Chelsea only has risen to prominence since the dawn of the 21st century, but who are the best Chelsea players of all time?
Founded in 1905 in west London,Chelsea Football Club
is one of the oldest and most prestigious English football clubs which is playing in theEnglish Premier League
The club has had many ups and downs throughout its history, and besides the periods of poorer performance, it has won many honors during its heyday and has hosted brilliant and talented players from different generations of football players.
In the following, we will briefly review the history of Chelsea. Then we will present a list of greatest Chelsea players of all time in our opinion, and share the personal and professional backgrounds of each of these best Chelsea players ever.
Related Article:Best Chelsea Defenders of all time
Before we get into the list of best Chelsea footballers of all time in our opinion, we will have a brief look at the history, foundation and honors of Chelsea Club.
Chelsea Football Club is an English football club founded in 1905 and currently competes in the English Premier League. The club is located in west London and was handed over to the Russian businessman, Roman Abramovich in 2003 for €140 million. Their home ground is Stamford Bridge.
From 1964 to 1965, members of the Chelsea football team usually wore light blue shirts and shorts and white socks, and despite several changes to the club logo, the lion has been the main symbol of the club in all of these logos since the 1950s. .
Chelsea is the fifth most stable English football teams and with an average of 4,403 spectators in the 2009-2010 English Premier League season, they are ranked sixth in terms of the number of spectators. This club is the sixth most valuable football club in the world with a value of 2.13 billion pounds, and with the income of more than 428 million Euros in the 2017-18 season, it is the eighth highest paid football club in the world.
Chelsea F.C is one of the most decorated and prestigious clubs in England. The club, which is based in North of London, was founded in 1905. However, they had not been as prominent as they are today, before the Roman Abramovic, The Russian business man, bought the club in 2003.
To clarify the point, from the total of 29 trophies that Chelsea has won over these 115 years, 18 titles have been achieved in the last 17 years, since the Russian Billionaire took over ad began to sign some of the biggest players in the world at each time, as well as appointing well-known coaches as the manager.
Chelsea, which is also known as the "The Blues", is the second most-title-winning club among the English Club since 2003, with onlyManchester United
standing above them.
They have claimed 6 Premier League titles, and 5 of them has been secured after 2003, 8 English FA Cups, 5 English League Cups, 4 English Super Cups, 2 Cup winners' cups in 1971 and 1998, 2 Europa Leagues, 1 UEFA Super Cup and 1 historic UEFA Champions League title in 2012 as their most notable award.
If Chelsea were to achieve all these great titles, they had to compete not only with the biggest clubs in the nation but also with the most high-status ones in the whole world, hence they bought many legendary players who played a vital role in writing the club's history, by either scoring, defending and protecting the goal.
These players' names remembered as the
best Chelsea players of all time
, has taken the club to the place they stand now as one of the most honorable clubs in the country. They will eternally remain in the fans' minds.
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The following is the list of the best Chelsea players in club history, including strikers and forwards as well as midfielders and defenders.
Full name: Eden Michael Hazard
Date of birth: 7 January 1991 (age 30
Place of birth: La Louvière, Belgium
Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in
Playing position(s): Winger, attacking midfielder
, born 7 January 1991, is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a winger or attacking midfielder for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Belgium national team. He is known for his creativity, speed, dribbling, and passing skills.
Eden Hazard is one of the
best footballers in the history of Chelsea
. The Belgian winger transferred to Chelsea from LOSC Lille, where had had been awarded the League 1 young player of the year trophy twice, and became the youngest player to have been named as the league 1 player of the year. These achievements persuaded Chelsea to sign this talent in 2012.
He stayed at Stamford Bridge for 7 years when he eventually moved out forReal Madrid
. He has made 352 appearances for the Blues and scored 110 goals and provided 92 assists. He helped the club secure 2 Premier League titles in 2015 and 2017, 1 English FA Cup, 1 English League Cup and 2 Europa Leagues during 7 years.
At the end of his second season at Chelsea he was awarded the PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) young player of the year. Furthermore, after winning the Premier League in 2015, Eden Hazard was named as both the FWA (Football writers' association) player of the year and the PFA Player of the year.
Later in 2018, he was included in the FIFA FIFPro World XI as a result of his astonishing performances for Chelsea and Belgian national team. In addition, Hazard has represented his country's national team 106 times since he made his debut in 2008, has scored 32 goals so far and currently captains the Red Devils of the Europe.
He was the captain of the Belgian team that placed 3
in 2018 World Cup and was awarded the silver ball as the second best player of the tournament. Hazard is renowned for his excellent dribbling skills and his astonishing pace, as well as his creativity and passing abilities which has stood him out from regular players.
Even though he has spent only 7 season with the blues, his performance proves him to be regarded as one of the best Chelsea players of all time.
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Full name: Michael Ballack
Place of birth: Görlitz, East Germany
Date of birth:
1976 (age 45
m (6 ft 2 in)
Michael Ballack, born 26 September 1976, is a German retired professional footballer. He is among the top goal scorers in the history of the German national team.
Ballack is widely regarded as one of the
best Chelsea players ever
, and one of the best German midfielders of all time. He left Bayern Munich in 2006, where he had claimed many domestic trophies, to join Chelsea.
He stayed at Stamford Bridge for 4 years and played in 167 games for the Blues, scored 25 goals and provided 24 assists. Ballack has won 3 English FA Cups, 2 English Super Cups, 1 English League Cup and 1 Premier league title which was achieved in his last season for the Blues.
Moreover, Ballack is considered as a successful player in international competitions, since he has made 98 appearances including 3 Euros and 2 World Cups, and he has also scored 42 goals for German National team, making him the 9th best top scorer of the national team.
Furthermore, Ballack has been named the German Player of the year 3 times in 2002, 2003 and 2005. Ballack was renowned for his physical strength, leadership abilities in the midfield and his versatility that enabled him to play in every position in midfield.
His outstanding ability in making long range passes and intelligence on the field distinguished him from his teammates on the pitch. Michael Ballack is in many people's opinion one of the best Chelsea players of all time whose performances will never be forgotten.
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Full name: Peter Leslie Osgood
Date of birth: 20 February 1947
Place of birth: Clewer, Berkshire, England
Date of death: 1 March 2006 (aged 59
Place of death: Slough, England
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m
Playing position(s): Striker
Peter Leslie Osgood (20 February 1947 – 1 March 2006) was an English footballer who was active during the 1960s and 1970s. He is best remembered for representing Chelsea andSouthampton
at club level.
Peter Osgood is regarded as one of
the best Chelsea footballers of all time
. "Ossie" has made 380 appearances for the Blues during the 60s and the 70s, and has scored 150 goals for them, which makes him the joint fourth-highest scorer in their history.
Sadly, the legend passed away in March 2006, and a statue was erected as a tribute to him outside of the Stamford Bridge in 2010, he is the only player to have a statue there. The legendary striker made his debut for the club when he was 17, and before that he had been a bricklayer in Windsor.
He had scored 30 goals in 20 matches for the Chelsea reserve team before making his debut for the senior team. Osgood played for Chelsea at two spells, one from 1964 to 1974, and the other from 1978 until 1980, and he scored in both of his debut matches.
The legendary striker won the English FA Cup in 1970, English League Cup in 1965 and the Cup winners' cup in 1971 with Chelsea. His ashes were laid to rest under the penalty spot in Stamford Bridge, which demonstrates how impressive he was, and is deservedly named as one of the best Chelsea players of all time.
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Full name: Kerry Michael Dixon
Date of birth: 24 July 1961 (age 60
Place of birth: uton, England
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m
Playing position(s): Striker
Kerry Michael Dixon, born 24 July 1961, is an English retired professional footballer who played as a forward.
Kerry Dixon is widely regarded as one of the
best Chelsea players of all time
, and one of the most talented English Strikers. Dixon played for Chelsea for 9 seasons from 1983 to 1982, and managed to become one of the most notable players in the history of the club.
He has scored 193 goals for the club, meaning he is the third all-time Chelsea top scorer, only 9 goals behind Bobby Tambling, who stands in the second place with 202 goals. Moreover, he is the 9th in the list of players with the most appearances for the club with 420 caps.
However, his only achievements with the club have been two championships in the second Division. He had an eye for goal with astounding ability in the air, as well as being a powerful player on the pitch. He had a remarkable impact on the club and played a pivotal role in taking the club back to the First Division twice.
Furthermore, he became the joint top scorer in 1984/1985 season in their first return to the first Division with 24 goals alongside Gary Lineker. When two seasons later Chelsea relegated to the second Division once again, he scored 25 goals in that tournament and took Chelsea back to the First Division.
The excellent striker has done incredible things for the club and has showed amazing performances that put him in the list of the
best players in Chelsea history
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Full name: Petr Čech
Date of birth: 20 May 1982 (age 39
Place of birth: Plzeň, Czechoslovakia
Height: 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in
Playing position(s): Goalkeeper
Petr Čech, born 20 May 1982, is a Czech professional footballer who currently has a combined role of a technical/performance advisor and an emergency goalkeeper for English club Chelsea.
Cech spent 11 years at Stamford Bridge and achieved every club honor possible with the Blues, thus he is more than rightful to be named in the list of the best footballers in the history of Chelsea.
Moreover, he is the Chelsea's most capped player among the foreign players with 494 appearances. Furthermore, Cech holds the record of making the most clean-sheets in the history of the club with 228 clean sheets in his 11 year stay with the Blues, breaking the record of the legendary Peter Bonetti.
When he left Chelsea in 2015, he had won 13 major trophies, the best record by any goalkeeper who has played for Chelsea. Cech has won 4 Premier League titles, 4 English FA Cups, 3 English League Cups, 4 English Super Cups, 1 Europa League and the Champions League in 2012, where his most memorable night with Chelsea happened in the final match againstBayern Munich
, where his astounding performance during the match, especially savingArjen Robben
's penalty in the extra times, led to 2 more saves in the penalty shout-outs.
He played one of the most decisive roles in winning the most glorious trophy in the club's history. He also holds a number of bright records, including the fastest goalkeeper to have reached 100 clean sheets in the premier league with only 180 matches, the most number of clean sheets in a single PL season with 24 clean sheets, and the luminous record of the most number of clean sheets in the history of the PL with 202 clean sheets.
Moreover, he is the only goalkeeper to have won the PL Golden Glove with two different clubs, with having won it in a total of 4 times, that is a joint record he holds alongside Joe hart. Furthermore, Cech went 1025 minutes without conceding a single goal, another league record. In addition, he has been named the Cech republican player of the year 7 times, more than any other player in history.
According to many experts, not only Petr Cech is one of the
all-time greatest Chelsea players
, but he is the best Premier League goal keeper in history with a competition with Peter Schmeichel.
Full name: Ronald Edward Harris
Date of birth: 13 November 1944 (age 77
Place of birth: Hackney, London, England
Playing position(s): Defender
Ronald Edward Harris, born 13 November 1944, known by the nickname "Chopper" for his tough style of defending, is an English former footballer who played for Chelsea in the 1960s and 1970s.
Ronald Harris is one of the most notable players in the history of the Blues and stands alone in any list that is about the legends of Chelsea or the greatest Chelsea players of all time, simply due to the fact that the legendary defender has played more games than any other player, with representing the club in the amazing number of 795 matches in 18 years.
Ron Harris made his debut for Chelsea at the age of 17 in 1962, and won his first trophy with the club (English League Cup) in 1965. However, his magical moments were on the way when he became the first captain in the history of the club to have ever lifted the FA Cup trophy (in 1970) and also the first to lift a European trophy (UEFA Cup winners' Cup in 1971).
Moreover, Harris is loved by the fans not only for his achievements as their captain, but also for his rare dedication to the club. That is to say, when many big players left the club, he decided to stay.
Furthermore, Harris was given the nickname "Chopper" due to his uncompromising style of play that included aggressive tackles. He was a fierce competitor with a constant willingness to win.
The versatile defender and the eternal captain of the blues, is indubitably one of the best Chelsea players ever and the fans will never forget who was there for them in the beginning, their committed captain.
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Full name: John George Terry
Date of birth: 7 December 1980 (age 41
Place of birth: Barking, England
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.87 m
Playing position(s): Centre-back
John George Terry, born 7 December 1980, is an English professional football coach and former player who played as a center-back. He was previously the captain of Chelsea, the England national team andAston Villa
. He is currently the assistant head coach of Aston villa.
John Terry is regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation and one of the best players in Chelsea history. Moreover, He is the captain with the most trophies with the Blue's shirt.
He has won the astounding number of 17 trophies with Chelsea and holds the shining record of being the first captain to have lifted the Premier League title 5 times. Furthermore, he has won 5 English FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 2 English Super Cups, 1 Europa League and the UEFA Champions League title in 2012.
Moreover, Terry is the third player with the most appearances for the Blues with 717 matches. One of the remarkable records of his is that the legendary defender was named in the FIFPro World XI for 5 consecutive years from 2005 to 2009.
Furthermore, he has been named the UEFA Clubs defender of the year three times in 2005, 2008 and 2009, and he was the only English player that could be voted in the 2006 World Cup all-star XI. In addition, John Terry has made 78 appearances for English national team including 2 World Cups and 2 Euros.
He was renowned for his consistency, intelligence, strength and his ability in winning aerial battles. Terry is justifiably one of the
best Chelsea players of all time
with regard to his 19-year career at Stamford Bridge.
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Full name: Frank James Lampard
Date of birth: 20 June 1978 (age 43
Place of birth: Romford, London, England
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.84 m
Playing position(s): Midfielder
Frank James Lampard OBE, born 20 June 1978, is an English professional football manager and former player who was most recently the head coach of Premier League club, Chelsea.
Lampard is considered as one of the greatest Chelsea players of all time, one of the best ever English players, and one of the greatest midfielders of his generation.
He joined the Blues in 2001, and stayed with them for 13 years, and became the highest top scorer in the history of the club with 211 goals, which is a very out-standing record since he was not a striker, but a midfielder.
Furthermore, he stands 4th in the list of the most capped player in the history of the blues with 648 matches. Lampard was named the FWA player of the year in 2005, and placed as the runner-up in both FIFA Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year Award in the very same year.
Moreover, he has won 3 Premier League titles, 4 English FA Cups, 2 English League Cups, 2 English Super Cups, 1 Europa League and 1 Champions League with Chelsea. He is the only midfielder who has scored more than 150 goals in the Premier League.
In addition, he is the 4th in the list of the players with the most assists in the history of the PL with 102 assists. The brilliant midfielder has been named in the PFA team of the year 3 times, was named the best PL assist provider of the season 3 times and was named in the FIFPro World XI in his career.
Lampard has made 106 appearances for English national team including participating in 3 World Cups and one Euro, where he was voted to be in the team of the tournament in 2004. He has scored the most goals from penalty kicks in the history of English national team with 9 goals.
As it is obvious from the stats, he had a peerless ability in scoring and finding the spaced inside the penalty area. He played a pivotal role in all of the club's achievements, as he was so intelligent and smart on the pitch and had a remarkable stamina and the excellent expertise in reading the game in the midfield, hence making the legendary player one of the best Chelsea footballers of all time, indeed.
Full name: Gianfranco Zola
Date of birth: 5 July 1966 (age 55
Place of birth: Oliena, Italy
Height: 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in
Playing position(s): Forward
Gianfranco Zola OMRI, born 5 July 1966, is an Italian football manager and former footballer who played predominantly as a forward. He was also the assistant manager of Chelsea.
Gianfranco Zola spent 7 seasons at Stamford Bridge and showed a performance which led to him getting more than 60% of the votes as the club's greatest ever player in a poll on Chelsea's website in 2003 about the best Chelsea players of all time.
Zola has scored a total of 80 goals in 312 games for the Blues, with one of the most memorable goals of his being the one he scored in the 1998 European Cup winners' cup final match. He has helped the club secure 6 titles including the European cup winners' cup, 2 English FA Cups, 1 English League Cup, 1 English Super Cup and 1 UEFA Super Cup. Moreover, he was named the FWA Player of the year in 1997.
He has played in 35 games for Italian national team including taking part in 1994 World Cup where Italy lost to Brazil in the final match, and Euro 96. He had tremendous ability in making scoring chances and providing assists, as well as being technically talented and astonishing ball control.
He acted well in any situation with his great dribbling skills and vision. Furthermore, the Italian is known as one of the
greatest Chelsea players of all time
as he was admired for his passing ability and having an eye for goal in addition to the mentioned specialties.
Full name: Didier Yves Drogba Tébily
Date of birth: 11 March 1978 (age 43
Place of birth: Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in
Playing position(s): Striker
Didier Yves Drogba Tébily, born 11 March 1978, is an Ivorian retired professional footballer who played as a striker. He is the all-time top scorer and former captain of theIvory Coast national team
Didier Drogba is one of the best Chelsea players ever. He has played for the Blues in the spells; one from 2004 to 2012, in which he scored 157 goals in 341 games for Chelsea and helped them win 3 Premier League titles, 4 English FA Cups, 4 English Super Cups, 2 English League Cup and 1 Champions League, and when he returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 for one more season, he scored 7 further goals in 40 matches, as well as winning the 2014/15 Premier League title and English League Cup.
He is the club's 4th all-time high scorer, and the best foreign scorer in the history of the club. Drogba is widely known as one of the all-time greatest Chelsea players. Furthermore, Drogba has finished as the PL top scorer twice in 2007 and 2010, and has been named the African Player of the year two times in 2006 and 2009.
Moreover, the Ivorian striker is his national team's all-time top scorer by scoring 65 goals in 105 games, alongside taking part in 3 World Cups. He is widely and deservedly regarded as one of the best footballers in the history of Chelsea, as he was a natural goal scorer with brilliant headers and powerful free-kicks.
Some other players such as Peter Bonetti, the legendary goalkeeper who is the second most capped player in the history of the club, and Bobby Tambling , the second top scorer in the club's history with 202 goals could have been on the list, and many players are on their way to rewrite the history and enter the future list of the best Chelsea players of all time.