If the list of premier league legends was based on medals and longevity alone, then Giggs has no equal. The Manchester United number 11 has notched up over 580 premier league appearances and has accounted for a staggering 12 titles during his illustrious career in North West England. He is indeed the most successful British footballer ever. Giggs has the record of being the only one to grace every single premier league season and also the only one to score in every season (as of 2010/2011 season). The Welshman has scored over 100 goals and leads the park when it comes to assists that number in excess of 260. While naturally gifted, Giggs owes much of his success to one man, Sir Alex Ferguson. The two have had a fruitful “father/son” relationship ever since the great manager knocked on Giggs’ parents’ home to request them to allow the promising talent to sign for United all those years ago. Now in his late 30s, the Winger is yet to stop the clock on his career and might yet add to his burgeoning trophy cabinet.
One of his grandparents (paternal) is an African from Sierra Leone and he has stated before that he was a victim of a racial attack in his formative years.
Thierry Henry’s place in this list was never in doubt as he is the third all-time leading scorer in the premier league with 174 goals, a figure that is only matched by Andrew Cole’s 188 and Alan Shearer’s 260. What made the Frenchman special was that he was not only a lethal finisher but was also a great creator of goals as he accounted for an impressive 67 assists during his time. Blessed with searing pace, cool head, 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 two titles and four golden boot awards during his eight years with the North London giants Arsenal. He is the all-time Arsenal leading scorer with 226 goals in all competitions.
Henry was actually a winger when he joined Arsenal from Juventus before Arsene Wenger molded him into a ruthless goal-machine.
Arguably the first real foreign star of the premier league, Cantona -or “the king”, as he was affectionately referred to by adoring Manchester United fans, was signed by United from arch-rivals Leeds United. The Frenchman spent a total of six seasons in England for which he won the title five times, the only time he failed to win was in 1994/1995 season( more of that later). He was voted as the best international star of the first premier league decade. He scored 70 goals in 156 premiership games, the best of which was his lob against Sunderland at Old Trafford. He retired from the game in 2007 at the age of 30 to launch into an acting career.
Cantona was banned during 1994/1995 season for kicking an opposing fan. Many pundits have stated -and with some merit that the ban played a big part in United conceding the title to Blackburn.
Who can forget his second of the hat trick goals he scored at Filbert Street against Leicester City? Or the one at St James park against Newcastle? Those two goals epitomized the man and were voted amongst top ten premier league goals of the first decade. The Dutchman starred for Arsenal for 11 years during which he won three premier league trophies and player of the year award. Bergkamp was blessed with great technique and a penchant for scoring spectacular goals.
Bergkamp has a fear of flying and used to take the bus when the rest used to fly. This fear developed after an incident before the World Cup in America.
Alan Shearer and goals were made for one another, in 441 premiership appearances, the Geordie netted 260 goals, a record that stands to this day. His finest hour came at the end of 1994/1995 season when he won his only title with Blackburn Rovers.
He formed a lethal double-act with Cris Sutton that terrorized defenders across the land. In the summer of 1996, he signed for his boyhood club NewCastle United for a then world record fee of 15 million pounds and was unveiled before a crowd of 20,000 fans in North East England. He spent 10 years with NewCastle during which he became a “Toon Army” cult hero. He was voted the best player of the first ten years of the premier league.