From Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry to Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, some fine footballers have graced the Premier League.
And Jose Mourinho has named the player he believes to be the league’s best for 10 years - but he hasn’t gone for any of the aforementioned names.
Nope. In typical ‘I worked with him for many years and we won several trophies together’ style, Mourinho plumped for Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.
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The Portuguese coach spent two spells at Chelsea and it was during his first one - between 2004 and 2007 - that he and Lampard were so successful. Together, they won two league titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups.
Lampard played 13 seasons in the Premier League and Mourinho believes he was the best player for 10 of them.
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The 53-year-old told Straits Times: “At Chelsea, in my first period, I had Frank Lampard, probably the best player in the Premier League for one decade.”
It would be interesting to hear what Rooney and Gerrard, two Premier League heroes, have to say about that.
Although it’s hard to argue with Lampard’s achievements. He was 25-years-old when Mourinho arrived for his first spell in 2004 but had yet to really establish himself as a quality midfielder.
But it was under the Portuguese that the accolades soon came flying in.
Perhaps the greatest honour he owns, besides being named Premier League Player of the Season in back-to-back years, is the tag of being Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer. He ended up scoring 211 goals for the Blues.
Harry Redknapp's prediction
Lampard’s success was forecast by his uncle, Harry Redknapp, back in 1996. Check out a video of Redknapp telling an audience that Lampard will go “right to the very top” 20 years ago.
Mourinho’s career has taken him to Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid - so he’s certainly managed a number of world class talents. Could he pick the best of the lot? No.
He continued: “Who was my best player? It’s so hard and so difficult to say, and I coached some of the best players in the world. I had incredible players.
“I went to Inter (Milan), I had (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, I got (Javier) Zanetti. I go to Madrid, I had (Cristiano) Ronaldo. I come back to Chelsea, I find other top players.
“I have so many, they gave me top much that it’s not fair to say this is the one. It’s impossible to win so many things without the players, so I respect all of them.”
Next Manchester United boss?
Mourinho is currently out of work following his dismissal from Chelsea in December and has admitted he is desperate to get back into management.
But he certainly won’t have a player like Lampard in his next squad.
Who is currently the best player in the Premier League? Let us know in the comments section below!
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