Chelsea is one of the top teams in London. Winners of six First Division titles, eight FA Cups, and one UEFA Champions League, Chelsea has seen many of the game's greats come through the ranks, leaving plenty of unforgettable memories at Stamford Bridge. It may have been a while since Chelsea lifted an English Premier League crown, but the Blues still boast one of the more impressive histories in European soccer.
Here's a closer look at the All-Time Best XI for Chelsea:
GK: Petr Cech
The Czech Republic international Petr Cech is one of the greatest goalkeepers in English Premier League history, with several records to show for it. He joined Chelsea from Rennes ahead of the 2004-05 season and became the club's first-choice goalkeeper shortly after, holding the position for almost a decade. He kept 207 clean sheets in 443 appearances in the Premier League, another Premier League record. Overall, Cech kept 228 clean sheets in 494 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions. He played a vital role in the club's first-ever UEFA Champions League title in 2012, saving a penalty in extra-time as well as in the shootout against Bayern Munich.
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta
Current Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is undoubtedly one of the most criminally underrated players in the club's history. £7 million buy from Olympique Marseille in 2012, Azpilicueta has been the club's Mr Dependable for close to a decade. Azpilicueta captained Chelsea to their second UEFA Champions League crown following a series of brilliant performances for the side. He is undoubtedly one of the most successful players to represent the club.
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CB: John Terry
John Terry made his Chelsea debut as a wiry 17-year-old in 1998 and became the club's captain in 2004. The defender was one of the best the Premier League has ever seen. His tackling, reading of the game and passing were top-notch, and he also had the odd goal in him. Terry is the highest-scoring defender in the history of the Premier League. He was also part of the meanest defence in the league's history, having conceded just 15 goals in the entire 2004-05 season. Terry captained Chelsea to their greatest successes, winning every trophy available bar the FIFA Club World Cup. The Englishman is the greatest defender in the club's history.
LB: Ashley Cole
England defender Ashley Cole was a promising young defender when he decided to leave Arsenal for Chelsea after the 2005-06 season. The Englishman became a mainstay in the Chelsea defence and enjoyed many great moments at Stamford Bridge. The left-back played a prominent role in Chelsea's success in the late 2000s, developing a knack for always being in the right place at the right time. Cole started and finished the 2012 UEFA Champions League final, putting in a brilliant shift to help Chelsea and scoring in the penalty shootout. He won nine trophies at Chelsea before leaving in 2014.
CB: Ron Harris
Ron "Chopper" Harris was primarily a centre-back in his day, but was able to feature as a right back, left back or midfielder. Harris was known for his tough-tackling nature, such that he became notorious for his tackling. He captained Chelsea to the 1967 FA Cup final, becoming the youngest player to captain a side in an FA Cup final at the time. Harris led Chelsea to the FA Cup trophy in 1970 after a replay against Leeds United in a match rather remembered for its brutal nature. The talented defender led Chelsea to their first European title, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1971. Harris represented Chelsea for 20 years, making 795 appearances, before moving to Brentford in 1980.
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DM: Claude Makelele
Claude Makelele was so good for Chelsea that he had the defensive midfield position named after him as the 'Makelele. The French midfielder was the perfect screen for the Chelsea defence in his six years at the club. Makelele joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2003; he was one of the first signings of the Roman era and was brought in for around £16 million by Claudio Ranieri. In Jose Mourinho's first season at the club, he declared the Frenchman his player of the season for the way he helped the team. The midfielder appeared in the club's first UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United in 2008, completing 120 minutes before being substituted for Juliano Belletti before the penalty shootout. Makelele left Chelsea after the 2007-08 season, having won six titles at the club.
CM: Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard joined Chelsea from West Ham in 2001 and went on to become a legend at Stamford Bridge. The greatest goalscoring midfielder in the history of the Premier League, Lampard is also the record goalscorer for Chelsea. The midfielder scored 211 goals in 648 appearances for Chelsea. His 177 Premier League goals make him the league's most prolific midfielder. Lampard played a vital role in Chelsea's success, captaining the side in their 2012 UEFA Champions League final win over Bayern Munich.
CM - N'Golo Kante
Leicester City unearthed a gem and Chelsea immediately snapped up that gem in N'Golo Kante. The French midfielder is the closest player to Claude Makelele imaginable but possesses a level of technical skill even if Makelele doesn't. Kante joined Chelsea after a title-winning season with Leicester City and immediately helped a Chelsea side that finished 10th in the previous season to win the title. The Frenchman was instrumental in the French national team winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, their first in 20 years. Kante delivered a superhuman effort for Chelsea in the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League final against Arsenal despite only being passed fit hours before the match.
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CM: Gianfranco Zola
Former Chelsea forward Gianfranco Zola is one of the most exciting players ever to grace Stamford Bridge. The Italian attacker joined Chelsea in 1996 from Parma and went on to become a cult figure and club legend. He scored 80 goals in 312 appearances for Chelsea, winning the Premier League Football Writers' Player of the Year award in the 1996-97 season despite arriving halfway through the campaign. Zola was voted as Chelsea's greatest ever player in 2003. He won seven major trophies during his spell at the club, including the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Super Cup, two FA Cups, League Cup and Community Shield. Zola's wizardry on the pitch could be attributed to the fact that he understudied Diego Maradona as a youngster at Napoli. He retired after the 2002-03 season.
RS: Didier Drogba
Didier was fondly known as the king. He was the complete definition of a big game player for Chelsea. Drogba scored 164 goals in 381 appearances for Chelsea across two spells. He scored nine goals in 10 finals for Chelsea and got the first goal at the new Wembley Stadium in the 2007 FA Cup final against Manchester United. Drogba scored Chelsea's equaliser in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich before scoring the winning penalty in the shootout. Drogba finished in the top ten of the Ballon d'Or shortlist in 2006, 2007 and 2009. He won the Premier League's Golden Boot in the 2009-10 season with 29 goals and 13 assists in 32 appearances for Chelsea. Drogba left Chelsea immediately after the 2012 Champions League triumph and returned for a second spell for one season in 2014-15, winning the league title and the League Cup. He was truly a star player.
LS: Bobby Tambling
English striker Bobby Tambling was Chelsea's record goalscorer for 47 years before his tally was surpassed by Frank Lampard. Tambling scored 202 goals in 370 matches for Chelsea in a career that spanned just 10 years. Alongside Ron Harris, he was part of the side that lost to Tottenham Hotspur in the 1967 FA Cup final. He made his Chelsea debut aged just 17, marking it with a goal. Tambling holds the record for most goals scored for Chelsea in a single league game with the five goals he scored in the 6-2 win over Aston Villa in September 1966. He remains the Blues' record goal scorer in league football with 164 goals.
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