Over the years, South America have always produced some absolute gems in the world of football. Some of these footballers showcased their skills in the Premier League. Let us have a look some of the best South American players in the Premier League history.
While making this list we have only considered their time in the Premier League, and not anywhere else. Here are the 10 best South American players in the Premier League history –
10. Nolberto Solano
Solano became the first Peruvian in Premier League history when the midfielder signed for the Magpies in 1998 and would go onto make 182 appearances in six years at the club in his first spell.
He then joined Aston Villa and was Villa’s player of the season in 2005, before returning to St James’ Park for another two-year period and then completing a decade in the English top-tier with the Hammers.
His talents in football range from accurate crosses to accomplished dead-ball skills and he traditionally played either on the right side of midfield, or as a right back during his career.
9. Javier Mascherano
Mascherano signed for West Ham in summer of 2006. The move to West Ham was seen as surprising, with many of Europe’s top clubs having been linked with Mascherano all summer.
He then joined Liverpool in 2007 and the midfielder would show his class and temperament with three solid seasons at Liverpool before a £17.6m switch to Barcelona in 2010. He will always be remembered among the best South American players in the Premier League history.
8. Gus Poyet
Poyet joined Chelsea on a free transfer in June 1997. In his first season at the club, he helped them in winning the Cup Winners’ Cup.
The following year, he contributed 14 goals – making him the club’s second highest scorer – to help Chelsea finish third in the Premiership, including a crucial headed goal in 1–0 win against Leeds United. He also scored the winner for Chelsea in the 1998 UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid.
Poyet joined Tottenham Hotspur in May 2001 for around £2.2 million. He scored 14 goals in his debut season for Spurs and helped his team reach the League Cup final, but they lost 2–1 to Blackburn Rovers. His time at the club was blighted by injuries, and he again sustained ligament damage in August 2002, but still managed to score 23 goals in 98 games.
The attacking midfielder was an unlikely hero in the north-east but there was a mutual love between the player and the fans and during the Brazilan’s first spell at the Riverside, Juninho was reduced to tears when the club were relegated in 1997.
The Boro star was runner-up to Gianfranco Zola in the FWA Player of the Year that season, before moving to Atletico Madrid. Juninho returned twice to the club in 1999 and 2002 for one and two seasons respectively.
He was voted as the club’s best ever player in 2007. He said ”I will always support the club, what Middlesbrough did for me is unbelievable and I will always be very grateful. I just want to say thank you to the club for what they did for me.” He is definitely one of the best South American players in the Premier League history.
6. Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez joined Arsenal in 2014 for a transfer fee of £31.7 million. During his time at Arsenal Sanchez was very influential. However, since joining United, he hasn’t been in the best of form. But he has more than enough quality to change that anytime.
He is a quick, creative and hard-working player with an eye for goal, and is known in particular for his energy, skill and work-rate on the pitch. Sanchez is gifted with excellent technical ability, agility, flair and acceleration, which enables him to dribble past opponents with feints in one on one situations, create space, and either score goals himself or set-up his teammates.