The Premier League has inherited the English game's hard-earned reputation for being the most physical and imposing league in all of Europe.
The roughness and intensity of the Premier League has seen the emergence of iconic characters who have had larger-than-life roles to play on the pitch. Winning the fear and respect of their opponents and the hearts of their supporters, here's a ranking five of the Premier League's fiercest characters.
#5 Nemanja Vidic
A modern day hardman, Nemanja Vidic was an imperious defender for Manchester United over 8 years. He inherited the captain's armband for his bravery, leadership and pride every time he stepped out in United colors, winning pretty much everything he could with the club.
Towering in the air and ruthless in the tackle, Nemanja Vidic was the epitome of a fierce commander on the pitch. More importantly, he was a redefined and "civil" hardman for his almost superhuman ability to absorb pain and physical attack. He played against the likes of Didier Drogba, Kevin Davies and Yakubu that dominated the Premier League in the late 2000s.
He is still spoken with respect as one of the greatest center backs in Premier League history. The iconic image of him playing on while bleeding, a testament to his commitment and passion for the game of football.
#4 Neil "Razor" Ruddock
A man with a nickname like 'Razor' was always made for a list like this. He is best known for a five-year spell at Liverpool in a career that has seen him play for the likes of Southampton, Liverpool and West Ham.
A rugged and rough center-back straight out of the "old school" who prided himself on bringing pain to his opponents. Ruddock once famously quipped, "Am I allowed to say I'm pleased?" after breaking Andy Cole's leg. Challenging the likes of Eric Cantona and Patrick Viera and breaking Peter Beardsley's jaw isn't just for anyone.