Premier League Countdown: Five best foreign footballers

The Barclays Premier League trophy on a plinth on stage

With just five days to go until the start of the new Premier League season, it has got us here at Coral News thinking. If we had to pick, who would the five best ever foreign footballers be that have played in the Premier League since its inception?

Below are the results of our findings with video evidence and though there are easily at least 10 stars who could be included in the list, ultimately, we have gone with the following five.

Eric Cantona
The Frenchman cut a controversial figure during his tenure in the Premier League and is known as much for his behaviour as the remarkable things he did with a ball. Having joined Manchester United fierce rivals Leeds United in time for the Premier League era, he went on to score 64 goals in 143 appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Dennis Bergkamp
Probably the closest to fellow Dutch legend Marco van Basten, Bergkamp did things with a ball you just would not have thought possible and his understanding of the game and on-field telepathy with his teammates was simply sensational.

Gianfranco Zola
A cult-hero in the Premier League with Chelsea, who are 15/8 with Coral to retain the title this term, the little Italian dazzled defences and left many a goalkeeper rooted to the spot. In 229 appearances for the club, he scored 59 goals and is still remembered fondly at Stamford Bridge.

Thierry Henry
Definitely one of the best in the history of the Premier League, searching for the right superlative to describe the striker is harder than trying to pick his best goal. Having struck 174 goals in 254 Arsenal appearances, his contribution earned the Gunners two Premier League titles, three FA Cup wins and two Community Shield victories.

While at the club, Henry was also a runner-up in the Champions League final in 2005/06 and additionally was a key part of the famous ‘Invicibles’ squad which went unbeaten in a Premier League campaign.

Claude Makelele
Not what you were all expecting right? Well, the former Real Madrid player carved out a new position for himself, so-called the ‘Makelele role’ while at Chelsea.

Under Jose Mourinho, the Frenchman would patrol the space in front of the defence, anticipate runs of opposition players, nullify attacks but perhaps more importantly start attacks with a simple ball.

During his time, Makelele became perhaps one of the most effective players in the Premier League and was a major factor to the Blues winning two Premier League titles in a row.

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