All Time Top Five: Chelsea Greats
(Photo by NurPhoto/GettyImages)

Chelsea have had some greats over the years, legends that will be associated with the club for generations to come.  

The argument could last for hours. What defines a legend? Who sneaks into the list and who narrowly misses out? 

The top five is another debate, many people will have different opinions but there are players who certainly make the list.  

Frank Lampard 

Signing from West Ham in 2001 for £11million, the impact Lampard had over his Chelsea career will put him in the hall of fame at Stamford Bridge for ever. 

Lampard is one of, if not Chelsea’s all-time greatest ever player. 648 appearances came with 211 goals in all competitions, a statistic which is phenomenal for a midfield player.  

The 13 year stay in West London brought many highs for the 41-year old, winning every trophy possible, including the clubs only Champions League and three Premier League titles.  

The clubs highest goal scorer re-joined the club in the summer of 2019 as manager. A successful year at Derby County the year before rewarded Lampard with his dream job as he guided the Rams to a play-off final, losing 2-1 to Aston Villa at Wembley.  

John Terry 

‘The rock of London’, arguably England's greatest ever defender. Joining Chelsea in 1995 on their youth books, it didn’t take Terry long to make the step into first team football at Stamford Bridge.  

Terry pulled on the Blue shirt 713 times as a senior, over this team he achieved great success in West London. Five Premier League titles, a Champions League medal, five F.A. Cups and the list goes on. The Captain will remain the clubs most influential captain.  

The skipper joined Aston Villa in the summer of 2018, as a player coach. Villa reached the play-off final in his first season but lost 1-0 to Fulham at the National stadium.

Since the heartbreak at Wembley, Terry joined the coaching staff full-time as the assistant manager, where he oversaw promotion glory last season to guide the Birmingham club back into the topflight.  

Gianfranco Zola 

Many forget about the Italian forward, but his ability was second to none. Zola joined Chelsea from Parma in 1996 for £4.5million and after 312 appearances, the attacked netted 80 goals in Blue.  

In a time when Chelsea wasn’t as much of a European powerhouse as they’re now, Zola wowed the Stamford Bridge faithful with his raw talent and his ability to take his opponent on.

In early 2003, Zola was voted Chelsea’s ‘best ever’ player. The accolade explains the influence of the number 25, no player has worn the same shirt number since his departure 17 years ago. 

Zola was back at Chelsea last season, joining the coaching staff of Maurizio Sarri. The assistant manager departed the club for the second time at the end of the season after winning the Europa League

Petr Cech 

The shot stopper for 11 years. Cech joined Chelsea in 2004 from Rennes for around £7million. 494 appearances is how many times the Czech Republic pulled on the jersey, making him Chelsea’s greatest ever goalkeeper.  

Cech acquired a colourful trophy cabinet during his 11-year tenure, including four Premier League titles and of course, that special Champions League night in Munich back in 2012. Not only is Cech the clubs best no.1, but there's a debate to argue that he is the best the Premier League has ever seen.  

Leaving Stamford Bridge in 2015, Cech moved across London to Arsenal, where he enjoyed silverware success in the F.A. Cup. The stint in North London came to an end in 2019, his last game for the Gunners came in the Europa League final, when his side lost to Chelsea 4-1 in Baku.  

Cech is back in West London, the former keeper accepted the ‘technical director’ role in 2019, reuniting with former teammate, Lampard.  

Didier Drogba 

The main man for Chelsea, the man to rely on when in need. The switch from Marseille occurred back in 2004, when Drogba put pen to paper on a deal worth around £23million. 341 appearances later, the forward became an all-time great.  

Drogba netted 157 times for Chelsea, including THAT equaliser in Munich to send Chelsea on their way to a first ever Champions League trophy. Drogba arguably holds the finest moment in Chelsea history, scoring the winning penalty to beat Bayern Munich on that infamous night.  

After leaving Chelsea in 2012, Drogba re-joined the club in 2014 to link up with Jose Mourinho once again for one season. The reunion concluded success, as Drogba won a fourth Premier League title for the Blues.

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