The best Premier League footballer ever from every country in the world

  • Rob Swan
Manchester United's Portuguese forward C

The Premier League is the most popular league in the world for a host of reasons, one of which is down to the overseas players who have lit up English football since 1992.

It wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without the long list of foreign players who cemented their status as Premier League legends.

The likes of Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dennis Bergkamp, Gianfranco Zola and many others will always be remembered fondly by millions of Premier League fans.

Similarly, the Premier League wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without all of the top British players who have helped to make the league what it is today.

But who are the best ever players from every country represented over the course of the Premier League era so far?

There were some countries who had only ever been represented by a single player. These players were selected for the respective countries by default.

We’ve also given most countries honourable mentions. If it’s an ’N/A’, that means either no other Premier League footballer has played for that specific country or, for whatever reason, we didn’t feel any of the other players deserved a mention.

Let’s crack on…


Lorik Cana

Honourable mentions: N/A

The tough-tackling midfielder, who played for his country 92 times, was briefly made Sunderland captain following his move from Marseille in 2009.

No other Albanian has played in the Premier League.


Riyad Mahrez

Honourable mentions: Ali Benarbia

A handful of Algerians have plied their trade in the Premier League, including the brilliant Riyad Mahrez, who played a key role in Leicester City’s remarkable 2015/16 title triumph.

He joined Manchester City in 2018 and bagged another Premier League winners’ medal in his first season at the Etihad.

Leicester City v Everton - Premier League



Honourable mentions: N/A

The only Angolan to play for a Premier League club, Manucho briefly turned out for Manchester United but wasn’t quite good enough to establish himself as a first-team regular. He also spent time with Hull City, scoring two goals.

Antigua and Barbuda

Mikele Leigertwood

Honourable mentions: N/A

Mikele Leigertwood spent his career floating between the Premier League and the Championship and was a decent, if unspectacular, defensive midfielder.


Sergio Aguero

Honourable mentions: Carlos Tevez, Pablo Zabaleta

So many incredible Argentine players have played for various English top-flight clubs during the Premier League era, but Sergio Aguero is surely the best.

The 31-year-old has scored 173 Premier League goals at the time of writing. That’s more than any other player in Premier League history with the exception of Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard, Andy Cole, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer.

Manchester City v Watford FC - Premier League


Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Honourable mentions: N/A

We only saw glimpses of Henrikh Mkhitaryan at his best in the Premier League, but we’ll always remember the incredible scorpion kick he scored for Man Utd against Sunderland in December 2016.


Tim Cahill

Honourable mentions: Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka

A shout out to Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka, who were excellent during the early-2000s at Leeds United, but Tim Cahill takes it.

The midfielder made a real impact in the Premier League with Everton, scoring 56 goals in 226 games over eight years.


Marko Arnautovic

Honourable mentions: Christian Fuchs

Marko Arnautovic scored 22 goals in 125 Premier League games with Stoke City, and 21 in 59 matches for West Ham.

The enigmatic forward just pips Christian Fuchs, a Premier League winner with Leicester, to the title of best Austrian player.


Emerson Boyce

Honourable mentions: N/A

Four players from Barbados have played in the Premier League and Emmerson Boyce, a defender for Crystal Palace and then Wigan Athletic, is the pick of the bunch.


Alexander Hleb

Honourable mentions: N/A

No contest, this one. Alexander Hleb is arguably the best footballer to come out of Belarus.

The attacking midfielder impressed during a three-year spell with Arsenal before moving on to Barcelona in 2008. He also had a brief stint on loan at Birmingham City.


Eden Hazard

Honourable mentions: Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany

Lots of talented Belgian footballers have played in the Premier League over the past 10 years.

Eden Hazard *just* takes it ahead of the likes of Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne. Now at Real Madrid, Hazard was named Premier League Player of the Season at the end of the 2014/15 campaign.

Chelsea FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League


Stephane Sessegnon

Honourable mentions: Rudy Gestede

A dangerous attacking midfielder on his day, Stephane Sessegnon scored 25 goals in 166 Premier League appearances for Sunderland and West Brom.


Shaun Goater

Honourable mentions: N/A

‘Feed the Goat and he will score!’

Shaun Goater, one of the most famous Bermudans ever, will always occupy a special place in the hearts of Manchester City fans.


Jaime Moreno

Honourable mentions: N/A

On the basis that he played more games than his namesake Marcelo Moreno, we’ll give Jaime the title of best Bolivian the Premier League has seen.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Edin Dzeko

Honourable mentions: Asmir Begovic

Asmir Begovic would get the nod if this list was based on longevity alone, but Edin Dzeko was a top striker who Man City probably should have done more to keep.

Dzeko, who has scored goals consistently throughout his career, netted 50 Premier League goals for the Citizens.


Roberto Firmino

Honourable mentions: Philippe Coutinho, Fernandinho, Juninho

Not every Brazilian has flourished after joining a Premier League club. Plenty of struggled down the years.

But on top of the pile is Roberto Firmino, who has made such a massive impact at Liverpool following his arrival from Hoffenheim in 2015.

Firmino has only scored 51 goals in 148 league games but he’s so much more than a goalscorer. What he brings to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team is invaluable.

Southampton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League


Dimitar Berbatov

Honourable mentions: Stiliyan Petrov

Who else, right?

Dimitar Berbatov oozed class and boasted one of the best first touches ever seen in the Premier League.

He won the Premier League Golden Boot award with Manchester United during the 2010/11 season after scoring 20 goals.

Burkina Faso

Bertrand Traore

Honourable mentions: N/A

The only Premier League player from Burkina Faso, Bertrand Traore scored two goals in 10 appearances during his time at Chelsea.


Saido Berahino

Honourable mentions: Gael Bigirimana

It was either Saido Berahino or Gael Bigirimana. Saido scored 14 Premier League goals with West Brom during the 2014/15 season, so he takes it.


Samuel Eto’o

Honourable mentions: Geremi, Joel Matip, Alex Song, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Lauren

We didn’t get to see the best Samuel Eto’o in the Premier League - but still, it was Samuel Eto’o!

Three of his Premier League goals were scored against Manchester United in a 3-1 win for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.


Tomasz Radzinski

Honourable mentions: Junior Hoilett

Tomasz Radzinski was always a goal threat and would regularly pop up with a goal or two during his spells with Everton and Fulham.

Cape Verde


Honourable mentions: N/A

On the basis that he played more games than Sunderland’s Cabral, we’ll go for ex-West Brom centre-back Pele for Cape Verde.

Incidentally, former Manchester United winger Nani was of Cape Verde descent but opted to play for Portugal instead.

Central African Republic

Frederic Nimani

Honourable mentions: N/A

The only player from the Central African Republic, Frederic Nimani had a brief spell at Burnley during the 2009/10 season.


Alexis Sanchez

Honourable mentions: Jean Beausejour, Gonzalo Jara

He may have been terrible at Old Trafford, but never forget how brilliant Alexis Sanchez was at Arsenal.

The Chilean forward produced countless Man of the Match displays at the Emirates Stadium and scored an impressive 60 goals in 122 games.

West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal - Premier League


Sun Jihai

Honourable mentions: N/A

China boast the largest population on the planet but only six footballers from the country have played in the Premier League.

Sun Jihai was a solid defender, making 130 appearances for Manchester City in the six years before all the money came flooding in.


Faustino Asprilla

Honourable mentions: Hugo Rodallega, Juan Pablo Angel

If it was based on career achievements, Radamel Falcao would have been selected. But, unfortunately, the striker was rubbish at both Man Utd and Chelsea.

Faustino Asprilla, on the other hand, was box office during his spell with Newcastle.


Chris Samba

Honourable mentions: N/A

Chris Samba was among the best Premier League centre-backs at one point during his time at Blackburn Rovers.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite as impressive during an ill-fated spell with doomed Queens Park Rangers in 2013.

Costa Rica

Paulo Wanchope

Honourable mentions: Bryan Ruiz, Bryan Oviedo

A classic Premier League striker from the 1990s, Paulo Wanchope provided Derby County, West Ham and Man City fans with some great memories.


Luka Modric

Honourable mentions: Niko Kranjcar, Dejan Lovren

It’s funny to think that not everybody rated Luka Modric particularly highly during his time at Tottenham because he didn’t score or assist many goals.

But the Croatian midfielder was pure class and it was no surprise when Real Madrid secured his services in 2012.

Modric went on to win the Ballon d’Or in 2018.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League


Onel Hernandez

Honourable mentions: N/A

Onel Hernandez, who plays for Norwich City, represented Germany at youth level but was born in Morón, Cuba. No other footballer from the country has played in the Premier League.


Leandro Bacuna

Honourable mentions: Cuco Martina

Six Premier League players have been of Curacao descent, including Leandro Bacuna, who played in England’s top flight with Aston Villa.


Nikodimos Papavasiliou

Honourable mentions: N/A

It was a toss-up between Nikodimos Papavasiliou, who spent time at Newcastle United in the early-1990s, and former Chelsea youngster Alexis Nicolas.

Czech Republic

Petr Cech

Honourable mentions: Patrik Berger, Tomas Rosicky, Vladimir Smicer

Despite competition from the aforementioned trio, there’s no looking past Petr Cech when it comes to the best Czech Republic player of the Premier League era.

Cech, who played for Chelsea and Arsenal, is arguably the best goalkeeper of the Premier League era.


Peter Schmeichel

Honourable mentions: Christian Eriksen, Kasper Schmeichel, Thomas Gravesen

Another contender for the title of ‘best goalkeeper of the Premier League era’, the legendary Peter Schmeichel was sensational for Man Utd during the 1990s.

He also went on to have spells with Aston Villa and Man City before retiring in 2003.

Peter Schmeichel

DR Congo

Yannick Bolasie

Honourable mentions: Lomana LuaLua

An exciting winger blessed with pace and skill in abundance, Yannick Bolasie was a joy to watch during his time at Crystal Palace.

He earned a £25 million move to Everton in August 2016 but a combination of injuries and poor form have prevented him from becoming a Goodison Park hero.


Antonio Valencia

Honourable mentions: Ulises de la Cruz, Jefferson Montero

One of the most successful footballers ever to emerge from Ecuador, Antonio Valencia spent two years at Wigan before sealing a move to Man Utd in 2009.

He went on to make 241 league appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 17 goals, and even captained the club at one point.


Mohamed Salah

Honourable mentions: Ahmed Elmohamady, Amr Zaki, Mido

Mohamed Salah’s first spell in the Premier League was difficult. The forward only managed to make 13 appearances for Chelsea, scoring two goals.

But the Egypt international has been a revelation at Liverpool, netting 59 goals in 84 league games since 2017, winning back-to-back Golden Boot awards in the process.

Salah also broke the record for most goals in a single Premier League season, netting 32 in 36 games during his debut campaign at Anfield.


Wayne Rooney

Honourable mentions: Alan Shearer, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Harry Kane, David Beckham, Michael Owen.

There are so many top English players to choose from but we’ll go for Wayne Rooney because of the number of Premier League goals he scored with Man Utd and Everton (208) and the number of titles he won during his spell at Old Trafford (five league titles).

Yes, Alan Shearer can feel hard done by.

Manchester United v Norwich City - Premier League

Equatorial Guinea

Pedro Obiang

Honourable mentions: N/A

Three goals in 91 Premier League appearances with West Ham, Pedro Obiang didn’t do too badly during his four-year spell in England.


Mart Poom

Honourable mentions: Ragnar Klavan

One of the most-capped players in Estonia’s history, Mart Poom spent most of his time in England playing for Derby County but also had spells at Sunderland and (very briefly) Arsenal.

Faroe Islands

Gunnar Nielsen

Honourable mentions: N/A

Gunnar Nielsen made one Premier League appearance for Man City and is the only footballer from the Faroe Islands to play in England’s top division.


Sami Hyypia

Honourable mentions: Jari Litmanen, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Mikael Forssell

Some quality Fins have played in the Premier League, but Sami Hyypia was the best of the bunch.

One of Liverpool’s best centre-backs since 1992, the talismanic defender captained the Reds and inspired those around him on the pitch.


Thierry Henry

Honourable mentions: Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, Eric Cantona, Patrice Evra, William Gallas, David Ginola, N’Golo Kante, Robert Pires, Paul Pogba

Thierry Henry is, for our money, the best player of the Premier League era.

The French striker was on a different level to every other Premier League footballer between 2002-2006 and scored 174 goals in 254 games in total.



Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Honourable mentions: N/A

Recently appointed Arsenal’s new permanent captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored an impressive 40 Premier League goals in just 58 matches at the time of writing.

He is one of five Gabonese footballers to play in English football’s top flight since 1992.


Modou Barrow

Honourable mentions: N/A

The only Premier League footballer ever to come from Gambia, Modou Barrow made 51 appearances for Swansea City, scoring one goal.


Georgi Kinkladze

Honourable mentions: Temuri Ketsbaia, Zurab Khizanishvili

A mercurial winger, Georgi Kinkladze became a Man City hero after joining the club in 1995.

He won the club’s Player of the Season award in two consecutive seasons and provided 90s-City with some much-needed sparkle.


Mesut Ozil

Honourable mentions: Michael Ballack, Dietmar Hamann, Jurgen Klinsmann

Plenty of talented German players to choose from, but we’ll go for Mesut Ozil.

It’s true that the Arsenal playmaker has gone missing in a lot of games since 2013, but he has also lit up the Premier League with many outstanding performances.

Ozil has scored 32 goals and provided 52 assists in 167 league appearances.



Michael Essien

Honourable mentions: Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari

At his peak, around 2005-2007, Michael Essien was arguably the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League. He was fast, powerful, could tackle and join in with the attack.

Essien won two Premier League titles during his seven seasons at Stamford Bridge.


Danny Higginbotham

Honourable mentions: N/A

Danny Higginbotham was born in Manchester and spent his entire career playing in England but represented Gibraltar three times.

He is the only Premier League player to play for Gibraltar at international level.


Stelios Giannakopoulos

Honourable mentions: Jose Holebas, Georgios Samaras, Nikos Dabizas

This was a close one between several players but Stelios Giannakopoulos edges it thanks to his displays with the classic Bolton side that performed so well under Sam Allardyce in the mid-2000s.

The midfielder played 137 Premier League games with the Trotters, chipping in with 20 goals.

Bolton's Stelios Gianakopoulos celebrate


Jason Roberts

Honourable mentions: N/A

One of two Premier League footballers who played for Grenada at international level, along with Delroy Facey, Jason Roberts played for West Bromwich Albion, Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers and Reading, scoring goals on a semi-regular basis.


Titi Camara

Honourable mentions: Naby Keita

Naby Keita should establish his status as the best Premier League player from Guinea over the coming seasons but, for the time being, we’ll give the title to another ex-Red: Titi Camara, who also played for West Ham during the early-2000s.



Honourable mentions: N/A

In all honesty, we don't remember an awful lot about this guy. Mesca played for Fulham after leaving Chelsea but only managed to make one league appearance for the Cottagers.

No other footballer from Guinea-Bissau has played in the Premier League.


Carl Cort

Honourable mentions: Neil Danns

Carl Cort was not a great Premier League striker by any stretch of the imagination, but he managed to score a handful of goals with Wimbledon and Newcastle. For that reason, we’ll give him the title ahead of Matthew Briggs, Leon Cort and Neil Danns.


Wilson Palacios

Honourable mentions: Maynor Figueroa

A decent Premier League midfielder, the energetic Wilson Palacios played for Wigan, Tottenham and Stoke City. He also spent time on loan at Birmingham City.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League


Zoltan Gera

Honourable mentions: Gabor Kiraly, Marton Fulop

Zoltan Gera would regularly pop up with the odd goal while playing for West Brom and Fulham.

He wasn’t a top-level attacking midfielder but he’s easily the best Hungarian to feature in the Premier League.


Eidur Gudjohnsen

Honourable mentions: Gylfi Sigurdsson, Hermann Hreidarsson

An intelligent forward who went on to play for Barcelona, Eidur Gudjohnsen is best known for his spell at Chelsea, where he scored 54 goals in 186 Premier League games.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, who currently plies his trade with Everton, has a chance of surpassing Gudjohnsen before he ends his career.


Ashkan Dejagah

Honourable mentions: Andranik Teymourian

One of only four Iranians to play in the Premier League, ex-Fulham winger Ashkan Dejagah narrowly gets our vote ahead of Andranik Teymourian.


Yossi Benayoun

Honourable mentions: Tal Ben Haim, Eyal Berkovic

A technically-gifted midfielder, Yossi Benayoun played for a host of top Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.

He scored 34 goals over the course of his Premier League career.


Gianfranco Zola

Honourable mentions: Carlo Cudicini, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Paulo Di Canio, Gianluca Vialli

This was a close-run contest between Gianfranco Zola and Paulo Di Canio, but the Chelsea legend gets the nod for lightning up English football between 1996 and 2003.

One of the first overseas stars of the Premier League era, Zola was a genius.

Gianfranco Zola

Ivory Coast

Didier Drogba

Honourable mentions: Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Salomon Kalou, Wilfried Zaha, Emmanuel Eboue

Didier Drogba or Yaya Toure? Tough one.

For longevity, goals scored in big games and titles won, we have to give it to Drogba.

The Chelsea legend is one of 28 players to score 100 Premier League goals or more.


Wes Morgan

Honourable mentions: Jason Euell, Ricardo Fuller

Wes Morgan became the first Jamaican to win a Premier League medal with Leicester City in 2016.

The powerful centre-back captained the Foxes during the most incredible season we’ve ever witnessed.


Shinji Okazaki

Honourable mentions: Junichi Inamoto, Shinji Kagawa, Hidetoshi Nakata, Maya Yoshida

In terms of talent, the likes of Shinji Kagawa and Hidetoshi Nakata were better players than Shinji Okazaki.

But the striker always worked tirelessly and popped up with five important goals for Leicester during their unforgettable title-winning campaign.

He became the second Japanese player to win the Premier League after Kagawa.

Leicester City v Everton - Premier League


Victor Wanyama

Honourable mentions: N/A

The only Kenyan to feature in the Premier League, Victor Wanyama joined Tottenham in Southampton in 2016.


Florent Hadergjonaj

Honourable mentions: N/A

Because he’s made more Premier League appearances, we’ll give the title of best player from Kosovo to Huddersfield Town’s Florent Hadergjonaj instead of Bersant Celina.


Marian Pahars

Honourable mentions: Igors Stepanovs

Fans of the Premier League in the late-1990s and early-2000s will remember Southampton striker Marian Pahars, the Latvian striker who scored goals fairly regularly down on the south coast.

His best tallies were 13 and 14 in the 1999/00 and 2001/02 seasons, respectively.


George Weah

Honourable mentions: N/A

Imagine if we selected Alex Nimely or Christopher Wreh over the legendary George Weah.

We may not have seen the best of the Ballon d’Or winner at Chelsea or Man City but, for his status alone, he’s easily the greatest ever Premier League player from Liberia.


Tomas Danilevicius

Honourable mentions: N/A

Purely on the basis that he made more appearances for Lithuania, we’re giving it to ex-Arsenal player Tomas Danilevicius over former Watford goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis.


Frederic Kanoute

Honourable mentions: Mohamed Sissoko, Djimi Traore

Frederic Kanoute significantly enhanced his reputation after leaving the Premier League for Spanish club Sevilla in 2005, but he wasn’t a bad Premier League striker during his spells with West Ham and Tottenham.


Dylan Kerr

Honourable mentions: N/A

Dylan Kerr, who played for Leeds in the early-1990s, is the only Maltese player to play in the Premier League.


Javier Hernandez

Honourable mentions: Raul Jimenez, Giovani dos Santos, Carlos Vela

A live-wire striker who made a big impact after joining Man Utd in 2010, Javier Hernandez - or ‘Chicharito’ as he’s often called - has scored 53 Premier League goals.

The 31-year-old, who also spent time at West Ham, is the only Mexican to score over 50 Premier League goals.

Chelsea v Manchester United - FA Community Shield


Stevan Jovetic

Honourable mentions: Stefan Savic

Stevan Jovetic is one of the most talented footballers Montenegro have produced and the forward played for Man City between 2013-2015.

Because of the competition for places at the Etihad, Jovetic was rarely a starter. His finest moment came in August 2014, when he scored two goals in a 3-1 win over Liverpool.


Ruel Fox

Honourable mentions: N/A

Yes, Ruel Fox played intentional football for Montserrat, believe it or not.

The former Norwich, Newcastle, Tottenham and West Brom midfielder made two appearances for his adopted nation and scored one goal against Antigua.


Adel Taarabt

Honourable mentions: Mustapha Hadji, Marouane Chamakh, Sofiane Boufal

If you’ve never seen Adel Taarabt play, do yourself a favour and head to YouTube after this.

The Moroccan playmaker was the dictionary definition of a baller and is easily one of the most skilful players the Premier League has seen.

If only he was more dedicated to maximising his potential. He could have been a major star.


Dennis Bergkamp

Honourable mentions: Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Virgil van Dijk, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Marc Overmars, Arjen Robben, Edwin van der Sar, Jaap Stam

So many great Dutchmen have played in the Premier League, but Dennis Bergkamp is surely the best of the lot.

The Arsenal legend was ridiculously talented on a technical level and produced countless moments of magic during his 11 years with the Gunners.

He scored 87 goals and registered 94 assists (the fifth highest in Premier League history) during his time in England.

Dennis Bergkamp of Arsenal with the Goal of the Season award

New Zealand

Ryan Nelsen

Honourable mentions: Winston Reid, Chris Wood

One of six players from New Zealand to feature in the Premier League, centre-back Ryan Nelsen played for Blackburn, Tottenham and QPR before retiring in 2013.


Jay-Jay Okocha

Honourable mentions: Nwankwo Kanu, John Obi Mikel, Peter Odemwingie, Yakubu, Joseph Yobo

Jay-Jay Okocha was outrageously talented and Bolton were incredibly lucky to have him during the mid-2000s.

For Bolton fans, the chance to watch the Nigerian midfielder showcase his skills was worth the ticket price alone.

Okocha is possibly the most skilful Premier League player ever.

Northern Ireland

Aaron Hughes

Honourable mentions: Jonny Evans, Steven Davis

Only 20 players have made more Premier League appearances than Aaron Hughes, the Northern Irish defender who played for the likes of Newcastle, Aston Villa and Fulham.

He also made 112 appearances for his country, scoring one goal.


Artim Sakiri

Honourable mentions: Goran Popov

Four Macedonians have played in the Premier League and, in truth, there was little to separate them.

We’ve gone for Artim Sakiri, who spent time at West Brom between 2003-2005.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Honourable mentions: Henning Berg, Tore Andre Flo, John Carew, Brede Hangeland, Ronny Johnsen, Morten Gamst Pedersen, John Arne Riise, Oyvind Leonhardsen

He might not be the best manager the Premier League has ever seen, but what a striker.

Whether he was starting games or coming off the bench, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a constant goal threat for Man Utd.

He’s the 35th highest scorer in Premier League history at the time of writing, with 91 goals.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester united celebrat


Ali Al-Habsi

Honourable mentions: N/A

Ex-Bolton and Wigan player Ali Al-Habsi was a decent Premier League goalkeeper. He’s also the only player from Oman to play in England’s top division.


Zesh Rehman

Honourable mentions: N/A

Zesh Rehman, who played for Fulham between 2003-2006, is the only footballer from Pakistan to play in the Premier League so far.


Roque Santa Cruz

Honourable mentions: Antolin Alcaraz

Roque Santa Cruz signed for Blackburn after leaving Bayern Munich and scored 23 goals in 57 games, which led to a move to Man City, where he flattered to deceive.

But for those two seasons at Blackburn, the striker must go down as the best Paraguayan the Premier League has seen.


Nolberto Solano

Honourable mentions: N/A

Only one winner here. Nolberto Solano will always be remembered fondly, especially by Newcastle fans. He was technically superb.


Neil Etheridge

Honourable mentions: N/A

Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was born in London but has played 63 times for the Philippines, making him the only player to represent that particular national team in Premier League history.


Lukasz Fabianski

Honourable mentions: Artur Boruc, Tomasz Kuszczak, Wojciech Szczesny

What is it with Poland and producing Premier League goalkeepers?

The four aforementioned Poles are all ‘keepers and we think Lukasz Fabianski - who has played for Arsenal, Swansea and West Ham - now just edges Wojciech Szczesny and co.


Cristiano Ronaldo

Honourable mentions: Nani, Luis Boa Morte, Bernardo Silva

We’ve seen some wonderful Portuguese footballers in the Premier League, but Cristiano Ronaldo is obviously the best.

The legendary forward scored 84 Premier League goals with Man Utd and won three Premier League titles.

Manchester United's Portuguese midfielde

Republic of Ireland

Roy Keane

Honourable mentions: Stephen Carr, Seamus Coleman, Damien Duff, Shay Given, Robbie Keane

Roy Keane is probably the best captain in Premier League history, and certainly Manchester United’s best ever skipper since 1992.

The Irishman was a warrior on the pitch and fearsome opponent for any midfielder.


Dan Petrescu

Honourable mentions: Adrian Mutu

Dan Petrescu was a top right-back during the 1990s. Best known for his five-year spell at Chelsea, the Romanian also played for Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford City and Southampton.


Andrey Arshavin

Honourable mentions: Andrei Kanchelskis, Roman Pavlyuchenko

For scoring all four goals at Anfield in a classic 4-4 draw between Arsenal and Liverpool in 2009, Andrey Arshavin deserves the title of best Russian of the Premier League era.

Arshavin blew hot and cold in an Arsenal shirt but, on the whole, was a decent signing.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Adam Newton

Honourable mentions: N/A

Four distinctly average players to choose from, but we’ve gone for ex-West Ham player Adam Newton.


Gary McAllister

Honourable mentions: Duncan Ferguson, Darren Fletcher

A midfielder of real quality, Gary McAllister played in the Premier League with Leeds, Coventry and Liverpool.

He narrowly pips former Man Utd midfielder Darren Fletcher.


Sadio Mane

Honourable mentions: Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Henri Camara, Idrissa Gueye, Diafra Sakho

If Sadio Mane continues playing like he has been over the past few seasons, he will be remembered as a true Premier League great.

The Senegalese winger has been outstanding since joining Liverpool from Southampton and is now widely regarded - even by Lionel Messi(!) - as one of the world’s best players.

Burnley FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League


Nemanja Vidic

Honourable mentions: Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Dusan Tadic

One of the best defenders of the Premier League era, Nemanja Vidic was consistently outstanding for Man Utd between 2006-2014.


Kevin Betsy

Honourable mentions: N/A

Ex-Fulham midfielder Kevin Betsy was born and raised in England but played seven times for the Seychelles, which is seven more times than any other Premier League player.

Sierra Leone

Kei Kamara

Honourable mentions: Al Bangura

Three Sierra Leone internationals played for the Premier League and Kei Kamara, who has a spell on loan at Norwich City in 2013, was probably the best of the bunch.


Martin Skrtel

Honourable mentions: Martin Dubravka

Central defender Martin Skrtel made 242 appearances for Serbia and scored 16 goals between 2008-2016.


Honourable mentions: Robert Koren

Honourable mentions: N/A

Six Slovenians have played in the Premier League and Robert Koren, the former West Brom and Hull City midfielder, was the most talented of the lot.

South Africa

Benni McCarthy

Honourable mentions: Mark Fish, Quinton Fortune, Steven Pienaar, Lucas Radebe

Steven Pienaar was a top player but we’ve gone for Benni McCarthy, who scored 18 goals in his debut Premier League season with Blackburn.

He went on to score a total of 37 goals in 109 games for Rovers before joining West Ham in 2009.

South Korea

Park Ji-sung

Honourable mentions: Son Heung-min

This one was so tough. Son Heung-min or Park Ji-sung? Both have made a big impact in English football.

Because he won four Premier League titles (and was a top midfielder, too) we’ve gone for Park. But Son has the talent to surpass his compatriot over the next couple of seasons.


David Silva

Honourable mentions: Xabi Alonso, Diego Costa, Santi Cazorla, David de Gea, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata, Fernando Torres

Just look at that list of world-class players. The Premier League has been home to some of the best Spanish players of recent times.

David Silva has been the best of the lot, though. The Man City legend has been consistently excellent since 2010 and will be remembered as a true Premier League great when he leaves England in 2020.

Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League


Freddie Ljungberg

Honourable mentions: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Olaf Mellberg, Sebastian Larsson

Freddie Ljungberg was fantastic for Arsenal around the ‘Invincibles’ era and regularly chipped in with goals from the flanks.

He’d declined significantly by the time he signed for West Ham in 2007 - but at his peak… what a player.


Xherdan Shaqiri

Honourable mentions: Philippe Senderos, Ramon Vega, Granit Xhaka

Xherdan Shaqiri is the best Swiss player of the Premier League era. The left-footed attacking midfielder was decent at Stoke City, despite the fact he failed to save them from relegation in 2018, and has made a positive impact at Liverpool over the past season-and-a-half.


Emmanuel Adebayor

Honourable mentions: N/A

Several Togolese players have played for Premier League clubs but Emmanuel Adebayor is the best by a distance.

Only 28 players have scored more Premier League goals (97) than the former Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace striker.

Trinidad and Tobago

Dwight Yorke

Honourable mentions: Shaka Hislop, Justin Hoyte

The most famous footballer to come from Trinidad and Tobago, Dwight Yorke scored 123 goals and provided 50 assists during his time in England, playing for the likes of Aston Villa and Man Utd.

He was named Premier League Player of the Season in 1999 while playing for the Red Devils.


Radhi Jaidi

Honourable mentions: Wahbi Khazri

Radhi Jaïdi was a half-decent defender who popped up with the odd goal while playing for Bolton and Birmingham in the mid-2000s.



Honourable mentions: Muzzy Izzet, Tuncay

Tugay was an absolute class act.

The midfielder played for Blackburn between 2001-2009 but easily could have played for a bigger English club. One of the big guns should have taken a gamble on him.


Oleksandr Zinchenko

Honourable mentions: Oleg Luzhny, Andriy Yarmolenko, Andriy Shevchenko

Andriy Shevchenko is obviously the most legendary Ukrainian footballer to play in the Premier League, but he was so disappointing at Chelsea.

With that in mind, we’ll give the title of best Ukrainian to Man City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko, the 22-year-old who has already won two Premier League titles.

Sorry, Sheva!

United States

Clint Dempsey

Honourable mentions: Tim Howard, Claudio Reyna, Brad Guzan

Clint Dempsey was quality at Fulham, scoring 17 Premier League goals during the 2011/12 season.

He then sealed a move to Tottenham, where he netted seven goals in 29 games.

Give it a few years and Christian Pulisic could be challenging Dempsey for the title of best American player.


Luis Suarez

Honourable mentions: Diego Forlan, Gus Poyet

We didn’t see the best of Diego Forlan in the Premier League, but we certainly saw the best (and worst) of Luis Suarez.

The world-class forward scored 69 goals in 110 appearances for Liverpool before sealing a move to Barcelona in 2014.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Premier League


Salomon Rondon

Honourable mentions: Fernando Amorebieta

Salomon Rondon could score goals in the Premier League, as he proved at both West Brom and Newcastle.

The only other Venezuelan to playing England’s top flight is the ex-Fulham midfielder Fernando Amorebieta.


Ryan Giggs

Honourable mentions: Gareth Bale, Gary Speed, Craig Bellamy, Aaron Ramsey

The most decorated player in Premier League history, Ryan Giggs won the title a remarkable 13 times between 1992 and 2013.

The Man Utd legend scored 114 goals and registered 162 assists (a Premier League record) in 672 appearances. Phenomenal.


Emmanuel Mayuka

Honourable mentions: N/A

Three Zambian players to choose from and we’ve gone for ex-Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka, even though he failed to score a single Premier League goals. We’re still waiting for a decent Zambian player.


Peter Ndlovu

Honourable mentions: Benjani, Bruce Grobbelaar

Bruce Grobbelaar was at his best before the Premier League era, while Peter Ndlovu scored eight more Premier League goals than Benjani.

Therefore, we have to give the title of best Zimbabwe player to the former Coventry City striker.

And we're done!

Thanks to all of these players for giving us so much joy over the years.

No doubt even more nationalities will be added to the list over the coming seasons.

Football truly is the world's beautiful game.

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