The modern era of the Premier League has been incredibly lucrative for Chelsea Football Club, particularly since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003.
His sizeable injection of cash ushered in a long list of world-class talent, which when combined with Jose Mourinho at the peak of his managerial powers, took the club to a whole new level.
Since the Russian’s arrival nearly two decades ago, Chelsea have won five league titles, five FA Cups, two Europa Leagues and two Champions Leagues.
It’s hardly surprising then, that many of the names that make it into their greatest ever conversation are from fairly recent times.
A list of the ten greatest Chelsea players of all time, shared by entrepreneur and fan Frank Khalid on Twitter, follows that same trend—with the likes of Petr Cech, John Terry and Eden Hazard all appearing.
The full top ten is as follows:
10. Eden Hazard
In full flow, Eden Hazard was simply unstoppable and an absolute joy to watch. In 352 games, the Belgian scored 110 goals, and notched 92 assists—an incredibly healthy return for someone who largely featured as a midfielder / winger.
9. Peter Osgood
Bagging 105 goals in 289 appearances, Osgood—affectionately nicknamed ‘The Wizard of Os’—helped Chelsea to an FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup in the 70s.
8. Ray Wilkins
Following Chelsea’s relegation and the departure of many first-team players in 1975, an 18-year-old Ray Wilkins was handed the captain’s armband. Flourishing in the role, he led the side to promotion in the 76/77 season, cementing his status as a beloved club legend.
7. Ron Harris
Aptly nicknamed ‘Chopper’ for his no-nonsense style of defending, Harris would become a key figure in Chelsea’s defence for the best part of 18 years. His showing in the 1970 FA Cup final, a notoriously physical battle, holds its own spot in club folklore.
6. Peter Bonetti
Bonetti is another who turned in an inspiring performance over the two legs of that famous 1970 FA Cup final victory. ‘The Cat’ produced a series of crucial saves in the first game, and again in the second despite getting injured early on in the match.
5. Petr Cech
Not only is Petr Cech thought of as the greatest Chelsea goalkeeper of all time, but many regard him as one of the best in Premier League history. The only keeper to have more than 200 clean sheets to his name, it’s easy to understand why.
4. Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba ticked just about every box that made him a defender’s worst nightmare and during his time with the club, he earned a deserved reputation as the ultimate big-game player. In 2017, he became the first player to score in four separate FA Cup finals and scored an 88th-minute equaliser in the 2012 Champions League final, before scoring the winning spot kick to defeat Bayern Munich.
3. Gianfranco Zola
Before the Abramovich era took off, there was Gianfranco Zola. The Italian won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup, two FA Cups, the League Cup and the Community Shield with Chelsea, and was actually voted their greatest ever player in 2003.
2. John Terry
Labeled by many as the greatest Premier League defender in history, John Terry spearheaded Chelsea’s most successful era, becoming an immovable object in the heart of the club’s notoriously tight backline.
1. Frank Lampard
Becoming Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer from midfield was one hell of an achievement for Frank Lampard. With an eye-watering list of individual and team accolades to his name, Lampard’s title of Chelsea’s best ever is difficult to argue against.
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