Football

Top five: Portuguese Premier League players

Published 1 Comments

Football News
24/7

Many fantastic Portuguese stars have graced England during the Premier League era. 

But, which players have been the best? Let's take a look at the top five: 

5. Paulo Ferreira

Loved by Chelsea fans for his years of service to the club, Paulo Ferreira originally joined the Blues from Porto for a fee in excess of £13m, signifying the beginning of the Mourinho era. 

Starting as the first-choice right-back in his first few years, he played the whole game in the 2007 FA Cup final, where Chelsea beat Manchester United after extra time. With age, his appearances were more sporadic, but he was always reliable when called upon to deputise for Juliano Belletti. 

It was this type of performance that epitomised Ferreira's time at Chelsea, and what convinced The Special One to bring him to Stamford Bridge in the first place. Carlo Ancelotti also saw the value he brought to the squad - though when Andre Villas-Boas came in with orders to refresh an ageing squad, Ferreira was inevitably not going to make the cut.

Yet while managers fell like flies, Ferreira was a reliable constant of Chelsea Football Club over ten years. He oversaw the reigns of eight different managers, won four FA Cups, three Premier League titles, two League Cups and a Champions League. Not bad for someone regarded by many as unspectacular.

4. Raul Meireles

Now capped 70 times by Portugal, 30-year-old Meireles was brought to England by Roy Hodgson, then manager of Liverpool. In what was to be a disappointing season for the Reds, Meireles was a rare shining light, and got even better when Kenny Dalglish replaced Hodgson mid-way through the season. 

He did not take long to endear himself to the Kop faithful, scoring his first goal against Merseyside rivals Everton, and his performances were rewarded with not only ESPN PFA Fans' Player of the Month, but also the PFA Fans' player of the Year award. 

His loyalty to Liverpool was short-lived, however, and he moved to Chelsea on deadline day the following season in pursuit of Champions League glory and the chance to work with Andre Villas-Boas. AVB was soon dismissed by ruthless Roman Abramovich following a disappointing half-season, but he remained, for the most part, in Roberto Di Matteo's plans too. 

He only made a brief substitute appearance in the FA Cup final victory over former club Liverpool and also missed the Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich through suspension, but those two trophies were still a sweet reward for his time in English football before being sold to Fenerbahce following the arrivals of Oscar and Eden Hazard. 

3. Deco

Born in Brazil, Deco switched nationality to Portugal having never been called up for the Selecao and having lived in Portugal for long enough. After becoming the Champions League's top assist provider and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, it seemed certain he would join Chelsea with Jose Mourinho - but instead opted for Barcelona. 

Four years on, however, and he did join the Blues, then coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari. His class was put immediately on show as he scored brilliant goals against Portsmouth and Wigan to kick-start his Premier League career. 

Scolari's brilliant start soon declined and with the change of manager, Deco lost his regular starting place. An unhappy spell under Guus Hiddink was followed by better times under Carlo Ancelotti, where the creative midfielder forced his way back into the side and played a prominent part in the title-winning team of Ancelotti's first season as Blues boss.

2. Ricardo Carvalho

Few centre-backs from overseas have taken to English football so well as Ricardo Carvalho did.

Another of Mourinho's boys, Carvalho was brought in with Paulo Ferreira as part of the revolution that would see Chelsea become genuine title challengers for years to come. 

The foundation of this trophy-winning side was Carvalho's excellent partnership with John Terry - the pair complemented each other wonderfully and always seemed to be on a level with one another. Chelsea only conceded 37 goals in Carvalho's first two seasons with the club - a real testament to his prowess.

His brilliant form would seem to never relent, as he was named Chelsea's Player of the Year in 2007/08 following a turbulent year under Avram Grant that saw the club lose out to Manchester United in the Champions League final on penalties as well as the Premier League. 

He went on to finish his time in England on a high, winning the double under Carlo Ancelotti before sealing a move to Real Madrid at the age of 31. 

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo was brought into Manchester United as the replacement for David Beckham - whom a lot of fans were hurting over the loss of. They weren't hurting for long. 

Upon his arrival, Ronaldo developed a reputation for being a show-pony with little end product - but with time and good coaching by Rene Meulensteen, the winger became an irresistible force. 

2006 saw him take consecutive Player of the Month awards (only Robbie Fowler and Dennis Bergkamp had achieved that before), he then went on to become the only player to win all four PFA and FWA awards in the same season. Amazingly, he would only become even more unstoppable as the years went on.

The European Golden Shoe followed in 2007-08 with an incredible 42 goals as United won the Premier League and Champions League double. Alongside Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney with the rocks of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand always reliable at the back, Ronaldo was the fulcrum of Sir Alex Ferguson's strongest-ever side. 

Eventually, after years of trying, Real Madrid finally prised him away from United's clutches, and the Premier League lost arguably its greatest ever player. 

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
Football
Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Deco

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again