Alan Shearer and Micah Richards have ranked the 10 best English players of the Premier League era.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Match of the Day podcast, the two pundits – joined by host Gary Lineker – ranked 10 players from a pre-selected shortlist.
Those 10 players were: Steven Gerrard, Harry Kane, John Terry, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Ashley Cole, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard and Shearer himself.
Players were ranked based mainly on their performances at club, rather than international, level.
Rio Ferdinand was named as the one player who was most unfortunate to miss out on a place on the shortlist.
Alan Shearer’s top 10 English players of the Premier League era
10. Alan Shearer
“For obvious reasons, I’m putting myself tenth. I’m not having the abuse!”
9. Ashley Cole
“He’s the best left-back we’ve had in our country. Great left-back, no doubt about it. Incredible.”
8. Michael Owen
“He had massive ability and was as quick as anything around.”
7. Harry Kane
“He’s given Tottenham everything. If he doesn’t move this summer, it’s never happening. He’s one of the best passers in the Premier League actually.”
6. John Terry
“He was a clever footballer. Left foot, right foot, the way he pinged those balls.”
5. David Beckham
“Eighty assists, 62 goals, six Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, one Champions League. In terms of ability, he made himself a better player. He had to work at what he did and he got the rewards for that.”
4. Frank Lampard
3. Steven Gerrard
“Rooney, Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard – unbelievable players. Incredible. So lucky to have had them.”
2. Paul Scholes
“When you look at goals, assists, touch, technique, nasty, tackling, arriving in the box – magnificent.”
1. Wayne Rooney
“He wanted the ball in every minute of the game. Technically superb, his attitude was magnificent. You could play him right wing and he’d be the best player. Midfield, he done that job also. Just an all-round great players with great numbers.”
Micah Richards’ top 10 English players of the Premier League era
10. Harry Kane
“What’s he won? He didn’t need to sign that Tottenham contract.”
9. Ashley Cole
“Don’t get much credit do we, us full-backs?”
8. David Beckham
“The players in front of him were better footballers.”
7. John Terry
“He was always fit, wasn’t he? Even when he came to Aston Villa at the end.”
6. Michael Owen
“He exploded onto the scene, I burst! [Owen] wasn’t great at holding the ball up but made intelligent runs in behind. He kept going and going and going. Even when he lost his pace he was still intelligent and could finish.”
5. Frank Lampard
“Lampard was brilliant at what he did. His mind, his running and finding his way into the box, but he didn’t dictate a game.”
4. Paul Scholes
“Could Scholes do what Gerrard did at Liverpool?”
3. Wayne Rooney
“I just think with Rooney, he could have been even better. When you trained with him at England, he was by far one of the best players. I thought he would have got to the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.”
2. Alan Shearer
“All-time Premier League [top scorer]. He’s similar to Kane now. He chose Blackburn back then but could have gone to Manchester United. Then he went to Newcastle. We’ve got to respect him for that, but to get that amount goals in a team fighting for fourth… 260 goals is staggering.”
1. Steven Gerrard
“He single-handedly pulled Liverpool through in a Champions League final. If you had to pick one player for a team, you can’t tell me you’d pick Lampard over Gerrard. I’ve played with both of them. When you’re on the same pitch as them, it’s chalk and cheese!”
Wayne Rooney crowned the winner
Lineker had the casting vote for top spot and went for Rooney over Gerrard due to his success at Premier League level.
The former England international also weighed in on the age-old Lampard vs Gerrard vs Scholes debate.
“I think the better footballer was Gerrard out of him and Lampard but Lampard would give you just as much in terms of goals. But if you throw Scholes at me as well, I just go: ‘I don’t know!’.”
Which Premier League team will clinch fourth place? (Football Terrace)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these ex-Premier League ballers?