Here is our definitive list of the 10 best Premier League players of all time.
The English Premier League is widely considered one of the most competitive and entertaining football leagues in the world. Over the years, it has been graced by some of the greatest players to have ever played the sport. From world-class forwards to tenacious defenders and everything in between, the Premier League has seen some truly remarkable talents grace the field. In this article, we will take a look at the best Premier League players of all time, taking into account their impact on the league and their overall career achievements. Get ready to relive some of the most memorable moments from the Premier League’s rich history.
Trophies, statistics and general talent have all been considered for our criteria – and we know you’ll probably have your own list, so don’t get too annoyed with ours!
12. Dennis Bergkamp
A technically gifted forward with excellent vision and dribbling ability, Bergkamp played for Arsenal for 11 years and was a key player in their “Invincibles” team of the 2003-04 season.
11. John Terry
We’ve had two creative influences so far on our list so we’re showing a centre-back some love now, with John Terry coming in at No. 7.
The Chelsea legend was probably the best centre-half in the world at his peak, with Terry being named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2005.
Terry made 492 Premier League appearances for Chelsea – as well as collecting 78 England caps – and he won five titles at Stamford Bridge.
He was a no-messing defender who would put his body on the line for club and country. However, he also had the ability to play inch-perfect cross-field passes with both feet as well as being an attacking threat, with Terry scoring 41 Premier League goals.
10. Didier Drogba
A powerful forward who made a huge impact at Chelsea, helping them to win four Premier League titles and the Champions League.
9. Frank Lampard
A midfield maestro who is Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer and a key player in their most successful period. From one Chelsea hero to another, Frank Lampard comes up next on our list.
Lampard is probably the best goalscoring midfielder of his generation, with the former West Ham, Chelsea and Manchester City man netting 177 Premier League goals.
He’s Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer – as well as winning three titles there – and his double figures goal haul in 10 consecutive seasons remains unmatched.
Lampard is No. 6 on the Premier League all-time scorer list, with everyone else in the top 10 being centre-forwards. If his goal threat isn’t enough for you, he also ended up with 102 assists by the time he retired in 2016.
8. Eric Cantona
A mercurial forward who played a key role in Manchester United’s dominance of the league in the 1990s. Eric Cantona arguably deserves to be higher on our list of best Premier League players of all time, however he comes in at No. 10.
The Frenchman was the key to Manchester United’s dominance in the 1990s after joining from Leeds ahead of the first Premier League season in 1992/93.
Cantona’s arrogance and flair coupled with his incredible skill and ability made him a must-watch for any football fan. He guided United to four Premier League titles in five seasons at Old Trafford.
7. Paul Scholes
Next up is another United icon in Paul Scholes. This spot could have been handed to his former teammate Roy Keane but we’ve settled on Scholes.
Scholes, who won 11 Premier League titles, made United’s midfield tick and he dictated almost every game he played during his illustrious caree
His range of passing was arguably the best we’ve ever seen in the Premier League and he was regarded as one of the best players in the world by his peers.
Scholes was also a goal threat and his volley at Aston Villa in 2006 will go down as one of the best strikes in Premier League history.
6. Steven Gerrard
Unfortunately for England fans, Lampard and Steven Gerrard couldn’t co-exist for the Three Lions, however they’re next to each other on our list.
Gerrard was Liverpool’s main man since he broke into the first team after coming through the Reds’ academy on Merseyside.
He was the complete box-to-box midfielder and his driving runs, tenacious tackles and incredible finishing (from long and short range) guided Liverpool to the Champions League in 2005.
While Gerrard didn’t win the Premier League, he won nine major honours with his beloved Liverpool and he ended up with 120 goals and 92 assists for the Reds.
5. Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs has to be on a best Premier League players of all time list, simply because of his longevity and trophy haul.
The Welshman made 632 Premier League appearances for United from 1992-2014, with only Gareth Barry playing more games. Giggs also scored 109 times and he has the most assists in Premier League history with 162.
He also won a record 13 Premier League titles as well as winning the Champions League twice, the FA Cup four times and the League Cup three times.
Giggs, who was a tricky winger with an eye for a pass as well as being a goal threat, was named in the PFA Team of the Year six times.
4. Wayne Rooney
We were told to remember the name Wayne Rooney when he broke onto the scene at Everton after his wonder strike against Arsenal at Goodison Park in 2002. Rooney was just 16 years and 360 days old when he netted that day – and he lived up to the hype.
He is one of the most complete forwards we’ve ever seen in the Premier League, with Rooney scoring 208 goals, putting him second on the all-time list and assisting 103 times.
While he was an incredible goalscoring talent who had a superb range of passing, Rooney also took pride in his defensive work and his aggression and competitiveness made him a fan favourite.
Rooney won five Premier League titles at United as well as lifting the Champions League trophy in 2008. He was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2010 after winning the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.
3. Alan Shearer
The Premier League’s all-time leading scorer, Shearer was a clinical finisher who enjoyed a successful career with Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United. We’re into our top three now and in third place is the Premier League all-time top scorer Alan Shearer.
Shearer, who scored 260 Premier League goals, won the title early on in his career at Blackburn before joining Newcastle in 1996.
Shearer won three Premier League Golden Boots and scored some incredible goals during his remarkable career. He did tap-ins and headers but he also had numerous long-range screamers, with both feet, to get St James’s Park rocking.
He had brilliant hold-up play and he was brave in every aspect of his game. Shearer is one of the best strikers we’ve ever seen.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Shearer could easily have been second on our list but we’re siding with Cristiano Ronaldo, who is widely regarded as one of the best players of all time.
While it seems Lionel Messi has pulled away in the debate of the greatest of all time following his World Cup triumph with Argentina, Ronaldo’s achievements are undeniable.
Ronaldo, who has scored over 800 goals in his career, won the Champions League four times at Real Madrid plus another 28 major trophies during his time at United, Real and Juventus. He’s also won five Ballon d’Or awards and he was the driving force behind Portugal’s Euro 2016 success.
He dominated in the Premier League and he turned from a tricky winger in his early years to a complete attacker who could play anywhere up top.
Ronaldo can score every type of goal and he’s also got the physicality to match any opponent. He just misses out on the No. 1 spot but he’s right up there with the best to ever play the game.
1. Thierry Henry
A prolific scorer and one of the most technically gifted players to have ever played in the Premier League.
We’re here, we’ve made it to the No. 1 spot, and it felt wrong to have anyone but Thierry Henry at the top of the list. The Frenchman was not only a sensational player, he did everything on the pitch with elegance and pure class.
Henry, who finished with 175 Premier League goals, moved from a winger to a centre-forward under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and he scored 20-plus league goals for five consecutive seasons, while also picking up four Golden Boots.
He was also selfless enough to set up his teammates, despite him having the ability to always go on his own, and he registered a record 20 assists in the 2002-03 season, while ending up with 74 in total.
Henry had blistering pace and sensational touch but he also possessed the calmness and awareness to score brilliant goals, whether it was in the six-yard box or from outside the area (see his stunner against United in 2000 at Highbury).
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has said Henry “affected him mentally on a pitch” and his mentality was to not get embarrassed by the Frenchman.
Henry was simply one of a kind and he’s our No. 1, the best Premier League player of all time.
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