5) Fernando Torres
One of the greatest players in his prime, El Nino remains a favourite amongst the football fans despite having lost his touch in recent years. He became the Athletico captain at a young age of 19; unfortunately, for him, Athletico were not a force that they’ve become in recent years under CholoSimeone. He played the best football of his career at Anfield but failed to win any titles, the closest he came to a title was in 2008/09 when Liverpool finished second to an unstoppable Manchester United side. He moved to Chelsea in a controversial move and Never really regained his best form at Stamford Bridge. Despite that, he managed to win a Champions League and Europa league title with the Blues. A league title still evades a career full of ups and downs for the Athletico legend.
4) Steven Gerrard
Arguably the greatest midfielder England has ever produced, it is a real shame that Gerrard never managed to win a league title with his beloved Liverpool. He did win a historic Champions League title with the Reds in Istanbul. To his credit, he could have won as many league titles as Lampard did only if he did not feel married to Liverpool. The likes of Mourinho twice tried to bring him to Inter and Chelsea, but couldn’t convince him. And his perseverance with the Reds came ever so close, but as fate would have it, Gerrard slipped in what turned out to be the decisive event in the 2013-14 title race.
The legendary Brazilian won several accolades and individual honours during his glittering career, but failed to win any league title. At this time, Socrates was one of the best playmakers around and played for big sides like Flamengo, Corinthians and Santos, which makes it even more remarkable that he did not win a league title. Nevertheless, lack of trophies do not nearly define his career.
2) Gary Lineker
A prolific goalscorer, Gary Lineker played for the likes of Barcelona, Everton during his illustrious career. His ice-cool finishing made him the deadliest forward of his time. His goal scoring instincts drew comparisons with the legendary Gerd Muller. Scoring more than 200 goals in his career, it is astonishing that Lineker failed to get his hands on a league title. His best season came for Everton when he scored a massive 40 goals in just 41 appearances to nearly lead the Toffees to a league title. At Spurs, he did win an FA Cup, which does assuage his cause a little.
1) Sir Stanley Matthews
While he might be an obscure personality to the modern generation, it is difficult to miss out on Sir Stanley Matthews when one lists out England’s greatest ever. And rightly so, it was his blistering performances that got him knighted as an active footballer. Also, the only player to have received the same. Having amassed nearly 700 appearances in his distinguished career, Matthews played for Stoke and Blackpool. Post-retirement, Matthews went to South Africa, where he began coaching a side of black boys and was a prominent figure in the resistance towards apartheid system.