The Premier League is arguably the toughest league in European football, with players across the world eager to participate in the English top-flight.
With big names like Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, the Premier League houses some of the biggest managerial and player talent in the world. Many of the best players in world football currently play in the Premier League.
However, there are some legendary players who never represented a Premier League club during their storied careers. These players are some of the greatest to have played the game.
We look at 5 greatest footballers to have never played in the Premier League.
#5 Paolo Maldini
Regarded by many as the greatest defender to have played the game, Paolo Maldini spent his entire playing career representing AC Milan.
Maldini made his debut for AC Milan in 1984 and spent 25 seasons with the club. He made 901 appearances in all competitions for the club, making his name as an extremely consistent and reliable defender capable of operating as a left-back and as a centre-back.
The Italy international won seven Serie A titles and five European Cup/Champions League trophies with the club. Maldini was renowned for his incredible fitness levels, which saw him be a constant presence in the AC Milan backline even during his 30s. The 53-year old retired in 2009 and is currently the technical director of AC Milan.
Ronaldinho was a highly skilful, technical player who was well known for his creative style of play and dribbling ability.
The Brazil international is seen by many as one of the greatest players to have played the game. Ronaldinho made his name at Paris Saint-Germain and was reportedly close to joining Premier League outfit Manchester United before moving to Barcelona in 2003 for £29 million.
Ronaldinho was Barcelona's star before the emergence of Lionel Messi. The forward made 207 appearances in all competitions for the La Liga giants, scoring 94 goals and providing 71 assists.
He won the Ballon d'Or for his performances in 2005, while with Barcelona he won the La Liga twice and the Champions League once. After stints with clubs like AC Milan, Flamengo and Fluminense, Ronaldinho retired in 2015 without ever turning out in the Premier League.