Best all-time Chelsea XI
One of the biggest clubs in England, Chelsea are unbeaten in the Premier League this season. New manager Maurizio Sarri has had a terrific influence on the squad and all the players seem to be playing with renewed vigour and confidence. They are third in the Premier League with 28 points in 12 games.
The London club possess a lot of major honours, having won the Premier League five times, the FA Cup eight times, the League Cup five times and the UEFA Champions League once. They are a force to be reckoned with in Europe and along with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, form the 'big six' of English football.
In light of Chelsea's golden run, in this article, we will pick the best XI of all-time, from players who have represented the club in the past or are doing so presently. This side will line-up in a 4-3-3 formation.
The goalkeeper's spot in this all-time Chelsea XI was a two-way contest between Petr Cech and Peter Bonetti but the solid Czech wins the battle. Although the former appeared for Chelsea only 486 times compared to the latter's 729, Cech was part of Chelsea's golden period and was heavily influential. He is still playing, albeit having moved to the Emirates Stadium.
Graeme Le Saux (Left Back)
Spending 12 years at Stamford Bridge over two six-year terms, Englishman Graeme Le Saux was perhaps the greatest attacking left-back to have played for Chelsea. He made 312 appearances for the club and netted an impressive sixteen times. Le Saux was at Chelsea from 1987 to 1993 and later from 1997 to 2003.
Ron Harris (Centre Back)
Ron Harris was perhaps the greatest defender of his time and therefore, his place in this side is a no-brainer. He is Chelsea's most-capped player with 795 appearances. Harris was known for his hard tackles and tough defending abilities. He is also known as the 'Chopper.'
John Terry (Centre Back/ Captain)
John Terry is a true Chelsea legend and the captain of this all-time XI. He is perhaps the greatest centre-back to have played for the club. Appearing a whopping 717 times, Terry has also scored 67 goals. His never-say-die attitude exemplified the Chelsea spirit of the early 2000s.
Steve Clarke (Right Back)
Although his name is debatable as the greatest right-back in the club's history, Scotsman Steve Clarke finds a place in this all-time XI. He played for 11 years and made 421 appearances for Chelsea. Clarke also has the distinction of having won four trophies at Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard (Left Central Midfielder)
It goes without saying that Frank Lampard is the best midfielder in the Blues' history. He spent thirteen years at the club, making 648 appearances and netting 211 times. Lampard's free-kicks were otherworldly and the former England star is now manager of Derby County. Lampard will play on the left-hand side of the midfield in this team.
Claude Makelele (Central Midfielder)
Former French footballer Claude Makelele makes this list despite having appeared only 144 times for the Blues. Makelele's inclusion is based on the fact that Jose Mourinho's turnaround of the club started with him. It was the Frenchman who first bought into Mourinho's defensive managerial tactics and helped set up play for his more attack-minded teammates. The stats do not show much, but the impact Makelele had at Chelsea from 2003 to 2008 is held in very high esteem.
Eden Hazard (Right Central Midfielder)
Belgian Eden Hazard is a current Chelsea player and has already scored 97 times in 311 appearances. Hazard is magical on the wings and can make great defenders look foolish. The Belgian is quick, agile and extremely skilfull on the ball. If he decides to stay in the January window, he can add a lot more goals to his tally. Although originally a left winger, Hazard will play in this side on the right-hand side of the midfield.
Bobby Tambling (Left Forward)
On the sheer number of goals alone, Bobby Tambling makes this list ahead of Kerry Dixon. Tambling scored an astonishing 202 times in 370 appearances for Chelsea and is a true legend of Stamford Bridge. He also plied his trade for Crystal Palace.
Didier Drogba (Centre Forward)
Didier Drogba spent two terms at the club, first from 2004 to 2012 and then from 2014 to 2015. He scored 164 goals in his 381 appearances and was extremely influential in Chelsea's attacking style of play in his prime. The Ivory Coast international was a strong poacher.
Jimmy Greaves (Right Forward)
The fourth-highest goalscorer in England's history and the highest goalscorer in Tottenham's history, Jimmy Greaves also played for Chelsea in between 1957 and 1961. He appeared for the club 169 times in this period and netted an awe-inspiring 132 times. He is perhaps the greatest striker to have played top-flight English football.Published 18 Nov 2018, 12:42 IST