Premier League is one of the most major leagues in the world and many great players have played in it sometime during their careers, but, have you ever thought which of these great players could be among the Premier League best 11 of all time?
In other words, which footballers comprise the greatest Premier League XI of all time? It’s really hard to choose among so many great players to call them on the
Premier League greatest 11 ever
list, however, we have chosen from among some top and legendary players most agree upon their top performance and skills.
All the players we have chosen to be called on the best Premier League XI of all time are among the legendary Premier League footballers who have retired by now. The formation chosen is 4-3-3 so that the number of players in each of the three posts is almost evenly distributed.
Well, the list of EPL best 11 of all time starts with the top goalkeeper, Petr Cech, but, who else is on the list? Read on to know.
Our chosen goalkeeper on the list of best Premier League XI ever, Petr Cech is a 38-year-old recently-retired Czech goalkeeper who played for two Premier League clubs, Arsenal andChelsea
, for the majority of his career; actually for 15 years which comprises three fourth of his 20-year career. Cech is the holder of a number of records majority of which he earned within Premier League.
The number of records Cech holds is actually more than 25. Some of the most prominent of these records are most Premier League clean sheets to this date (202), most Premier League clean sheets at one club (162 with Chelsea), most Premier League clean sheets in a single season (24 in 2004-05 season), the first Premier League goalkeeper to reach 200 clean sheets, and the first Premier League goalkeeper to not concede a goal in 1000 minutes.
Petr Cech was also named the Best Goalkeeper of French League in 2003-04 season when he served the French club,Rennes
. He has also a number of club trophies to his name all of which, including four Premier League titles, he won with the Premier League clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea.
A tall, agile and athletic goalkeeper with leadership qualities, Cech was also famed for his long balls and throws that could start a counter-attack. He was also famed for his penalty-saving abilities that actually helped him keep a longer without-conceding-a-goal time. With all his qualities and records, Cech really deserves to be among the
greatest Premier League XI of all time
The first defender on our list of best Premier League XI ever, Gary Neville is a 46-year-old retired English footballer who only served the Premier League club, Manchester United, during his 19-year career which lasted from 1999 to 2011. And during this time he made a total of 602 appearances for United and won 8 Premier League titles with them just to name a few of the club trophies he has won.
In fact, Neville is one of the most decorated English and also European footballers of all time with the 20 club trophies he won withManchester United
among them are also two UEFA Champions League titles. He’s the most capped English right back ever with the 85 appearances he made for the English national team between 1995 and 2007. He’s also the second longest-serving Manchester United footballer after Ryan Giggs with 19 years of service to the Premier League club.
Regarded as one of the best English right backs of all time, Gary Neville was a physical player with hard tackles and an aggressive style of play that actually made him more of a traditional defender. However, he also possessed tactical intelligence and leadership qualities which enabled him to command his area and work closely with forwards. He had actually formed a partnership with David Beckham during his playtime which not only allowed him to support the great English striker on the right flank but also made him an offensive threat to the opposing team whenever Beckham was heavily marked.
Another defender on our list of
best Premier League XI ever
, Ashley Cole is a 40-year-old recently-retired English footballer who, just like Petr Cech, played for only two Premier League clubs - actually the same clubs Petr Cech played for - for the majority of his career: Arsenal and Chelsea. He actually served these two clubs for 15 years combined, while he served the three clubs,AS Roma
, LA Galaxy, and Derby County, for only 5 years altogether.
Ashley Cole was actually a member of the Arsenal team known as “the Invincibles” who went undefeated for the entire 2003-04 season. We think that’s enough to prove Cole’s defensive abilities plus that he’s actually considered as one of the best full-backs ever in the world by many critics. He’s also the most capped English full-back with the 107 appearances that he made for the English national team between 2001 and 2014.
The interesting fact about Cole is that as a youngster he was more attack-minded and was supposed to play as a forward, however, later he changed his mind and developed a love for defending, though he kept his attacking instinct in him. He actually focused more on his defensive abilities while playing for Chelsea, and gradually became famed for his goal-line clearances or what actually they called “cutting out dangers”.
One of the two center backs on our list of best Premier League XI ever, Rio Ferdinand is a 42-year-old English footballer who played for the top Premier League club, Manchester United, for the majority of his career; actually for 12 years between 2002 and 2014. Considered as one of the most decorated English footballers ever, Ferdinand won almost all his club trophies including six Premier League titles with Manchester United. He has also some individual honors to his name includingWest Ham United
Hammer of the Year in 1997-98 season.
Considered also as one of the best defenders Manchester United and English national team has ever had, Ferdinand was more of a technical player than a physical one, though he was physically strong and had a tall stature which helped him in winning most of the aerial challenges. Other than that, Ferdinand was a two-footed footballer, too, who could retain ball possession and support forwards from the back. Despite not being a physical player, the retired English center-back suffered a series of injuries at the end of his career which actually took away from him one of his top abilities: His pace and to the extent that he couldn’t challenge fast opponents.
Yet another defender on our list of
best Premier League XI ever
, John Terry is a recently-retired English defender who played for the top Premier League club, Chelsea, almost for all his career; actually for 19 years between 1998 and 2017 during which he made a total of 717 appearances for thePremier League
club and scored 67 goals for them becoming their top-scoring defender of all time.
Terry is also Chelsea’s most successful captain ever - in fact to this date: He reaped most club trophies - actually 14 including five Premier League titles - and made the most number of appearances (580) as a captain for Chelsea. He’s also the third footballer in Chelsea’s history to have made the most number of appearances for the English club, and the only player in the Premier League history to have won 5 Premier League titles as a captain. He really deserves to be among the Premier League greatest 11 ever, doesn’t he?
As for Terry’s style of play, we should say that besides being a tough and physical defender, he was also an aerial threat for the opposing team due to his tall stature. In fact, he was a dominant force in aerial challenges which could prove useful both in defense and offense. And although a physical defender, Terry was an intelligent player with a good sense of reading the game and positioning which actually compensated for his lack of pace, though he was pacey enough in short distances.
The first midfielder on our list of best Premier League XI ever, Patrick Donale Vieira, simply known as Patrick Vieira, is a 44-year-old retired Senegalese-French footballer who played for top Premier League and Serie A clubs like Manchester City,Inter Milan
, Juventus, and Arsenal during his career. However, the club he served the most and made the most number of appearances for was Arsenal for whom he made a total of 406 appearances across all competitions between 1996 and 2005.
And it was with Arsenal that Vieira won the majority of his career club trophies; actually 10 trophies among them are three Premier League titles. He also won three Serie A titles with Inter Milan and was part of the French national team who won 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000. Vieira has also a number of individual honors to his name among them are Golden Foot Legends Award in 2019 and French Player of the Year in 2001. He was also named on the FIFA 100 list in 2004 by the Brazilian legend, Pele.
As for Vieira’s style of play, we should say he could play anywhere in the midfield and actually acted as a link between the defense and offense lines by starting an attack immediately after winning back the ball. He was famed for his dashing forward runs and also for his strength, stamina and pressing abilities. He was indeed an aggressive midfielder who also possessed intelligence and technical abilities.
The second central midfielder on our list of best Premier League XI ever, Steven George Gerrard, simply known as Steven Gerrard, is a 40-year-old retired English footballer who played almost all his career for the Premier League club,Liverpool
. He actually served Liverpool from 1998 to 2015 and during this time made a total of 748 appearances for the Reds.
Gerrard is the holder of two Liverpool records: The most number of appearances as a Liverpool captain (473) and Liverpool top scorer in UEFA Champions League competitions with 30 goals. He has also a number of individual honors to his name among them are Liverpool Player of the Season in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2009, Ballon d'Or Bronze Award in 2005, and Premier League Top Assist Provider in 2013-14 season.
A member of a group of English footballers dubbed as the England Golden Generation, Gerrard is also the fourth most capped English footballer ever with the 114 appearances that he made for the English national team between 2000 and 2014. During his playtime, the retired English footballer was considered as one of the best of the best by the legendary footballers, Zinedine Zidane and Pele.
A playmaker in his youth and a ball-winner in defense line as they call it in his late career, Gerrard could actually play in any position, though he was often deployed as a central midfielder. And he was also a good goalscorer from distance with his powerful shots. Not only a part of England Golden Generation, he really should be among the
EPL best 11 of all time
, too, shouldn’t he?
And here comes the only attacking midfielder on our list of best Premier League XI ever: Frank Lampard. His complete name is Frank James Lampard and he’s a 42-year-old retired English footballer who played for Chelsea for a major part of his career; actually for 13 years between 2001 and 2014. Despite being a midfielder during his playtime, Lampard is Chelsea’s top goalscorer of all time with the 211 goals he scored in the 648 appearances that he made for them - almost one goal in every 3 appearances; a record that no Chelsea forward has ever broken, at least until now.
Lampard has also a number of individual honors to his name among them are Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 2005, Premier League Player of the Season in 2004-05 season, and Premier League Top Assist Provider in 2004-05, 2008-09, and 2009-10 seasons. As for his play style, we should say the top Chelsea midfielder could actually play in any position in the midfield and even as a supporting striker.
Lampard was a prolific goalscorer who could also score goals from distance with his powerful accurate shots, and as a midfielder, he was also good in playmaking. The fact that his goalscoring record is not yet broken at Chelsea even by forwards to this date means that he really should have a place among the Premier League greatest 11 ever.
The first winger on our list of
best Premier League XI ever
, Wayne Rooney is a 35-year-old retired English footballer who served the top Premier League club, Manchester United, more than any other club during his career; actually for 13 years between 2004 and 2017 during which he made a total of 559 appearances and scored 253 goals for them across all competitions. Rooney is actually a product ofEverton
, but he only made 117 appearances and scored 28 goals for them during the 3 years that he served them.
Rooney is not only Manchester United top scorer of all time with the 253 goals he scored for them but also England’s all-time top scorer with 53 goals. In fact, the top retired English forward has a number of records to his name, the ones mentioned above are only two of them. You’re curious to know more about his records? Well then, Rooney is also one of the only two English footballers to have scored more than 200 Premier League goals - the other is Alan Shearer with 260 goals - and also the second most capped English footballer ever with 120 caps.
;And that’s not all; Rooney has a host of individual honors and club trophies to his name among them are five Premier League titles and FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball in 2008. Nicknamed “the new Pele” and also “the white Pele”, Rooney was both an agile and creative player, especially at the start of his career, who could also make trouble in the air despite his not-very-tall stature.
He could play in any position in the front line during his playtime and was more often deployed as a play-making midfielder after his thirties. And Rooney was also a goalscoring specialist! He could score goals from inside and outside the box and also from volleys. With all his honors and goalscoring talent, doesn’t he really deserve to be among the greatest Premier League XI of all time?
The third non-English footballer and also the second winger on our list of
best Premier League XI of all time
, Thierry Henry is a 43-year-old retired French footballer who served top clubs such as Arsenal,Barcelona
, and Juventus during his career, however, he’s most remembered as an Arsenal player since he made the most number of appearances and scored the most number of his career goals for the Premier League club: 226 goals in 370 appearances between 1999 and 2007 which translates to more than one goal (1.2) in every two appearances.
Based on his goalscoring record, Henry was a prolific goalscorer, at least for Arsenal, and just to tell you the truth, throughout his career, because he actually scored a total of 366 goals in the 813 club appearances that he made during his career which means he scored almost one goal (exactly 0.9) in every two appearances. Henry is indeed the most deserving footballer to be on the list of Premier League best 11 of all time. Why? We’ll let you know now.
Henry has more than 25 Premier League, Arsenal, andFrench national team
records to his name some of the very most important of which are Arsenal all-time top scorer with 228 goals, the only footballer ever to both score an assist more than 20 goals in a single Premier League season (2002-03), and most goals for the French national team (51).
He has also more than 50 individual honors and more than 10 club trophies to his name some of which are four Premier League Golden Boots, two La Liga and two Premier League titles, and one FIFA Club World Cup. Henry was also part of the French national team who won 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000. Now you see why he’s among the EPL best 11 of all time!
A really talented forward who copied his playstyle on top 1990s strikers like Romario, Ronaldo, and George Weah, Henry was actually Arsenal’s lone striker and forward in many games in a 4-5-1 formation; maybe that’s why he’s Arsenal’s all-time top scorer? The retired French footballer was famed for his calm in one-on-one goalscoring situations and his precise shooting in such situtations that according to his father, he had learned from his childhood idol, Marco van Basten.
The lone forward on our list of
Premier League best 11 of all time
, Alan Shearer is a 50-year-old English footballer who served only three clubs during his career: Southampton,Newcastle United
, and Blackburn Rovers. Just like Thierry Henry, Shearer was also a prolific goalscorer who managed to score a total of 379 goals in the 734 club appearances that he made. That actually translates to a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.02) in every two appearances.
Although not decorated as Henry, Shearer has some individual honors and a handful of records to his name among them are Newcastle United top scorer of all time with 206 goals, Premier League top scorer of all time with 260 goals, Premier League top penalty scorer of all time with 56 goals scored from the penalty spot, Premier League Golden Boot in three consecutive seasons from 1994 to 1997, and Premier League Player of the Year in 1994-95 season. Shearer was also inducted into English Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and was named on FIFA 100 list by the Brazilian legend, Pele.
As for Shearer’s playstyle, we should say that he was more of a classic forward with physicality, strength, powerful shots and a heading ability that made him dangerous also in the air. Although not a full-time forward from the start of his career - he actually played as a midfielder in his youth and as a playmaker at the start of his career, Shearer played a more forward role toward the end of his career.
He was famed for his ability to retain possession for long enough to create chances; what actually was made possible for him through his strength and physicality that also sometimes drew criticism from critics, especially when he used his elbows more aggressively to retain possession.