credit for or even thought capable of what they managed to achieve.
The underrated, the underappreciated and the underdogs all have their place too. More times than not some of the players that become club legends started out as one of the three listed before.
My time has seen primarily players from the 1980s until today, and the majority of the players listed here all come from that time period as it is where I can draw the most knowledge and influence.
Many more Reds can be put into this category if you go back even further, but some of the most underrated players to wear Red have been in the past three decades.
There is probably only one other player in the current Reds squad that gets as much flak as Lucas Leiva has had to deal with.
He moved to the Reds from Gremio and a promising South American pedigree but had featured before mainly as an attacking midfielder.
The departure of Javier Mascherano finally saw him thrust into the spotlight as the main holding midfielder, and he began to turn good. Rafael Benitez's faith looked to finally be paying off.
Lucas was the Reds best player last season hands down, and it is hard to imagine him not in the center of the midfield protecting the back line.
Irish full-back Steve Finnan was sorely missed when he departed the banks of the Mersey in 2008. The right back position was filled by another underrated star to be mentioned later, but the five-year career or Finnan was one that saw him gradually phased out under Rafael Benitez.
He was an ever-present stalwart at the back in the last seasons that saw the Reds lift silverware, and many believe that he never should have been let go. However, after leaving Liverpool his career never recovered—his stints at both Espanyol and Portsmouth were underwhelming before he hung up his boots for good in 2010.
His career in Red saw him make 217 appearances, scoring a single goal amid excellent defence.
Steve Finnan's replacement was Arvaro Arbeloa. The Spanish full-back was never truly embraced by many of the Reds fans, but he showed he had great skills on more than one occasion.
His current run of form holding down a place at Real Madrid proves he has what it takes at another of the World's most historic clubs.
The arrival of Glen Johnson saw his career in England come to a swift end as he was sold back to Spain with Real Madrid in 2009 after making 98 appearances and scoring two goals at Liverpool.
The 35 million dollar man is still seen as a waste of money by many. But in the words of Kenny Dalglish he was signed for five years and not five months.
There is still plenty of time for Andy Carroll to prove good to the Kop. A goal in the Merseyside Derby will have seen the fans appeased to a short extent but he has to improve his overall form and fitness to truly shine.
His last six months at Newcastle United before he went down injured proved he has mountains of quality and if there is any manager that can pull that out of him it has to be Dalglish.
The most appearances Jermaine Pennant has made for any club is still the 81 he had for Liverpool between 2006-09.
Rafael Benitez brought him in for his crossing ability on the wings with his tall target Peter Crouch in the middle in mind.
However, the England international hopeful only played in a full season worth of fixtures in 2006-07 making 52 appearances for the club. The next season he only made 25 and the following season only four before being loaned out to Porstmouth.
The change of Benitez's tactics to include Fernando Torres had caused some of the changes, and the prominent use of Dirk Kuyt and then Albert Riera on the wings forced Pennant out as much as his personal dip in form.
Pennant has since returned to the EPL and has recently relinked with Crouch at Stoke City where he has experienced a great rehabilitation of his career.
Despite having been officially a Liverpool player from 1994-2007 if you include his time in the Reds youth system, Stephen Warnock only managed to earn 67 first team appearances for the Reds.
His time at Rovers and Villa have seen him develop into a solid left back, and he was thought a target for a Reds return in the summer before the signing of Jose Enrique.
Maxi Rodriguez joined Liverpool on a free transfer in the 2010 January window. He was brought in to challenge for a wide position with Albert Riera and Dirk Kuyt and made 17 appearances under Rafael Benitez in the last month of his reign.
There is no forgetting his wonder goal for Argentina but he had been believed to have been loosing his quality while at Atletico Madrid.
Under Roy Hodgson he made some appearances and scored an impressive hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers before fading away once again in the dyer six months of the short lived Hodgson era.
Under Kenny Dalglish it looked like he was working towards a summer transfer when everything suddenly changed with the Argentine finding his form in explosive fashion.
Out of nowhere Maxi scored seven goals and two hat-tricks in a two week period when the Reds faced Birmingham City, Newcastle United and Fulham in a row with hat tricks in the first and third games.
It was no doubt he was going to at least get to stay till January of 2012. Maxi impressed again during preseason and so far as been a Cup and substitute player making three appearances so far this season with a goal in the Carling Cup.
Dirk Kuyt is one of the most underrated yet extremely clutch players in the game, let alone the history of Liverpool.
The Dutchman never stops running, working and pushing to give his club 110% every time he is on the pitch. His overwhelming effort and drive to make a difference for the team can give him props even when he is having a bad game because he never hangs his head.
While he was signed as a striker he has proven his versatility as a wide player for season after season, and last year proved he could still get the job done up front leading the team in scoring with 14 total strikes.
So far he has made 246 appearances scoring 67 goals for the club and should continue to be a major contributor in the next few seasons.
Ranked No. 76 on the top 100 to rock the Kop, Ronny Rosenthal made 97 appearances for the Reds scoring 22 goals.
The majority of his time he was used to cover for an injured Ian Rush, but he was instrumental in the last League Title won by Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish in 1990 when he scored seven goals in the final eight games of the campaign.
However, he never rose back up to the top of his ability during the later years of his Reds career that he had shown in his early days.
Ronnie Whelan is without a doubt a living Liverpool legend. He made 493 appearances for the club scoring 73 goals from all over the midfield and was listed on the club roster from 1979-1994 winning 18 medals in his time.
However, he was a player that had a tendency to not be seen at the forefront of matches as his excellent positioning and awareness was missed at times.
In the replays of matches form the 1980's that I have seen Whelan has a knack for being in the right place at the right time if you are watching for him, but at times you miss how important he was to an individual game until you see it a second time and really watch.
South African born Craig Johnston made 271 career appearances for Liverpool scoring 40 goals. He was part of the Reds last truly dominant era during the 1980's.
He was a tireless runner and overall contributor to Liverpool in some of their greatest years but he was overshadowed by many start around him. Injury plagued his career at different times and he eventually left the Reds in 1988.
The majority of people can now remember him as the creator and designer of the Adidas Predator, which is worn by many current Liverpool stars including Steven Gerrard.
Perhaps his best quote endearing him to the fans was this:
"I'd never play for anyone else than Liverpool. The only other team I'd play for would be Liverpool reserves!"
He will always be regarded highly by not only the club but by the fans and community for the support he showed during and after the Heysel and Hillsborough disasters. His autobiography is dedicated to all of the victims of either tragedy.
Despite his youth and pint sized stature, Liverpool Academy graduate Jay Spearing proved he was a valuable deputy last season in the place of injured Steven Gerrard as he held down the midfield with Lucas Leiva and Raul Meireles with class and showed improvement in each match.
The arrival of Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing have seen him fall down the pecking order but he continues to wish to stay and fight for a place.
He is a permanent fixture so far in the Liverpool Carling Cup squad, and will most likely earn more time in the side if they secure European football at the end of this season.
So far he has 30 appearances with the first team and is yet to score his first goal, but he continues to improve and if there is an underdog in the squad that would be great to see win himself a spot it is Spearing.
Another midfielder to have been underrated by many is Vladimir Smicer. He left Liverpool shortly after their 2005 Champions League victory for France, but the Czech never truly rose to his full potential in Red.
He showed flashes of his caliber on many occasions but a lack of consistency and various nagging injuries caused many fans to be more frustrated than appreciative of his contributions.
In all he made 184 appearances for the club scoring 19 goals.
Stan "The Man" Collymore was the clubs record signing in 1995 when he joined for £8.5 million.
His first season with the club showed huge promise when he and Robbie Fowler combined to score 55 goals in his first season during which he scored the EPL goal of the first ten years with his winner against Newcastle United in 1996.
However, his time would be cut short thanks to the rise of Michael Owen.
Collymore in many ways could be considered more under appreciated than underrated as he scored 35 total goals in 81 appearances for the club before being sold to Aston Villa.
Alberto Aquilani brings so many questions to the table. There is no doubt that "El Principo" has talent and he showed that on more than one occasion. His sensational performance against Portsmouth in 2010 and his play this summer in preseason was immaculate.
The main problem for the Italian is that he has had to deal with all the wrong things at the wrong time.
He joined injured with the weight of becoming the next Xabi Alonso on his shoulders. He was never going to be that player as he is of a different mold but that is what many fans initially expected.
Again he joined the club injured with a lengthy recovery time which saw him struggle for fitness much of his first season under Rafael Benitez.
After pushing into a more prominent role before the end of the 2009-10 campaign Benitez left the club and Roy Hodgson took over almost immediately loaning the Italian back home to Juventus.
Once again this summer he had to deal with another managerial change and has again been shipped off. The sale of Raul Meireles could open up a spot for him next season as he is still on contract until 2014, but in all likely hood he will be sold to AC Milan.
I believe he could have played a major role for us and been successful under Benitez, but Hodgson did not know how to use him so rather than learn he shipped him off. Kenny Dalglish understands his talent but knows he has been frustrated for more than a year straight and has been poorly managed and needs to turn over a new leaf and start over.
In the long run it is a toss up likely ending in a permanent stay at Milan. Whatever happens to him it is unfortunate to have seen a quality player get such a raw deal all the way around.
Steve Nicol is perhaps the most versatile defender to have ever played for Liverpool. He was brilliant on both sides of the ball and was a key part of the clubs great 1980's decade.
He was the 1988-89 FWA Player of the Year during which time he played in six different positions throughout the season.
Despite his time in the limelight he slips under the radar at times being underrated as such a great all around player that was signed as a right back but started his career as the Reds right midfielder..
He made 468 career appearances for the club scoring 46 goals between playing all over the pitch. His positional changing also may contributed to him being underrated as he was never truly set in one place all of the time.
John Scales joined the club as part of a defensive overhaul in 1994. His first season proved him to be a great addition but it would be all of his best days in a single year.
The following season a severe dip in form led him to be labeled a fluke, and then an injury laden third season saw him only make seven appearances before being sold to Tottenham.
Scales was an excellent talent but his lack of consistency and his body let him down.
People always seem to dog Jamie Carragher in the media as being less quality than he has proved to be for so many seasons.
He debuted in 1998 against Aston Villa scoring one of his only five total goals for club on that day.
A hero of the 2005 Miracle in Istanbul, Carragher is the ultimate professional and Liverpool player and proves that though his constant place in the Reds first team.
The Vice-Captain continues to put in match after match as he raises his already legendary appearance total of 676 each showing.
Carragher is without a doubt top quality, but his aging body has led people to criticize and undervalue him season after season for the past several years.
Reds midfielder Dietmar Hamann played with the club from 1999 until 2006 when Rafael Benitez told him his time had come to an end.
He made 283 appearances for Liverpool scoring 11 goals and played a holding midfield position which has been a rather under appreciated and underrated role in the eyes of many over the last decade.
Didi's primary successor in Lucas Leiva currently has had to face much of the same criticism but the side would not be the same without him in it.
One of the highest quality players to be underrated in a Red kit has to have been Luis Garcia. The Spanish attacker could play either wing or through the middle as an attacking midfielder or striker.
His versatility proved to be excellent during his 121 appearances and 30 goal career was highlighted with some of the best goals in the Reds history. The ones scored against Juventus and Chelsea on the road to Istanbul will never leave the back of my mind.
A bright career came crashing down thanks to a terrible injury suffered against Arsenal in the 2007 FA Cup final during the Reds worst final defeat in history as they fell 6-3.
The following summer he returned to Spain with Atletico Madrid as the Reds were bringing Fernando Torres in the opposite direction.
Liverpool have definitely seen some players come good in their time, and others that managed much more than was thought possible of them.
I look forward to finding more players in the future to prove many of us fans wrong about their ability.
There is nothing better than seeing a player become a legend when all along we unfortunately gave them no chance in hades.