Ultimate Chelsea XI - 21st Century Players
With Chelsea set to defend their Premier League title, we look back at some of this century's best players to have donned the blue of the Stamford Bridge-based club.
Chelsea Football Club has been one of the most successful teams domestically and in Europe this century. They've won 14 major titles in the past fifteen years, which is 6 more than what they've won in their entire history before ever since their inception in 1905.
The transformation owes its thanks to the presence of great players, great managers and a super-rich Russian businessman in Roman Abramovich.
If there's a fantasy team created, it has to be said that the manager would be Jose Mourinho. He's by far been the best manager Chelsea have ever had. He's managed the two best teams: the team of 2004-2007 and that of 2013-2015.
The Team Of The Century
The team that I'm going to go with fancies a 4-3-3 formation.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
Cech has been the most consistent player for Chelsea this past decade. He is an excellent shot-stopper and perhaps is in the top 3 goalkeepers in this century so far. He comes in ahead of Courtois due to his longevity at the club and the total number of trophies he's won.
Right back: Branislav Ivanovic
He is a beast. There is no doubt about that. He's an attacking winger capable of scoring important goals. He showed that against Benfica in the Europa League Final and in the Champions League Round-Of-16 second leg in which Chelsea went on to win. Add to that the goal scored in the Capital One Cup semi-final against Liverpool to send Chelsea to the final which they went on to win.
Center backs: John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho
This defensive partnership won Chelsea many titles. The Premier League being the major one that the club won after a 50-year gap. John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho had unshakeable discipline and hardly put a foot wrong. They also scored goals which gave them an all-round presence and threat.
Left back: Cesar Azpilicueta
Azpilicueta is one of the best defensive full backs in the world right now. He was the best defensive full-back in the Premier League last year. The fact that he can play as a full back on both sides makes him extremely special. That is what separates him from Ashley Cole and William Gallas.
Midfield: Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele, Cesc Fabregas
This midfield trio would be magical. The defensive prowess of Makelele, the creative ability of Fabregas and the goal scoring ability in Lampard makes this midfield perfect. The fact that there are three players up front to deliver balls to makes their power even more special. You could also expect Fabregas and Lampard to hover around when the opportunity of a free-kick presents itself.