Legends of football are apparently not hidden from anyone. Their football skills and performances prove it all. Several candidates are regarded as the legends of football but who is actually a legend honoured with this award. Yes, when we mention legends of football, it’s not just a few greatest footballers but also a prestigious award whose recipients to mention are legends like Sir Stanley Matthews, Sir Bobby Robson, Kenny Dalglish, Eric Cartona, John Charles, Brian Clough, Sir Alex Ferguson and Alan Shearer.
The event has celebrated its 20 years anniversary with their latest iconic award receiver David Beckham. Since 1996 when it’s first event took place, 25 globally recognised footballers have received this award becoming the real legend of football. Legends of Football has honoured the greatest footballers of all time and saluted every one of those spontaneously brilliant players.
So, without any delay let’s start our tour of those 20 football legends who are in possession of this prestigious award.
1. Ellen White
One best thing about Legends of Football is that it doesn’t discriminate on grounds of gender which is quite prominent in sports. We are proud to announce that the latest legend of football is England women’s top goal scorer Ellen White who was honored with this award in 2022.
White played a vital role in the Lionesses’
Victorious UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 campaign where she played literally every game and scored two more International goals which makes her second all time goal scorer of England after Wayne Rooney who holds the record of 53.
2. Gareth Southgate
The legends of football inducted Gareth Southgate into the Hall of Frame in the year 2022 along with Ellen White. Considering his successful runs and career as England National Team manager in the 2018 World Cup as well as the 2022 Euros tournament. His performance in semi final and final marks his brilliancy.
3. Arsene Wenger
As Covid 19 filled the world in 2020-21 with despair and grief of their loved ones’ demise, Legends of Football was not in a position to celebrate this event. But before that the journey was smooth like butter and Arsene Wenger became a football legend in 2019. It celebrated his Premier League titles, FA Cups and seven FA Community Shields which he won during his illustrious career.
4. Frank Lampard Obe
The infamous Chelsea player is the true legend of football. Interestingly, Frank probably won every title and award there was to win at club Chelsea such as UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League. Unbelievably, he got hold of 106 England caps and scored 29 goals in total. Amused by his achievements, he was honored as the legend of football in 2018. And now the all-time high rated player is on his way to achieve success as the manager of Derby County.
5. Steven Gerrard
Honoured in 2017, Steven Gerrard is one of the best Liverpool players of all time given his excellent performance in the 2005 Champions League final. It marked his exceptionally blessed ability to score. In fact, he is the only player to score in a League Cup final, FA Cup final, Champions League final and UEFA Cup Final and win each time. Also, he has 114 England Caps.
6. Premier League 100 Club
It sounds strange but the truth is that in 2016, a special group of few outstanding players was honoured with the award. Legends of Football celebrated 25 seasons of the Premier League and honoured this group of players who hold the record for scoring over a century of Premier League goals. While Robin Van Persie received Premier League 100 Club’s Greatest Goal award.
7. David Beckham
In 2015, David Beckham, one of the biggest football stars of all time became the legend of football. The former Manchester United player also held the membership of the club’s popular “Class of ’92′”. Individually, the great Beckham won six Premier League titles at Manchester United as well as League titles for Real Madrid. Former PSG player also wore 115 England caps making a record.
8. Ryan Giggs
Undisputedly, the most appreciated player in the entire English football history, Riyan Giggs became the legend of football in 2014. United Footballer has a long list of achievements to his name including 13 Premier League titles and 2 European Cups. Yet, the biggest achievement of his life is estimated to be his longevity as Giggs appeared in 672 games in 22 consecutive seasons.
Pele is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time. It’s no surprise that he won legends of football in 2013. The great footballer has become a memorable name in the history of football with three World Cup wins for Brazil. He won his first World Cup in 1958 at the age of 17 and now he stands out as one of the top goalscorers of all time with 77 goals for Brazil and more than 600 goals for Santos. The global superstar is also one of 23 players to score 500 goals for a single club.
10. The Premier League 500 Club
Interestingly, the receipt of 2012 Legends of football is not just one, two or three but six brilliant players. In 2012, Legends of football awarded players who made 500 or more appearances in the Premier League. The exclusive group of 500 club players includes six legends who are Ryan Giggs, Emile Heskey, Frank Lampard, Gary Speed, David James and Sol Campbell.
11. Jose Mourinho
Legend of Legends, Jose Mourinho is here. He claimed the prestigious award in 2011. He is not just one of the best footballers ever but also the greatest manager with 23 trophies. His consistency at winning is what he is known for. He has won probably every League title that he has played in including England, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Mourinho is also a two time winner of the European Cup.
12. Eric Cantona
Honoured with Legends of football in 2010, Eric Cantona was a catalyst to Premier League club Manchester United under guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. Cantona was the first player ever outside Britain to win an FA Cup as a captain in 1996. Cantona moved to Manchester United for just $1 million and proved his greatness to United by winning the title in his first season. He is also the winner of 4 leagues as well as 2 FA Cup.
13. Harry Redknapp
One of the most experienced managers in football history, Harry Redknapp won Legends of football in 2009. Harry is one of the few managers to guide in more than 1000 games in his career of 35 years. He spent his entire career at seven different clubs while his unexpected FA Cup win led him to take over Tottenham where his guidance resulted in the club’s promotion to Champions League Quarter Finals.
14. Denis Law
The legend of football winner of 2008, Denis Law is a Scottish professional footballer who was signed by Manchester City for an estimated transfer fee of £55,000 setting a new British record. Once a part of “Holy Trinity” at Old Trafford, the Scottish star was titled European Footballer of the year in 1964. Law scored 237 goals for United along as well as won 2 League titles and a European Cup.
15. Teddy Sheringham
The opening winner of Premier League Golden Boot in 1992, Teddy played as an ordinary goal scorer until he joined Manchester United in 1998. He played a key role in winning the 1999 treble for the club scoring goals in both Champions League Finals and FA Cup.
One exciting fact about him is that unlike the majority of players, he continued playing at top level past his 40th birthday. Interestingly, he is also the oldest outfield player to ever score in the Premier League.
16. Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer is the all-time top goalscorer of Premier League. He was twice as expensive as the British most expensive player. Given his outnumbering scoring ability, Blackburn Rovers paid Southampton £3.75 million for Shearer in 1992 and in turn Shearer scored 34 goals for Blackburn culminating in their Premier League win in 1995. Shortly after his transfer, Newcastle United offered an estimated fee of £15 million to bring him back. He also came out as a charm for the club and became club’s bleading goalscorer with 148 goals.
17. Sir Alex Ferguson
At the time when he was the manager of Manchester United, his teams ruled English Football for 20 years winning 13 league titles as well as 2 European Cups. He was an Incredible but irreplaceable luck to any of the clubs. Before forging his career with United, he served as manager for Aberdeen. Under his guidance, Aberdeen won 3 league titles in Scotland and beat the potent Real Madrid in 1983 Cup final. He proved to be the most successful manager in the history of English football.
18. Kenny Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish is one of the few players to win leagues titles for same club as both manager and player. The former Liverpool manager also helped Blackburn to win league title as manager in 1995. Enjoying a long lustrous career, Dalglish is widely regarded as Liverpool’s greatest footballer ever as he won 15 major trophies. Fun fact about him is that he was not just Liverpool’s but also Scotland’s top scorer.
19. Tony Adams
Honoured with Legends of football in 2003, Tony Adams is also titled Mr Arsenal as he was regarded as club’s greatest captain ever. He achieved a lot of awards and titles for the clubs he played for in 3 different decades including league titles, 3 FA Cups, European Cup, 2 League Cups and 66 England Caps. Consider it a summary of his over 20 years long career.
20. Sir Bobby Charlton
An incredible player and a mindful manager, Sir Bobby Charlton was awarded Legends of football in 2002. He won several league titles for Premier League club Liverpool as well as Blackburn. The former English footballer was considered one of the greatest players of all time. Charlton helped England to life trophy at 1966 World Cup and won Ballon d’or award same year.
21. Sir Bobby Robson
You must have heard about Sir Bobby Robson as he was one of the most popular global figures. Under his guidance Ipswich lifted both FA Cup and UEFA Cup before making their way to 1990 World Cup semi final. In his lavish career, he managed many major European clubs including PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and then Newcastle United.
22. Brian Clough
The 2000 Legends of football winner Brian Clough had a prolific career at the clubs of Middlesbrough and Sunderland. Though his career as a player with 251 goals in 274 appearances might no be impressive, his career as a manager is what made him the legend. Explaining away his success, he quoted, “I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.
23. Nat Lofthouse
The third player to ever receive the newly introduced award “Legends of football”. Nat Lofthouse was incredibly good at keeping hold as for a single club he scored 255 goals in 452 appearances. Nat scored 30 goals and won 33 caps for England. The incredible played also captained Bolton for FA Cup final beating Manchester United in 2-0 win.
24. Sir Stanley Matthews
Also known as “The Wizard of the Dribble”, Sir Stanley Matthews was the second player to receive the Legends of football award in 1998. Stanley is the former European Footballer of the year. He continued playing at top level competition until he was 50. He had such a glorious and impactful performance in 1953 FA Cup final that the final was nicknamed “The Metthews Final”. He succeeded to lift the FA Cup following his success.
25. John Charles
John Charles might be the least in the list but in reality he is at the top. He was the first ever footballer to receive Legends of football in 1997. Charles is notably one of the greatest British Footballers who represented Leeds, Wales and Juventus. Juventus paid an estimated transfer fee of £65,000 for him in 1957 breaking the existing British transfer record. At the same club he was nicknamed II Gigante Buono – “The Gentle Giant” while in 1997 they regarded him as “Greatest ever foreign player”.