The Premier League has played host to some incredible overseas players across its 28-year history.
When Sergio Aguero bagged a hat-trick during Manchester City’s 6-1 demolition of Aston Villa at the weekend, he inherited the title as the competition’s all-time leading non-British goal-scorer.
As a result, discussions have been rife as to whom the competition’s greatest foreign players have been and there can no longer be any denying that Aguero is knee-deep into the conversation.
And it’s inspired The Sun to sift through hundreds of Premier League imports to draw up their greatest XI of players who neither hail from the British nations or the Republic of Ireland.
With so many incredible players to choose from, it’s a guarantee that certain supporters will be left dissatisfied, but there’s no doubting the team they picked would be near-impossible to defeat.
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GK – Peter Schmeichel
Even if British and Irish goalkeepers were included, there would be no topping ‘The Great Dane’ and his stunning record of five Premier League titles, 128 clean sheets and countless wonder saves.
CB – Virgil van Dijk
Controversial, perhaps. However, Van Dijk went the entirety of last season without being dribbled past; came second in the Ballon d’Or and is well on course to collect his first Premier League medal.
CB – Nemanja Vidic
Vidic is an absolute dead cert at the back after leading United to three Champions League finals and five Premier League crowns as well as being named the league’s Player of the Year twice.
CB – Vincent Kompany
Speaking of Player of the Year winners, Kompany inherited that accolade in 2012 and only injuries prevented his legendary status from growing in a career that reaped four Premier League titles.
CM – Patrick Vieira
Who better to guard the defence than an ‘Invincible’? Vieira captained arguably the greatest team the Premier League has ever seen and had three medals to show from his 307 appearances.
CM – David Silva
Talk about a classy operator. The four-time champion of England became the fastest player to reach 200 wins in the competition and recently joined an exclusive club of seven stars with 90 assists.
RM – Cristiano Ronaldo
The Premier League was blessed to host one of the greatest players in history between 2003 and 2009, during which he won the competition three times and notched 31 goals in a single season.
CAM – Eric Cantona
With goals and assists aplenty, Cantona inspired many of United’s early Premier League victories and Sir Alex Ferguson named his as one of only four world-class players he ever coached.
LM – Eden Hazard
Hazard will go down in Chelsea folklore for his seven-year stint at the club, lifting the Premier League trophy twice and bagging the PFA Player of the Year award for his 2014/15 exploits.
ST – Sergio Aguero
It’s astonishing that Aguero has only won the Golden Boot once, but the City legend is a no-brainer in the team as a four-time champion and the league’s new record-scoring non-British striker.
ST – Thierry Henry
Arguably the greatest player in Premier League history, Henry spent over a decade as the leading foreign goal-scorer; holds the assists record for a season and bagged four Golden Boots.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
Do you know what? I think they’ve got it spot on. I kid you not.
David de Gea has been a brilliant asset for United, but he can’t compare to Schmeichel when it comes to winners’ medals and consistency, especially when you consider his current form.
Sure, Petr Cech is another solid contender – bagging the clean sheet record under Jose Mourinho – but I’d rather a prime Schmeichel between the sticks if my life depended on it.
Van Dijk, Kompany and Vidic have done more than enough between them to save looking over their shoulders for the likes of Jaap Stam, Ricardo Carvalho and William Gallas.
Aguero and Henry are immovable objects up front considering nobody has outscored them, while Cantona and Ronaldo are worthy selections considering their insane individual influences.
So, all that considered, I feel pretty confident that this is the best of the best for overseas Premier League players and by God would it take some beating.