Considered to have been the best ‘Regista’ on the planet since joining Real Madrid in 2009, a role which he practically created himself. Liverpool have never looked like a title winning side since he left and was replaced with Alberto Aquilani. With 100 Spanish caps to his name and the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas and Busquets all challenging for his place you can see why he has made the list.
With rumours of a return to Premier League, his former manager Jose Mourinho has publicly expressed his desire to bring him back if he was available, Xabi could still yet fulfil his quality by lifting the Premier League.
A few eyebrows may be raised by his inclusion in the list. But with a quick glance to his Wikipedia page will prove the point. Two runners up medals in the premier league, 150 goals in the premier league, scorer of the 10,000th goal, a PFA team of the year inclusion in 1996 as well as a League Cup medal in 1996.
The only goalkeeper on the list, he has spent nearly 20 years in the Premier League and has been one of the most consistent performers since its creation in 1992. He narrowly missed out on winning the league with Newcastle in 1995/96 and left Manchester City the season before Mancini lifted the trophy.
Gianfranco Zola was a fan favourite with the Chelsea fan, known for his skill and goalscoring prowess, he picked up the player of the year award twice when he was at Chelsea, as well as the football writers player of the year title in 1997. Cup Winners’ Cup, FA Cup and League Cup trophies were all part of Zola’s CV but the coveted Premier League medal eluded him.
Although Zola went on to win the Serie A with Napoli, many feel if he had been at Chelsea a few years later, the Premier league winners medal may well have sat around his neck.
Another Spaniard makes the list. Cesc Fabregas was in fact at Arsenal in the ‘Invincibles’ season but did not play enough Premier League games to receive the medal. The following 7 years he enjoyed the success of winning the World Cup and The Euros with the Golden Generation of Spanish players. He is considered one of Arsenal’s best players in the last two decades for his phenomenal passing accuracy as well as his talents to score goals. He picked up the PFA player of the year award in 2007 and was also in the team of the year twice.
In 2009/10 he scored 19 for the season, blighted by injury the season after he returned to his boyhood club of Barcelona in 2011, and has already won the Copa Del Rey and the La Liga title in 2012/13.
Ginola played for Aston Villa, Everton and Spurs, where he spent three years and won a League Cup. But he arguably came the closest to winning the League than anyone else in the list. In 1995/96 Newcastle led the way by 12 points at Christmas and were sure-fire favourites to go on and win the league, unfortunately by the end of the season they had been pipped by 5 points following an infamous pre match rant from Kevin Keegan at Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ginola was part of the PFA team of the year in 95/96 as well as 98/99. He also won the individual award in 98/99.
Matt Le Tissier
Well renowned for his fantastic strikes and portly figure, Matt Le Tissier became somewhat of a cult hero among football fans. His penalty record is still a talking point amongst many having scored 47 from 48 and his goal to games, 443 games and 161 goals, was fantastic for a midfielder. Unfortunately he will be remembered more for what he didn’t achieve than what he did – only making 8 appearances for England in his career.
Matt won the young player of the year, featured in the team of the year in 1994 and was also entered into the English hall of fame in 2013 along with the likes of Bobby Charlton and George Best.
Although only having 18 months at the top his game, Gareth Bale has established himself as one of the best players in the world and has already enjoyed a fine start at Real Madrid, linking up with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. He may not have actually ever got close to the Premier league title, the importance and quality of his 21 league goals in his final season for Tottenham is why he makes the list.
He will undoubtedly go on to win many trophies at Real Madrid and his individual honours at Tottenham are only surpassed by Steven Gerrard on the list. PFA team of the year three times, the player of the year twice as well as the young player of the year once.
Considered to be one of the best English centre backs to ever grace the Premier League. A consistent performer for Liverpool and ever present in the England set up for over a decade, unfortunately injury and more emphasis on Liverpool, he only managed 38 caps for England and retired from International duty twice.
He played 508 times for Liverpool and boasts an impressive trophy cabinet having won the FA cup twice, the League cup 3 times. The UEFA cup in 2001/02 and the famous Champions League win in Istanbul in 2004/05. Individual honours saw him win the PFA player of the year in 2006 and the Liverpool player of the year award twice.
No surprises that this man should be top of the list. Still considered one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League at the age of 33, England captain and the definition of a ‘One Club Man’. Gerrard has been described as one of the greatest English midfielders in history, a real leader, tireless runner and has superb vision. His striking from distance is feared around the world and he is a prolific scorer for a midfielder.
He is, to date, the only footballer ever to have scored a goal in an FA Cup Final, a League Cup Final, a UEFA Cup Final and a Champions League Final. In 2005, Gerrard was honoured as the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or Bronze Award. Additionally, he has been named to the PFA Team of the Year seven times, the UEFA Team of the Year and FIFA World XI three times, he was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2006 and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009.
There is no question that Steven Gerrard should have won the Premier League and that is why he stands at the top of the list.