The French League1 giants have been almost unrivaled in the last decades. They have a colorful history, and there have been numerous world-class players in charge of the club.
Paris Saint-Germain is undoubtedly the most surpassing French club in the world. Although they have always been among powerful French clubs, their story has become a kind of different in the 21st century. They have been a more incredible team in this period and competed to win various titles in almost every season. In the recent 20 years, many players have helped the club on the way to winning trophies and getting more prevalent among people through their brilliant performance.
In this article, we will review the list of PSG best players of 21st century. There are ten notable names in the list of greatest PSG footballers of current century.
Now come and read the article to become familiar with the
best PSG players of 21st century
First on our list of the best PSG players of 21st Century, we have Jay Jay Okocha. France has always been a great place for African players to demonstrate their potential and show the world how good they are. One of the greatest African stars in League1 history is Jay-Jay Okocha. The Nigerian born in 1973, started his European career in Germany while 17. After shining in Bundesliga's Eintracht Frankfurt and a remarkable spell at Fenerbahce, Okocha moved to Paris Saint-Germain for an African record of 14 million pounds.
He made 84 League appearances for PSG and scored 12 goals. The skillful player, called African Maradona, also served as a mentor for young Ronaldinho during his time in Paris. As one of the PSG legends of 21st century, he won Trophée des Champions in 1998 and UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2001 with Parisians. Okocha is considered a successful African player in the national team. He won the Africa Cup of Nations and Summer Olympic Games with the Nigeria national team, relatively in 1994 and 1996.
This arguably best Nigerian player in history has been named Footballer of the Year in his nation seven times. Furthermore, he was entitled BBC African Footballer of the Year both in 2003 and 2004. Jay-Jay Okocha was selected as the best player and top scorer in the Africa Cup of Nations in the latter.
Now it's time to talk about a football star who defined himself as a member of the
best Paris Saint-Germain players of 21st century
Born in Pescara, Italy, Marco Verratti never played for big Italian clubs like Juventus, Inter, or Milan. After spending 8 years of youth career, He just played four seasons for his homeland club, Delfino Pescara, and then left Italy to start an amazing adventure in France Capital. In July 2012, the 20-year-old Marco Verrratti signed a long-term deal with Paris Saint-Germain, and he has been serving as a PSG key player so far.
This active, creative midfielder has made almost 320 appearances for the Parisians and scored 9 goals. Although different coaches have worked in PSG in the last eight years, Marco Verratti has been a trusted player for all of them. He also showed his loyalty to the club when rejected some good offers, like theBarca
one, which they were considering Verratti as a Xavi Hernandez replacement. Verratti has 25 trophies with PSG, including 7 League1 titles.
He had the opportunity of winning a UEFA Champions League last season, but the final loss to Bayern disappeared his hope. As a PSG player, Verratti was named League1 Young Player of the Year in 2013-14, and League1 Foreign Player of the Year in 2014-2015.
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Next on the list of best PSG players of 21st century is Pedro Pauleta. The Portuguese born in 1973 might not be a shining young talent in his opening years of playing. However, he turned into a goalscoring attacker in Estoril, Deportivo La Cruna, and Bordeaux, which led to his move to France's capital. At Paris Saint-Germain, the veteran Pauleta expressed outstanding performance and spent successful years.
He scored 109 goals in 211 matches played for the Paris side, and he is also a 3-time League1 topscorer. Pedro won two Coupe de France trophies and a single Coupe de la League with PSG. Pauleta was selected two times as the League1 footballer of the year by the professional football players' national union. In Portugal's national team, Pauleta scored 47 goals in 88 matches, which puts him before great names like Eusebio or Luis Figo. Only the legendaryCristiano Ronaldo
has scored more national goals than Pedro Pauleta for the European Selecao.
Another world-class player on the list of
PSG best players of 21st century
is the Brazilian magician. Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, commonly known as Ronaldinho Gaucho, is one of the best players ever played in Paris Saint-Germain. Although the football poet is mainly remembered through his Barcelona spell, PSG is not an ignorable part of his career.
Paris Saint-Germain is the first European club Ronaldinho played for. In 2001,Arsenal
expressed interest in signing Ronaldinho. Still, the move failed after he could not get a work permit because he was a non-EU player who had not played enough international matches. This changed Ronaldinho's path, and his destination shifted to Paris.
At Paris Saint-Germain, Ronaldinho made 77 appearances. His performance, including 25 goals scored, convinced FC Barcelona to sign him. And the rest is the story of one of the best footballers in history. Ronaldinho's goal in 2003 for PSG was selected as the best Ligue1 goal of the year. He won almost everything a football player wants in his career. Ballon d'Or, WorldCup, Copa America, and UEFA Champions League trophies are simply the most important.
Not only on the list of best PSG players of 21st century, but Zlatan also is one of the greatest players in football history. Despite continuing his career now atAC Milan
, Ibra's name is already reserved in the Paris Sain-Germain hall of honors. He has had a remarkable performance in almost every club he played for. However, In Paris Saint-Germain, he made a legendary spot and divided the club's history into two periods before and after his signing. In 2012, Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined PSG from Milan and, with a 14 million euros net annual salary, became the second best-paid footballer in the world after Samuel Eto'o.
There was not even a penny wasted for Zlatan, as he played four seasons in Paris, scored 156 goals in 180 matches in all competitions, and became the club's second-highest goalscorer in official competitions of all time. Zlatan won the League1 title in all of his four seasons at PSG. He was selected as League1 best player in 3 seasons. Zlatan is the only Paris Saint-Germain player to be top goalscorer in three Ligue 1 seasons. In the 2015-16 season, he scored 50 goals, 38 of them in League1, and Both of these are club records for a single season. This Swedish trophy collection is also his country's all-time top scorer with 62 goals in 116 international caps.
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Like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva joined PSG from AC Milan in 2012. At his arrival, Silva was presented to the media as the "best defender in the world" by PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. He indeed impressed the club through his performance and loyalty. Thiago Silva's era at PSG lasted eight seasons, and he left for Chelsea just this summer. In this period, Thiago made 315 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain and won 7 League1 titles. He got closed to the UEFA Champions League trophy in his last season in Paris; however, they lost the final game toBayern Munich
As one of the
best PSG players of 21st century
, Thiago Silva has two records of longest-serving captain (7 years, ten months, three days) and most capped captain (293 captaincies) in Paris Saint-Germain. This 93-capped Brazilian has seven goals in international matches. Silva has a 2019 Copa America trophy in his cabinet, and before that year, he had won the FIFA Confederations Cup and both silver and bronze medals of the Olympic Games. Thiago Silva, who has been the team of the season's member in different leagues, was selected for the FIFA World Cup dream team and All-Star team, both in 2014 and 2018.
Now we go to another defender on the list of greatest PSG footballers of current century.
Sylvain Armand, who was born in 1980 in Saint-Ettiene, France, started playing football as a youth player for his hometown club. However, his path as a senior player was totally different. After a single season in Clermont and then spending four years at Nantes, Armand moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2004. Armand spent the most extended period of his career in Paris, which lasted nine seasons.
In his PSG stint, Sylvain Armand made 377 appearances, through which he is the second most-capped player in Paris Saint-Germain history after Jean-Marc Pilorget. Armand scored twelve goals for PSG, a fair number for a full back. In Paris Saint-Germain, Sylvain Armand won four major trophies; the most to mention was the 2012-13 League1 title. He was also voted best player in the Paris squad for the 2006–07 season following an impressive season, including a vital goal against RC Lens. Who do you think is the next on our list of best PSG players of 21st Century?
The next name in the list of
PSG legends of 21st century
is the one who spent much time in Spanish and Italian football leagues and then moved to Paris as an experienced player and two-time Champions League winner. Following his move, he revealed that he dreamt of playing for the club ever since fellow Brazilians such as Raí, Leonardo, and Ronaldinho shone in the French capital.
Despite his shining background, Thiago Motta collected his most career trophies in charge of Paris Saint-Germain. He won 5 League1 titles and thirteen more trophies in the domestic competitions. Motta, who was selected as a League1 team of the year member in 2013-14, made an overall of 232 appearances for France giants in all cometitions. He registered 12 goals during the six-season spell at the Parisian club.
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If you are wondering who has scored more goals for PSG than Zlatan, here is the answer. His mate in the attacking line, Edinson Cavani, is another player on the list of the
greatest PSG footballers of current century
. The Uruguayan 33-year-old star, who recently left the club forManchester United
, had secured his place as the Paris Saint-Germain's all-time top scorer before going anywhere.
Cavani joined PSG in 2013 and spent seven seasons in the capital of France. He made 301 official appearances and scored 200 goals, which made him the best scorer of the Parisians in their history. In Cavani's stint, PSG clinched the League1 trophy six times and won 13 other domestic titles. The Uruguayan has won a single Copa America title with his national team in 2011. Cavani is the second-highest goalscorer of Uruguay with 51 goals after Luis Suarez, who has scored 63.
Blaise Matuidi, the player who is still spending his professional career, is one of the best PSG players of 21st century. As a League1 talent who had proved himself in the Troyes and Saint-Etienne shirts, Paris Saint-Germain decided to sign Matuidi as a replacement for the retired legend, Claudio Makelele. On 25 July 2011, Paris Saint-Germain confirmed the three-year contract signing of Blaise Matuidi.
He spent the longest-serving part of his career in PSG, and in this period, he made 295 appearances for the Parisians, which put his name in the tenth place of the club's most-capped players. In the six seasons Matuidi spent at Paris, he scored 33 goals, far more than his other clubs' stats. At PSG, he won four League1 titles and 12 other domestic ones. This 2018 World Cup winner has 84 appearances and nine goals for France national team. The 2015 French player of the year is now playing for Inter Miami in MLS.
That's all on our list of the
best PSG players of 21st century
. Do you know any other stars to be added to our list of greatest PSG footballers of current century? Let us know in the comment section.