These stars ruled the competition during their time and are legends of the game.
The Premier League is often considered the world’s best in terms of competition and quality. While there are several other leagues that offer stark competition and rivalry, it is of little doubt that the Premier League comes on top. Many foreign players have made their way to the English top-flight, but only a few have left a legacy, a legendary impact that nobody might break in the years to come. Those that achieved it are revered as the greatest players to have graced the Premier League.
Here let’s take a look at the top 10 greatest players in the Premier League of all-time.
10. Patrick Vieira (Arsenal & Man City)
One of the best central defensive midfielders in the Premier League, the Frenchman is an Arsenal legend. He won a number of trophies with the Gunners and captained them between 2002-2005. Vieira also played a huge role in Arsenal’s invincible season (2003/04).
9. Gianfranco Zola (Chelsea)
Zola is in contention with the legendary Frank Lampard for Chelsea’s best-ever player. He had won two FA Cup titles with the Blues. One of the fastest wingers of his generation, Gianfranco had many tricks up in his sleeve which terrorised defenders. He was involved in 101 goals (59 goals, 42 assists) in 230 appearances in the Premier League.
8. Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
The iconic Dutchman scored many memorable goals throughout his career. Bergkamp is arguably one of the best players ever in terms of greatest goals scored in the Premier League. His extravagant goals and one particular goal against Newcastle United is still considered among the best. The Arsenal legend registered 181 goals and assists in 315 Premier League games. He also won three Premier League titles with the Gunners. His record of 94 assists is the fifth-highest in the Premier League.
7. Eric Cantona (Leeds & Manchester United)
Manchester United got the better of Leeds United after signing the Frenchman for just £1.6 million. The Frenchman entertained the Premier League with his goalscoring abilities and is a club legend for the Red Devils.
Cantona has had a cultural impact on the English game as well and is widely respected and reputed as one of the greatest ever players in the history of the Premier League.
6. Peter Schmeichel (Manchester United, Aston Villa & Man City)
Arguably the best team in the Premier League of all-time, Manchester United won 13 league titles under Sir Alex Ferguson and Schmeichel was one of the most crucial members of that side.
The former Denmark international won five Premier League titles with the Red Devils, along with three FA Cup and one UEFA Champions League trophy.
5. Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
Many people questioned Jose Mourinho’s choice to sign Didier Drogba in 2004 for £24 million. However, the Ivory Coast striker proved them all wrong in the years that followed. A standout performer, Drogba scored crucial goals and helped Chelsea to many trophies during his stint at Stamford Bridge. The Ivorian footballer registered a staggering 159 goal combinations (104 goals & 55 assists) in 254 appearances for the club.
Drogba is considered as one of the best big-game players. He has scored 10 goals in as many finals for the Blues. He also won four Premier League titles with Chelsea among other trophies.
4. Sergio Aguero (Man City)
The Argentine striker is one of the greatest ever players to have played for Cityzens and won five Premier League titles with them. Sergio Aguero scored 184 goals and recorded 47 assists across a decade at the club, during which he played 275 league matches. He was the most crucial member of the club’s first Premier League title win and scored the winning goal.
In one of the most iconic moments in the English top-flight of all-time, Aguero scored a last-minute winner against Queens Park Rangers to help Man City win their maiden Premier League title. He even overtook Thierry Henry’s record of most goals scored by a foreign player in the Premier League.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
To the surprise of many, When Manchester United faced Sporting CP in 2003, the Portuguese side beat the Red Devils 3-1. The star of the match was a talented youngster named Cristiano Ronaldo. Sir Alex Ferguson quickly took heed of this situation and signed him immediately. The rest, as they say is history.
Cristiano Ronaldo made a slow start to the Premier League, but made a good impression after displaying his dribbling abilities. Over a stint of six years between 2003-09, Ronaldo had won three consecutive Premier League titles. He also went on to score 31 goals in 34 games in the 2007-08 season and win the Ballon d’Or award, the first of five such awards. Ronaldo is also the highest goalscorer in the history of football.
2. Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
The talismanic Frenchman joined Arsenal in 1999. The Gunners sold him to Barcelona in 2007 and fast forward to 2012, he returned to the Emirates for a second stint. In 285 appearances in the English top-flight, Henry registered a staggering 175 goals and 74 assists.
Henry was not just a goalscorer, he was also an excellent dribbler of the ball and was arguably the most complete striker of his time. He had fantastic close control, which he combined with his thunderous pace to become a force to reckon with.
Henry won two Premier League titles and as many FA Cup trophies during his time with the London-based side. He was also a crucial part of Arsenal’s Invincibles side in 2004.
1. Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers & Newcastle United)
The highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League, Alan Shearer never played for a traditional ‘Big Six’ club in his club career. He scored 260 goals in 441 appearances, making him the highest scorer in the Premier League history.
Shearer plied his trade for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United before hanging up his boots in 2006. He won a Premier League title with Blackburn in the 1994-95 season and came third in the Ballon d’Or rankings in 1996. He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004.