Football is a glorious game. Since the game’s inception as its present form in the year 1863 in England; the 15-oz leather ball has seen lots of improvisations, rolling across in over 200 countries and mesmerizing millions witnessing the magic laid down by the masters controlling it. And being the land of its origin, England has seen utter legends of the game playing in the most rugged leagues that ever existed.
It’s always difficult for a player to adjust in foreign land and make their mark in the harsh weather conditions that prevails, especially in England. Many great players have played for different clubs in England’s top flight and set a benchmark for thousands to come. Here’s a brief look at the Top 20 foreign Premier League players of all time (post-1992):-
(20) Eden Hazard
Starting his youth career at Royal Stade Brainois, the little lethal Belgian devil has ripped apart the tightest of defences along the years he has played for Chelsea and still remains one of the most acclaimed players in the prevailing era of Messi and Ronaldo. Joining the Blues in 2012 for a reported fee of around £32 million, Hazard has made 210 appearances for Chelsea and has netted 69 times.
(19) Jimmy Hasselbaink
Dutch-international forward Hasselbaink was a star man for Chelsea during the years he spent at the Stamford Bridge, scoring a total of 70 goals in only the 136 games he starred in over a span of 4 years (2000-2004). One of his career highlights remains receiving the Premier League Golden Boot in his debut season for the club, with 23 goals. Hasselbaink went on to play for Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic and Cardiff City after leaving Chelsea in 2004. He also managed the teams QPR and Burton Albion after his retirement as a player.
(18) Petr Cech
Ex-Chelsea and present Arsenal shot-stopper Cech needs no introduction as his glittering 11-year stay at Chelsea speaks volume of his contribution to the Premier League. Winner of four Premier League titles and one Champions League, the Czech international is a true veteran of the game having made over 400 official appearances for both Chelsea and Arsenal over the years. Cech is the only goalkeeper to win the Golden Glove with two separate clubs, winning it for a total of four times (2004-05, 2009-10, 2013-14 and 2015-16).
(17) Paolo Di Canio
West-Ham goal machine Di Canio was well-known for his dribbling, creativity and aggression on the pitch during his playing years with Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United and Charlton Athletic. The Italian spearhead has played in 190 Premier League matches and has found the net on 66 occasions, making him one of the most decorated player in the Hammer’s history. After retirement, he managed English sides Swindon Town (2011-2013) and Sunderland in 2013.
(16) Cesc Fabregas
The stylish Spanish playmaker has established himself as one of the best midfielders to ever play on British soil. Having passed through the prestigious La Masia, Cesc spent a majority of his career at Arsenal since his arrival in 2003. He quickly cemented his place in the main team and made 212 appearances for the Gunners. Having joined Barcelona in 2011, he came back to join Chelsea in 2014 and has starred in 132 matches for them till now. He is the second highest assist provider (111) in the Premier League till date, behind Giggs.