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10 Players who don't have a Premier League medal despite being on a winning team

  • The Premier League's strict rules for awarding winner's medals have seen many players miss out on one.
  • We take a look at 10 such players who missed out on a medal despite being a part of title-winning sides
SENIOR ANALYST
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Modified 01 May 2020, 17:37 IST

Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the title with Manchester United (Image courtesy: Premier League)
Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the title with Manchester United (Image courtesy: Premier League)

The Premier League has produced only six champions up until now - Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Leicester City. 271 players from those six teams have received a winner's medal to commemorate their achievements. However, there have been plenty of those who, despite their contributions to their team's title-charge, have missed out.

Up until the 2012/13 season, a player on the title-winning team was eligible for a medal only if he played a part in at least 10 matches during the season. However, following a rule change in 2012, the bar for minimum appearances required was lowered to five.

The Premier League also started handing out 40 commemorative medals to the champions, which the latter could distribute to players and staff as they see fit. This 'special' allotment included extra medals for players who missed the minimum appearance mark, such as back-up goalkeepers or those suffering through long-term injuries. Nonetheless, those who met the five-appearance criteria were guaranteed a medal.

Keeping that in mind, we take a look at 10 such players who played a part for a title-winning Premier League side but disappointingly have nothing to show for it.


#10. Andrej Kramaric (Leicester City)

Manchester United v Leicester City - Premier League
Manchester United v Leicester City - Premier League

Leicester City's fairytale title win in 2015/16 was more about the team than any individual player. There were some outstanding performers within the team, however, it is widely accepted that a collective effort was what won them the league. Despite that, there were still some senior figures who narrowly missed out on a winner's medal.

The most disappointing case was that of Andrej Kramaric. The Croatian striker snubbed Chelsea and arrived at the King Power Stadium in January 2015 for a then club-record fee. However, he completely failed to dislodge Jamie Vardy in the starting eleven during his one year at the club and after making two appearances in the league during the 2015/16 season, left for Hoffenheim.

Leicester won the league later that season, however, the Croat was ineligible for a medal due to not meeting the minimum appearance requirements.


#9. Scott Parker (Chelsea)

Scott Parker during his short stint with Chelsea
Scott Parker during his short stint with Chelsea
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Scott Parker has spent almost the entirety of his career in London. The Englishman has played for five different London clubs - Charlton, Chelsea, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Fulham - and is currently the manager at Craven Cottage.

He has been handsomely awarded too, winning the FWA Footballer of the Year and the England Player of the Year in 2011 among others. But he has never won a Premier League winner's medal.

Parker did come close to winning one during his short stint at Stamford Bridge. The midfielder was a part of the Chelsea team which won their first-ever Premier League title and the first top division title in 50 years.

However, he had fallen down the pecking order after the arrival of Jose Mourinho in the summer, who preferred the likes of Claude Makelele and Tiago over him. As a result, when the Blues won the league, the Englishman had only four appearances in the league to his name and had missed the eligibility criteria by six.


#8. Gabriel Obertan (Manchester United)

Manchester United v Bursaspor Kulubu - UEFA Champions League
Manchester United v Bursaspor Kulubu - UEFA Champions League

In 2009, Sir Alex Ferguson spent a combined £19 million on Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan. Although the Frenchman cost only £3 million, he, along with Valencia, was expected to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Real Madrid. It did not go as planned for Manchester United during that season, as they lost the league title to Chelsea.

However, the Red Devils bounced back almost immediately and went on a stunning unbeaten run of 23 games from August 2010 till February 2011. Sir Alex Ferguson's men had established a healthy lead over Chelsea by this point and even though there were some shocks along the way, they would eventually go on to win the title.

Much was expected of Obertan for the 2010/11 season, after the Frenchman battled an injury in the previous campaign.

However, he failed to establish himself in the first team and was able to make only seven appearances in the league thereby missing out on a winner's medal.


#7. Carlton Cole (Chelsea)

Carlton Cole celebrates with John Terry and other Chelsea teammates
Carlton Cole celebrates with John Terry and other Chelsea teammates

Between John Terry and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, there was a time when no Chelsea academy player could break into the first team. Many had come close throughout the years but fell short at the final hurdle owing to the Blues' ruthless philosophy. And then there was Carlton Cole.

While he may be best known for his contributions at West Ham United, Cole was an academy graduate at Chelsea who came very close to establishing himself in the first team. The former England international played thirteen times in the league for Chelsea in 2002/03, having broken through the season before.

However, as is the case with several youngsters, Cole was sent on loan for three successive seasons from 2002 till 2005.

When Cole arrived back at Stamford Bridge in 2005, Chelsea were the English champions and were being led by the charismatic Jose Mourinho. He decided to stay for the season and came agonizingly close to a winner's medal as Mourinho's men won the league again.

Cole fell short by one, having played nine times in the league.


#6. Carlo Cudicini (Chelsea)

Carlo Cudicini playing for Chelsea FC
Carlo Cudicini playing for Chelsea FC

It may not be a well-known fact but Carlo Cudicini is considered somewhat of a club legend at Chelsea. Following an era of uncertainty between the sticks, the Italian took charge of the goal in 2000 and was even voted as the club's Player of the Year for 2001/02 season.

Cudicini retained his position in the Stamford Bridge goal until 2004, even winning the Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2003. However, Chelsea's new riches, combined with Jose Mourinho's appointment, saw the club bring in Petr Cech to provide competition for the Italian. This, in turn, proved to be the end of his dominance at the Bridge.

Chelsea won the league in 2004/05 and 2005/06 with Cech as their first-choice goalkeeper. Cudicini missed out on a medal in both those seasons as he only played in the league a combined seven times in two years.


#5. Jose Bosingwa (Chelsea)

Thailand All-Stars v Chelsea
Thailand All-Stars v Chelsea

There is a dubious similarity between Jose Bosingwa and Steven Gerrard. Both players have been awarded a winner's medal for the UEFA Champions League but not the Premier League. The difference between the pair is that Gerrard's Liverpool never won the league but Chelsea did so and with Bosingwa in the squad!

Bosingwa arrived in London in 2008 and quickly established himself as one of Chelsea's key first-team players. He made 34 appearances for the Blues as they won the FA Cup and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The Portuguese full-back retained his spot in the team following the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti in 2009. However, having made eight appearances in the league, he was ruled out for a year due to a serious injury and missed out on a Premier League winner's medal.


#4. Ben Foster (Manchester United)

Ben Foster in goal for Manchester United
Ben Foster in goal for Manchester United

The Premier League's rules to award medals were harsh from the very beginning. The 10-game-minimum policy saw many players miss out on memorabilia of their achievements and Ben Foster is an example of that.

Sir Alex Ferguson himself brought Foster to Old Trafford after watching him play for Wrexham while on loan from Stoke City. The Englishman signed a deal with the club in 2005, spent two years out on loan and returned to play back-up to Edwin van der Sar in 2007.

Manchester United won the league in 2008 and 2009 but Foster missed out on a medal on both occasions after falling short of the 10-game mark.

As mentioned earlier, the rules have been changed since. The league now gives the champions forty medals which they may distribute as they please, given that each player who has played at least five times receives a medal.

As such, any extra medals can be distributed to back-up goalkeepers, youth prospects, and injured players. That, in turn, is the reason why the likes of Claudio Bravo and Asmir Begovic have a winner's medal despite not hitting the required target.


#3. Nathan Ake (Chelsea)

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final

Ever since the 2015 summer transfer window, Chelsea have made some curious decisions regarding their players. But few might be as strange as recalling Nathan Ake from his successful loan spell at Bournemouth in 2017 and then using him sparingly in the following six months.

When Ake returned to Chelsea, the Blues were on a title rampage under Antonio Conte. The Italian's unique system has helped his side storm to the top of the table, a position which they would hold on to until the end of the season. The Dutchman, then, was expected to provide cover to the three-man backline while strengthening his case for a starting position.

However, Conte barely used Ake following his return and limited his usage until after they had already won the league. The youngster failed to hit the five-appearance mark and was stopped from receiving a winner's medal.

He returned to Bournemouth in the subsequent summer on a permanent deal.


#2. Federico Macheda (Manchester United)

Federico Macheda celebrates with Cristiano Ronaldo
Federico Macheda celebrates with Cristiano Ronaldo

On April 5, 2009, the Old Trafford faithful found themselves chanting the name of a relatively unknown youth prospect. Federico Macheda, who was thrown into the deep end by Sir Alex Ferguson, hit a late winner against Aston Villa to prevent a third straight defeat for Manchester United.

A week later Macheda struck again, scoring what proved to be the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Sunderland.

Thanks to Macheda, Manchester United consolidated their position on top of the table and went on to win the league by four points ahead of rivals Liverpool. Isolating his contributions, one may find that the young Italian himself could be held responsible for winning those four points, turning draws into victories for a struggling United.

Ironically, Macheda himself was not awarded a Premier League winner's medal for the season, with the Italian stuck at four appearances.

Furthermore, the Red Devils opted against requesting a special dispensation for their academy man, leaving him empty-handed.


#1. Mohamed Salah (Chelsea)

Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League
Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League

There remains a misconception among football fans that Mohamed Salah already has a Premier League winner's medal in his trophy cabinet. After all, it was Jose Mourinho who had heroically claimed that the Egyptian would be recognized for his contributions to the team despite leaving the club mid-way through the season.

By the end of 2014, Salah had lost his place in Jose Mourinho's side having joined them only a year earlier from Basel. The winger failed to displace Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar, or Andre Schurrle from the first team and was eventually sent on loan to Fiorentina in exchange for Juan Cuadrado.

Before his departure, however, Salah had only appeared three times in the league and therefore was ineligible for a winner's medal when the Blues won the league that season.

Mourinho later claimed that while some players, including Salah, won't receive an official medal, he would ask the club to buy one for them. Neither the player nor Chelsea have revealed whether he was given a 'special' medal for the 2014/15 season.

Nonetheless, he certainly didn't receive an official one. As things stand, however, he may end up getting one soon enough.


Published 01 May 2020, 17:37 IST
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