Opinion: The Best ever Chelsea XI
Photo by Etsuo Hara via Getty images 

With no football to look forward to due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, we look to the past to find Chelsea’s 11 best ever players.

From the likes of Petr Cech to Gianfranco Zola, the Blues have a team with generational talents.

Sit back and feel the memories flood back in as Chelsea VAVEL explores the Blues' best XI.

Goalkeeper - Petr Cech 

Arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers in Premier League history, Cech will always be considered Chelsea’s greatest goalkeeper.

The Czech Republic international made his debut for Chelsea in 2004 and amounted 333 appearances in all competitions for the blues.

He won 13 major trophies at Chelsea, including the Champions League in 2012 where he played an instrumental role in the final against Bayern Munich, saving an Arjen Robben penalty in extra time.

Having spent most of his career at Chelsea, Cech then moved to Arsenal in 2015 where he stayed until his retirement in 2019.

LB - Ashley Cole

Another integral member of the 2012 Champions League winning squad, Ashley Cole will always go down in Chelsea folklore.

Having started his career with Arsenal, where he was part of the ‘invincible’ season of 2002-03, Cole moved to Chelsea in 2006. 

Considered to be one of the best defenders of his generation, Cole went on to win 8 major trophies with the blues and left as a legend in 2014.

CB- John Terry

Arguably Chelsea’s most consistent player of all time, John Terry would walk into any Chelsea team past or present.

The Englishman is the most successful Chelsea captain ever having made over 500 appearances and winning  16 major trophies. 

He was named in the FIFPro World XI for five consecutive seasons and won Chelsea’s player of the year award on two occasions.

Terry left the club in 2017 as a Premier League champion and moved to Aston Villa, where he is now assistant coach.

CB- Marcel Desailly

Alongside John Terry, Marcel Desailly makes up a formidable centre-back partnership. 

Desailly was captain of the blues between 2001 and 2004. 

Having won the World Cup with France in 1998, Desailly moved to Chelsea in a £4.6 million move.

He made 158 appearances and won 2 major trophies before moving to Qatar to see out his playing days.

RB- César Azpilicueta 

Current club captain César Azpilicueta slots in at right back in my all time Chelsea best 11.

Having been consistently one of the best defenders in the Premier league since his move to the blues in 2012, the Spaniard certainly deserves a mention in any debate about Chelsea’s best defenders.

He has made 262 appearances so far and is likely to remain an integral part of the squad in seasons to come.

He has played every position in the back four since his move from Marseille and has been a favourite with every blues manager.

CM- N’Golo Kante

Ever since his move from Leicester City in 2016, N’Golo has been Chelsea’s best midfielder by a margin.

Having been a pivotal part of Leicester’s remarkable title win in 2016, Chelsea snapped up the Frenchman in a £32 million deal.

In his first season at Chelsea, Kanté won the Premier League again and was awarded PFA Player of the year. 

He has been involved in every FIFPro World XI since his move and will be remembered for his unbelievable ability to intercept passes and win the ball back.

Now a World Cup winner with France, Kanté has the opportunity to add many more trophies to his already glistening CV that includes three trophies with Chelsea.

CM- Claude Makélélé  

A lot like Kanté, Claude Makélélé was a player who’s best skill was allowing attacking players to shine.

He won back to back Premier League titles with the blues (2004-05 & 2005-06) and was Chelsea player of the year in 2006.

The Frenchman was purchased by Chelsea for £16.8 million from Real Madrid and he went on to make 144 appearances for the blues.

He left in 2008 to move to PSG but is now youth coach at Chelsea.

CM- Frank Lampard

The current blues boss may be doing a good job as manager but during his playing days he was one of the greatest midfielders to ever grace the Premier league.

The clubs all time top goal scorer with 211 goals, impressive considering he’s a midfielder, played for Chelsea for 13 years.

He is the 5th all time Premier league top goal scorer, again a remarkable achievement for a midfielder.

Lampard came second to Brazilian Kaka in the 2005 Ballon D’or.

He won 11 major trophies in his time at Chelsea and returned as manager at the start of the 2019-20 season.

LW- Eden Hazard

The most skilful player to ever grace the Stamford Bridge turf, Eden Hazard will always be remembered as one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players.

The Belgian played for Chelsea for seven years making over 250 appearances and scoring 85 Premier league goals.

His solo goal against Arsenal will be remembered for years to come and when he left the club last year to go to Real Madrid, he left as a legend.

Hazard won six major trophies including two league titles.

ST- Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba scored the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich which further booked his place in Chelsea folklore.

The Ivorian is a legend at the club, playing 381 times and scoring 164 goals across two spells at the bridge.

Drogba joined the blues from Marseille in 2004 before leaving as a European champion in 2012. 

He then returned to Chelsea for a final season in 2014-15 where he added another two trophies to his trophy cabinet.

RW- Gianfranco Zola 

There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe some of the tricks that this man had up his sleeve.

The little Italian played 312 times for the blues and scored 80 goals, most memorably his brilliant back heeled goal against Norwich City.

Having joined Chelsea in 1996 for £4.5million, Zola won three trophies at the bridge before leaving for Cagliari in 2003.

He returned to the bridge in 2018 as Maurizio Sarri’s assisstant. 

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