Terry, Gerrard, Keane, Vieira: Premier League's 16 most iconic captains ranked

Who is the Premier League’s most iconic captain of all time?

It’s one hell of a question given the number of awe-inspiring leaders that have graced England’s top-flight over the years.

From fearless and ferocious centre halves who couldn’t go 10 seconds without barking orders at his teammates, to supremely talented midfielders that led by example to incredible effect – we’ve seen it all.

Which makes ranking the greatest captains we’ve seen not only extremely controversial, but near impossible too.

Nevertheless, Squawka have decided to shoulder the burden and have dropped who they feel are the 16 most iconic Premier League captains to ever do it.

Check out their findings below…

The 16 most iconic Premier League captains

16. Sammi Hyypia (Liverpool: 2000-2003)
15. Phil Neville (Everton: 2007-2013)
14. Wes Morgan (Leicester: 2012-2021)
13. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool: 2015-present)
12. Stylian Petrov (Aston Villa: 2009-2013)
11. Dennis Wise (Chelsea: 1993-2001)

Jordan Henderson Liverpool
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 06: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage on August 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Two Liverpool captains just miss out on the top 10 then, although, given Henderson still leads one of the Premier League’s most successful teams, we would expect his placing to improve by the time he leaves the Reds.

Leicester’s captain from their famous title winning season also finds himself in the 11-16 section. Morgan proved a monumental leader for a club who, at that time, were in totally unchartered waters.

Whilst Wise and Petrov can count themselves unlucky to narrowly miss out on the 10 greatest.

10. Gary Neville (Man Utd: 2005-2011)
9. Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd: 2011-2014)
8. Vincent Kompany (Man City: 2011-2019)
7. Alan Shearer (Newcastle: 1998-2006)
6. Patrick Vieira (Arsenal: 2002-2005)

Vincent Kompany with Premier League trophy
Vincent Kompany with Premier League trophy

In fact, scrap that last part. Wise and Petrov are iconic captains for sure, but this group is packed to the absolute brim with legends.

Neville and Vidic represent two of United’s most treasured defenders and were both fearsome leaders in the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Kompany will always be viewed as ‘Mr. Manchester City’ by Premier League fans and the fact he isn’t higher up is pretty surprising.

Meanwhile, Shearer and Vieira were both selected when over 200,000 fans voted on their all time Premier League XI, so it’s no surprise they’re right in the thick of it.

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5. Steve Bruce (Man Utd: 1992-1996)
4. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool: 2003-2015)
3. Tony Adams (Arsenal: 1988-2002)
2. John Terry (Chelsea: 2004-2017)
1. Roy Keane (Man Utd: 1997-2005)

Roy Keane Manchester United
MANCHESTER – AUGUST 27: Roy Keane of Manchester United in action during the UEFA Champions League Qualifier Second Leg match between Manchester United and Zalaegerszeg held at Old Trafford in Manchester , England on August 27, 2002. (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images) Manchester United won the match 5-0.

So, it’s United’s very own hardman Keane that takes the cake in Squawka’s eyes.

The Irishman led the Red Devils to the title four times in his tenure as top-dog.

Terry finds himself in second position, although we feel the Englishman can feel a little hard done by after captaining Chelsea to five titles across 13 seasons.

Whereas Adams, Gerrard and Bruce make up the rest of the top five – all of whom were iconic leaders in their own right.


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