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Top 8 English Premier League legends of all time

Friday, 8 August 2014 - 10:41pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk

There have been numerous players who have shone in the English Premier League over the years, these are the ones that stood out rather impeccably:

8) Matthew Le Tissier (Southampton)
Matthew "Matt" Le Tissier was one of the greatest talents the Premier League has ever seen. Le Tissier has 161 goals in 443 appearances to his name for Southampton. An attacking midfielder with exceptional technical skills, Le Tissier is the second-highest ever scorer for Southampton behind Mick Channon and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 1990. He was also the first midfielder to score 100 goals in the Premier League. He is notable for his record at scoring penalty kicks, converting from the spot 47 times from 48 attempts. Le Tissier remained at Southampton for his entire professional career, his loyalty garnering special affection from Southampton's fans who nicknamed him "Le God" (The God).

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7) Gianfranco Zola (Chelsea)
Gianfranco Zola was a spark that lit up the Premier League during his time at Stamford Bridge where he spent 7 successful years. The “little genius” was blessed with outrageous skills, wonderful finishing and an open demeanour on the field. He was instrumental in Chelsea’s resurgence in the late 1990s, though he never got to lift the coveted Premier League trophy. He scored 59 times in 229 appearances for the West London side. In 2003, Zola was voted Chelsea's greatest player ever.

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6) Robbie Fowler (Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United)
Robbie Fowler is arguably one of the greatest players to have donned a Liverpool jersey. He had everything to be a Premier League player, serene finishing, passing, agility and superb movement off the ball. Throughout the mid and late 1990s, Fowler was widely considered to be the most natural finisher in England. Fowler sealed this reputation as he scored more than 30 goals for three consecutive seasons. He remains the only player to have scored 30 plus goals in his first three full seasons in England, scoring 98 goals with a total of 116 in 3 and a half years, something which has also yet to be beaten in La Liga, Seria A and the Bundesliga too. Fowler has 128 goals in 266 appearances to his name for Liverpool in two spells. He scored 20 goals in 80 appearances for Manchester City and 14 in 30 appearances for Leeds United.

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5) Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Unarguably one of the greatest players the Premier League has seen in recent history, Ronaldo dazzled with his performances for Manchester United from 2003 to 2009. Ronaldo is an incredible player who can score with his left foot, his right foot and is also equally deadly with his head. Strong at free-kicks, Ronaldo has 84 goals to his name in 196 appearances for United, and an overwhelming tally for Real Madrid which is 177 goals in just 165 appearances. Ronaldo won the Premier League 3 times and also has a Champions League medal to his name. He was honoured with awards like the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year, Barclays Player of the Year, Premier League Golden Boot. He has won the Ballon D'Or twice in 2008 and 2013.

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4) Tony Adams (Arsenal)
The legendary defender spent his entire 22-year career at Arsenal. A leader on the field and off it, Tony Adams is one of the greatest defenders the Premier League has witnessed. He is considered one of the greatest Arsenal players of all time and was included in the Football League 100 Legends. With Arsenal, he won 4 top flight division titles, 3 FA Cups, 2 Football League Cups, 1 UEFA Cup Winners Cup, and 3 FA Community Shields. A statue honouring Tony Adams was unveiled outside the Emirates stadium on 9 December 2011, along with statues of Thierry Henry and Herbert Chapman. The defender notched up 32 goals in 504 appearances for his beloved Arsenal.

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3) Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United)
Alan Shearer and goals were made for eachother, in 441 Premier League appearances the Geordie boy netted 260 times, a record that stands to this day as the top scorer of the English Premier League. He scored 112 in 138 appearances for Blacburn Rovers and notched up 148 in 303 appearances for the Tyneside club. He spent 10 years with Newcastle during which he became a “Toon Army” cult hero. He was voted the best player of the first 10 years of the Premier League.

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2) Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
Talk about class and Thierry Henry comes to mind. The Frenchman was undoubtedly the greatest striker the Premier League has seen till date. Henry is the third all-time leading scorer in the Premier League with 174 goals in 254 appearances for the Gunners, a figure that is only matched by Andy Cole’s 188 and Alan Shearer’s 260. Blessed with searing pace, classy finishing and elegance, Henry played the game with a grace that simply took the breath away. Watching him in full flight was a joy to behold. He notched up 2 titles and 4 Golden Boot awards during his 8 years with the North London club. He is the all-time Arsenal leading scorer with 226 goals in all competitions. Arsenal unveiled a statue of their greatest player right outside the Emirates stadium, which also had Henry in tears during the unveiling ceremony. 

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Here is the video for Thierry Henry's statue unveiling at the Emirates stadium:

           

1) Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
13 Premier League titles, 672 appearances, 2 Champions League titles, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups and 1 FIFA Club World Cup, Ryan Giggs, OBE, has won it all. Unarguably the greatest player to have played in the Premier League, Giggs made his debut for Manchester United in 1991. He was the first player in history to win two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards (1992 and 1993). Until the end of the 2012−13 season, he was the only player to have played and scored in every season of the Premier League, but he failed to score in his final season and retired to now join Louis van Gaal as his assistant coach. The Manchester United number 11 has been held as the greatest ever Premier League player by his peers. Giggs was appointed as the interim manager for United last season after manager David Moyes was sacked. A true legend! 

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A tribute video to Ryan Giggs:




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