Giancarlo Zola, Peter Osgood and Ruud Gullit are among the most popular and famous players who resonate with Chelsea fans due to their penchant for success during their tenure with the club. He formed an excellent partnership with John Terry and three years since he left for Real Madrid, Chelsea are still searching for his replacement. Lampard is a phenomenon who is Chelsea's third all-time goalscorer...and he's a midfielder. 1 on this list) there are not enough superlatives in the... Frank Lampard. Centenary Eleven, occupying one of the two forward roles. A host of generational players have donned the iconic blue shirt of Chelsea. Best Chelsea midfielders ever. Hollins was that good and his appearances total of 592 reinforces that. The Welshman was a fierce competitor and wore his heart very much on his sleeve. If that wasn't enough, he mixed playing for Chelsea with carrying out his National Service, which was compulsory at the time. Cooke was a nightmare and there are plenty of his opponents still alive today who carry the mental scars of torment brought on by his talents. His personal life and rumors of extra-marital affairs have clouded the judgement of some, but make no mistake, Terry is one of the finest defenders England has ever produced, let alone his club. Rising from the club's ranks, he went on to captain the Blues and helped the club reestablish itself in the top flight during the turbulent 1980s. Nicknamed the "Bonnie Prince" after the 18th century prince of the same moniker, his namesake was also known as the "Young Pretender". List RulesVote up your favorite Chelsea players ever. 10. Best Chelsea XI of all time Players such as Eden Hazard, Gianfranco Zola, and John Terry and Peter Osgood are synonymous with the image of Chelsea greatness. Torres, who is currently on the books of Japanese club Sagan Tosu and will retire in August, had the privilege of turning out with many modern-day greats during his successful 18-year career. It was one of just five goals he scored, but he proved much better at keeping them out at the other end, becoming essential during his nine years at Stamford Bridge. Our definitive list of the 10 best Chelsea players ever. The Italian signed from Juventus at a time where the Blues were under going their transformation with Ruud Gullit as manager, introducing his brand of "sexy" football. November 20, 2013. Anelka was the ideal striker for Chelsea at the time and played his part as they lifted the Premier League for a third time in 2010, sealing the FA Cup double a week later. Terry broke through in the 1998 season after getting cup games when Desailly and LeBoeuf were rested. Such was his impact at Chelsea, the holding midfield role is not often referred to as the "Makelele Role". So he cannot make it in the Chelsea team of late, but there's no denying the impact Juan Mata has had at Chelsea since joining the club in 2011. From that moment he never looked back and a legend was born—one of the finest of them all. One of the first Chelsea stars in the club's early years, George Hilsdon scored 108 goals in 164 appearances—stats that speak for themselves when it comes to his talent in front of goal. Didier Drogba spoke to Chelsea TV when he was awarded the Chelsea Magazine Greatest Player award at Cobham. - YouTube. Scorer of the winning goal in 1970 FA Cup final replay, David Webb was also a talented defender who enjoyed a successful career with Chelsea. Who are the greatest Chelsea player ever? Mata is exceptional, a player who makes it a joy to watch and observe football. With his signing came success, too, with Carvalho playing a key role in the Blues winning back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006. All-Time Greatest Chelsea XI | Zola, Lampard, Drogba! Ranking the top players of clubs in the English Premier League. For the best part of a decade Ashley Cole has been widely regarded as the world's finest left-back. 20/06/1987. In his first season with the club, Gullit played Sweeper, Midfield and Forward positions and was right away talked about as the greatest player to ever play for Chelsea. How to describe Gianfranco Zola? He had helped get Chelsea back to the old Division One, a league where he spent many fine years as a player terrorizing opposition attackers with his unique approach to the game that saw him take few prisoners. 1, Cech has been Chelsea's first choice for almost a decade and made over 400 appearances. He was named Footballer of the Year by the English media in his first year at Stamford Bridge and he went on to become a true great of the English game and one of Chelsea's best players. Signed from Porto in 2004, Ricardo Carvalho followed Jose Mourinho to Chelsea. He joined the Blues and was suddenly rejuvenated, forming an unlikely partnership with Mark Hughes. In simple terms, it's because the former No. It was a close call between Arjen Robben and Damien Duff as to who would make this list, but the Irishman just shades it on account of his role in one of the finest Champions League games we will ever witness. View Chelsea FC squad and player information on the official website of the Premier League. Going back a little further in the Chelsea annals, Frank Blunstone helped the Blues to their first-ever title success in 1955 under the guidance of Ted Drake. Who's the Best Player in the Premier League? He lead the Blues to FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup success in the 1970s and nearly 40 years since his retirement is still fondly referred to as "Chopper" by Chelsea fans on account of his committed approach. He took over as manager in 1996, signing a host of stars that helped bring the glory days back to the King's Road also. Vote up your favorite Chelsea players ever. He was nicknamed "Gatling Gun" on account of the ferocity of his shots and there is a weather vane that sits on top of the East Stand at Stamford Bridge in his honor. He won the League Cup, FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge from 1959-1979. It's been 12 years since, but many Chelsea fans have a glimmer of hope he could return one day in some capacity at the club. Though they've been around since 1905, Chelsea only has risen to prominence since the dawn of the 21st century. Chelsea current No. Chelsea FC: 20 Best Players of All Time Gianfranco Zola. Former academy players This statistic shows how youth players of this club did later in their career, sorted by the number of matches played in the selected competition. Subscribe for more ALL-TIME XIs: Daily presents the All-Time Greatest Chelsea XI! Chelsea 4-2 Barcelona was an incredible occasion and Duff was influential, scoring for the Blues while also providing the assist for John Terry to seal the victory with his header. He spent a few seasons as No. now nearing the end of his career, his reputation is as fierce as ever and it's to his credit that many people now forget he came through the ranks at rivals Arsenal. It was a tough time for the club, with trouble on and off the pitch making for some tense moments. As football fans we often like to imagine the value of certain players from the past if they were still playing today. By far the most prolific striker in the club’s history, he scored 132 times in 169 games for the Blues. He had a profound influence on those around him, including John Terry, with his Chelsea legacy going strong today. He remained loyal, however, and his place as a Chelsea legend is cemented. In 1998, John Terry made his debut after getting called up from the youth ranks and in 2001, Chelsea acquired its greatest player when it forked over 11 pounds to West Ham to acquire midfielder Frank Lampard. Pre-Roman Abramovich, there aren't many strikers in the Premier League era at Chelsea who can claim to be as prolific as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. The don't come much bigger or better than Drogba at Stamford Bridge. With the money that came in, Chelsea were able to sign a lot of good players and so now we rank the top 10 Best Chelsea players during the Roman Abramovich era. It meant the Blues pulled off the unlikeliest of victories, but they had one man to thank for it and that was Drogba, who played like a man possessed that evening in Munich. While a vast majority of the best players would have been from the Abramovich era (due to more money) we will also select some of the best Chelsea players from before Abramovich. If they're good enough, Barcelona often come poaching a club's players and that's what happened with Chelsea and Eidur Gudjohnsen in 2006. Joining Chelsea in 2006, he has lifted every trophy possible in domestic football, also winning the Champions League and Europa League. Brought in to replace Barry Bridges as a young upstart, Tommy Docherty gave Osgood 10 matches to prove himself. Media Watch: Blues linked with Odegaard, Manchester United winger admits to supporting Chelsea and Broja opens up on why he chose Albania over England. He also has 201 clean sheets to his name. Commenting on Reddit Eye_Seeker said: "Henry made me fall in love with the club. Showing assists, time on pitch and the shots on and off target. He was a majestic talent, a scorer of incredible goals to give fans something to cheer about when not much else seemed to be going right in West London. Only, whereas some players of Poyet's ilk may provide a little entertainment but little else, the Uruguayan was different. The algorithm from CIES Football … The Top 10 Best-Performing Premier League Players In 2021 According To New Algorithm - Flipboard He has been out due to a … He is another star to have come through the clubs highly-successful youth system in the 1960s and was a key component in linking Chelsea's attacking play. David Webb scored the winner in the 1970 FA Cup, while John Dempsey was on hand a year later to score the Blues' winner against Real Madrid in the Cup Winners' Cup final. Another of the Docherty Diamonds to make it into our list, John Hollins was an exceptional talent. 6 Mateo Kovacic was a bright spark in an otherwise miserable game for Chelsea … Quite how Chelsea could allow him to leave remains a mystery, but with his departure Blues fans must always be thinking what might have been had he remained at Stamford Bridge a few more years when the likes of Peter Osgood and Ron Harris would have become his teammates under Tommy Docherty. Pat Nevin is one of those who would be commanding the type of transfer fee that would make chairmen baulk, but unlike some stars of today, he would be worth every penny. It's a testament to everything the Englishman has achieved throughout his glorious career. In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, the Blues are reportedly interested in signing Martin Odegaard and Dan James reveals he supported Chelsea as a youngster. Chelsea have had plenty of I-was-there moments this past decade and Saturday May 11, 2013, is another of them. He is physical, but also offers an excellent attacking outlet, supporting the Blues going forward and grabbing his share of goals. Defender. When Roman Abramovich purchased the club in 2003, Chelsea experienced a rise unlike any other to that point, but ended up becoming the innovator in player acquisitions. The Dutch ace was a megastar and although he was in the twilight of his career when he arrived in West London, his presence alone introduced a whole new culture at Chelsea. The Dutch ace was a danger man with a capital D and he was feared by most defenders. With 8 shots on goal and a conversion rate of 28.57 % … As strikers go, they didn't come much tougher than Mark Hughes during his playing days. The greatest player that has ever - or will ever - wear a Chelsea shirt. Like Marcel Desailly, Frank Leboeuf won the World Cup with France in 1998. it capped off a fine couple of seasons for the centre-back having won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 1997, followed by the League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup 12 months later. I'm sure (many people's choice as No. He spent three years at Chelsea from 2003-2006 and was magnificent in all of them. By clicking "Advanced options", you can adjust the filter and only show players that never played for this club, but other clubs in … Currently plying his trade in Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy, despite joining rivals Tottenham Hotspur in 2009, Carlo Cudicini remains a hero on the King's Road after his years of loyal service. 1, but following Petr Cech's arrival in 2004, he was forced to remain on the sidelines for the majority of his time at Stamford Bridge. After a slow start to his Blues career, he became a regular and played a major role in their success under Jose Mourinho. Chelsea's most-successful captain, it's slightly giving things away to announce John Terry is the only defender to make our top 10 of Chelsea's all-time 50 greatest players. One of England's most-talented right-backs, let alone among Chelsea's finest defenders. There was no pretense where Charlie Cooke was concerned, however, with the midfielder one of the stars of Chelsea's golden generation in the 1960s and 1970s. A Chelsea youth product, Colin Pates made 346 appearances for the club. He was only 21 at the time, but arriving from hometown club Crewe Alexandra a year earlier, he was a key player to the Blues. Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has been named as the best player in the Premier League, with Arsenal's Granit Xhaka and Brighton's Pascal Gross also in the top 10. The Scot was a magnificent talent and not only that, supported teammate Paul Canoville by speaking out against racism in football at a time when footballers found it hard to tackle such issues. Vote or re-rank this list according to who you think is the greatest Chelsea player ever, then head over and check out the best Chelsea keepers ever. he doesn't just make it into our top 50 list of Chelsea's all time players, he would probably make the starting XI, too. Silva, 36, has thrived and flourished since his arrival last summer and has been at the heart of Chelsea's improved back line this season. Belletti. Chelsea FC. The Icelander had been at Stamford Bridge for six years, making a real name for himself having joined from Bolton Wanderers. In November 2004, he was awarded an OBE, Honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire in a special ceremony in Rome. Thierry Henry is not only the greatest ever Premier League striker, he is the greatest ever Premier League player." The Best LA Galaxy Players In MLS History, The Best FC Barcelona Players Of All Time, Ranked, The Best Real Madrid Players Of All Time, Ranked, The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time, The Best Tottenham Hotspur Players of All Time. His partnership with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink even resulted in Gianfranco Zola being relegated to the subs bench, with Gudjohnsen proving even too good for the Blues legend. He then scored in the League Cup final against the same opposition a year later, before scoring the last-ever goal at Wembley before its redevelopment in the 2000 FA Cup final as Chelsea beat Aston Villa. He created an excellent understanding with Peter Osgood during his time at Stamford Bridge and set his teammate up for memorable headed equalizer against Leeds Untied in the 1970 FA Cup final replay. The Spaniard has been named back-to-back Player of the Year and last year even picked up the Players' Player of the Year award after another fine campaign in Blue. Eddie McCreadie did it all at Chelsea—he won major honors and even managed the club before resigning over a dispute involving a company car. Simply a great striker—one of Chelsea's finest. In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, the Blues are reportedly interested in signing both Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland in the summer and Joe Cole believes Mason Mount can become one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players. Footballers were tough in the 1980s, but few came tougher than Joey Jones. He died in May, 1916, aged 42. He was an example for all the young players. As the first black player in Chelsea's history, he suffered racial abuse from his own fans during the 1980s. Not many players have a position named after them—Claude Makelele has, though. He … A Premier League winner, an FA Cup winner, League winner and Champions League winner. It was despicable behavior, but with Canoville sticking to his guns and riding out the storm of hatred, he helped path the way for so many black players who have since graced the Stamford Bridge turf. Posted by Steven Green. In all, Tambling made 370 appearances for the club, with his goals tally giving him an average of 0.54 per game—a fine record in any generation. Greaves started his career at Chelsea and spent four years there, and although he is not most famous for being a Chelsea player, his place is well deserved on this list, as he is a Chelsea great. Former Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has named the greatest player that he played with. Which Chelsea players have been the best midfielders ever? 9 was nothing short of majestic throughout his Blues career. He was a classy defender and was years ahead of his time with his slick approach to the game. He was voted Player of the Year in 2008 and had it not been for a serious knee injury suffered against Southend United in the FA Cup a year later, we'd probably still be witnessing his talents at Chelsea now. While many will point to the success of the above players, including Didier Drogba, but there were more players that rest in Chelsea folklore. A fine player. Similar to William "Fatty" Foulke, Chelsea's first-ever goalkeeper, Paul Canoville is a pioneer. The German had a fine reputation in European football and he enhanced it at Stamford Bridge too, winning the Premier League in 2010 as part of a fearsome midfield partnership with Frank Lampard. Voted Chelsea’s greatest ever player, Gianfranco Zola finally called time on his fantastic career at his home club Cagliari when he retired from playing in 2005. Chelsea's youngest-ever captain, it was the financial situation at Stamford Bridge in the 1970s that saw the man they call "Butch" move to Manchester United. England. The Liverpool legend's comments have gone down very well with Arsenal fans. Is your favourite player missing? There's often talk of bargain buys, but joining Chelsea on a free transfer from Bayern Munich in 2006, Michael Ballack certainly ensured he fell into that bracket. Allied with some older heads, including Player of the Year Mateo Kovacic, they excited the fans with some big London derby wins and a fourth-place finish, achieved after a three-month break to the season caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The face of Chelsea’s recent success, Terry deserves to be known as the club’s greatest player of all time. He lived up to his billing, too, scoring his share of goals before being appointed manager in 1998, winning the League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup. That was the day Frank Lampard not only scored goal 202 for Chelsea, but his second strike against Aston Villa to make it 2-1 on 88 minutes moved him onto 203, thus making him Chelsea's all-time goalscorer. Wise helped put the club back in the spotlight, though, captaining them to success in the FA Cup twice, the League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup. The player Chelsea should never have sold. Chelsea has won 15 major trophies since then – five Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one UCL and two Europa League. He left Chelsea for Leicester City in 2001, 11 years after he joined the Blues. It would be an impressive record for a striker, let alone a midfielder and shows the talent Chelsea No. He was exceptional, helping Chelsea win the Premier League in 2005 and 2006—and doing it all in a very subtle way, scheming in defensive midfield while those in front of him took the glory. On a personal level, his finest moment in a Chelsea shirt came in 2012-13 when he headed home the winner against Benfica in the Europa League final. Without further ado, here is the Bleacher Report 50 Greatest Chelsea Players of All Time. The Ivorian has proved one of the Premier League's finest imports and by default, he is one of Roman Abramovich's also. It was a time when stars were few, but the former No. He arrived from Sheffield United in 1905 and spent one season at Chelsea before leaving for Bradford City. He spent eight years in West London and scored 150 goals to put him among the club's all-time goalscorers also. He has been sensational since making his debut against Aston Villa in 1998, rising through the ranks to emulate so many stars before him. But just look at his stats—132 goals in 169 games for the Blues. Whatever his current predicament at Stamford Bridge, he will certainly go down as one of Chelsea's all-time greats. Indeed, Zola's form ousted Gianluca Vialli from the starting XI, with the Blues' No. 9's shone brightest. A Champions League winner when he signed for Chelsea, Gianluca Vialli didn't even need to kick a ball before he became a Chelsea hero. Lampard surpassed Bobby Tambling's previous record of 202 and while it put him out in front on the scoring charts, it also confirmed his position as Chelsea's greatest player. A player with a bag full of tricks, Cooke was hard to track and despite giving defenders the run around, their fatigue come the minutes didn't mean they slept well. Loved and adored at Stamford Bridge, Wise's talents weren't as well celebrated as perhaps hindsight suggests they should be, with him picking up just 21 England caps. Scorer of the fastest-ever FA Cup final goal at the old Wembley, his strike against Middlesbrough in 1997 set Chelsea on their way to lift the trophy. That's not to discount the business the club did before the new owner rolled into West London. Wally Bellett. 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In early 2003, Zola was voted as the best ever Chelsea player by Chelsea's fans. He spent four season at Chelsea, but since departing has remained a hero along the King's Road. He was the first of Chelsea's true "cultured" centre-backs in the modern era and his arrival helped kick start a modern tradition. At Stamford Bridge, just one statue of a former hero stands and it's telling to the regard with which he is still held that the statue is of Osgood, welcoming fans entering the West Stand. 'Some of the greatest players the Premier League has seen have taken time to succeed...' The Italian joined the Blues in 1999 and quickly dislodged Ed de Goey as first choice. Quite simply the greatest Premier League player ever." Despite Chelsea boasting a host of attacking talent in the 1960s and 1970s, it was defenders who marked their finest moments of what is now rightly seen as a golden era in the club's history. A cultured midfielder before the term had even entered football's mainstream, Terry Venables was a success wherever he played. His 12 years at Stamford Bridge have been phenomenal and ensure he stands apart from the rest as Chelsea's greatest. We've said it before, but the late 1970s and 1980s were a tough time for Chelsea fans as the club faced an uncertain future. A fine player, an equally fine manager in his Chelsea days, too, Gullit is a proper legend. MUST READ – 5 Chelsea Players With Most Appearances #1: John Terry This is the easiest pick of the lot, John Terry is undoubtedly Chelsea FC’s best ever captain. Asmir Begović. it's a shame then that he was largely underrated during his career. Nicknamed The Cat on account of his phenomenal flexibility, Peter Bonetti is Chelsea's most-capped goalkeeper with 729 appearances to his name. The Bleacher Report inbox and Twitter feed have been overflowing this past week with Chelsea fans offering their thoughts on who should make our all-time list of the club's top 50 players. 14/11/1933. Not only that, he returned as manager in 1993, helping steer the club clear of relegation. Jimmy Greaves played so long ago that archive footage of the former Chelsea ace is somewhat harder to come by these days. Chelsea youth product and club captain throughout his career, Ron Harris is another Blues star whose commitment to the cause never went unnoticed throughout his career. Chelsea's 14 best academy graduates of the last 25 years. Lampard has returned that investment with an astonishing trophy haul, too, which includes three Premier League titles, the Champions League and Europa League among others. Those stats say it all, but if you're still not convinced, just remember he scored four goals in his last ever game for Chelsea before leaving to join AC Milan in 1961. Nicknamed The Cat on account of his phenomenal flexibility, Peter Bonetti is Chelsea's most-capped goalkeeper with 729 appearances to his name. Chelsea Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Fulham, London.The club was established in 1905 and plays its home games at Stamford Bridge.. Chelsea have won six top-flight titles. Niedzwiecki was a sure thing, though and made 175 appearances from 1983-88. Early on we decided to set a few ground rules, which are as follows: • Players featured are either those we have been able to watch in the flesh or via extensive highlights footage; • If the above was not possible, then players with considerable stats or historic significance would also be considered; • To give an equal representation of players, we've split the list into each position—goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and strikers—with our top 10 being a free for all. Chelsea custodian during the turbulent 1980s, Eddie Niedzwiecki was one of the shining lights in an otherwise forgettable decade for the Blues. The Italian arrived at Chelsea from Parma in 1996 where, under Carlo Ancelotti, he was having a difficult time playing out wide and feeling unloved. Chelsea perhaps didn't realize it at the time, but they picked up one of the bargains of the century. He came with an end product and scored some fabulous goals for the Blues including a memorable strike against Sunderland on the opening day of the season in 1999—a goal that can be viewed on YouTube. Tuchel's appointment changed the mood. Where Chelsea are today is as much to do with Ruud Gullit's signing in 1995 as it is Roman Abramovich's vast riches. It was his gutsy performances week in, week out, that endeared him to Chelsea fans and while he may not have been as naturally gifted as his peers, he more than made up for it with his passion and endeavor. Frank Lampard is considered by most as the best Chelsea FC attacking midfielder ever.But who else makes the list of Chelsea top midfielders? Best Chelsea midfielders ever? Add to that the fact he was Chelsea manager when they lifted the Champions League for the first time in 2012 and you get the idea of why he features in this list. Signing from Bolton Wanderers in January 2008, it was perhaps a surprise to see Nicolas Anelka at Chelsea as many thought his best days were past him. 'Drogba was the greatest example' - Ex-Chelsea wonderkid Di Santo on life at Stamford Bridge. Ruud Gullit arrived to Chelsea FC in 1995 having won European Player of the year previously and considered the best player in the world. He was part of Tommy Docherty's young "Diamonds" team in the 1960s and was tipped for great things on the domestic scene as well as international. Where to start with Roberto Di Matteo? The man otherwise known as "Fatty" Foulke will live long in history for being Chelsea's first-ever goalkeeper. The fact his scoring record of 202 lasted until 2013 shows just how great Bobby Tambling was for Chelsea. Goalkeeper. His performance index is 355 , he scored 4 goals and provided 4 assists. Attempting to list the greatest 50 players in Chelsea's history was not easy.. After researching the 50 most deserving, it was even more challenging to list them in order, but here it is.