Is Steven Gerrard the best player to never win the league title?

Steven Gerrard England

England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard came so close to winning the English title with the Reds but is he the best player to never win the title?

The 33-year-old Reds skipper has one of the most accredited honours list in world football but one title, the Premier League trophy, has proven elusive over the course of his 16-year career spent at Anfield.

Gerrard has won two FA Cup titles, three League Cup titles, the Champions League, UEFA Cup and two Super Cups as well as individual honours including the Ballon d’Or Bronze, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year, the FWA Tribute Award, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Fans Player of the Year (twice), Champions League Man of the Match and an MBE from Her Majesty.

He has scored 111 goals across 472 appearances over 16 seasons in the Premier League but has never (yet) won the title, as the Reds fell short by two points to Manchester City this term.

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler also makes the list – the Toxteth-born striker won the FA Cup, two League Cups, the UEFA Cup and Super Cup, two PFA Young Player of the Year awards, and scored 166 goals across 391 appearances over 18 seasons in the Premier League with four different clubs.

His former England national team colleague, Paul Gascoigne was the best player in the country in his prime but he never won the title either. Gazza won the FA Cup once with Tottenham and the Scottish title twice with Rangers as well as the PFA Young Player of the Year Award, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Goal of the Season, scoring 45 goals across 242 appearances in the Premier League and old First Division.

Gazza’s colleague with the Three Lions and current BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker scored 192 goals across 340 appearances in the old First Division with Leicester City, Everton, and Tottenham but won only the FA Cup as well with Spurs, despite being named twice FWA Footballer of the Year, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, English League Top Scorer three times, winning the World Cup Golden Boot and being the Ballon d’Or runner up but he never won the English title.

Over the road at Arsenal, Gunners legend Liam Brady was one of the best midfielders to grace the pitch in his day. The Irishman scored 43 goals in 235 appearances for Arsenal in the old First Division but won only the FA Cup, as well as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

Even further back, probably England’s most famous ever player Bobby Moore was not only a national legend but is probably West Ham’s greatest ever player. The defender made an incredible 544 appearances for West Ham in the old First Division, won the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the most prestigious medal of all, the World Cup in 1966. Individually, he won FWA Footballer of the Year, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and was awarded an OBE by the Queen but he never won the English title.

Back in North London, and flashing forward to the recent past, former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas never won the title – the 26-year-old Spaniard scored 35 goals in 212 appearances and gave the Premier League some of the most breath-taking phases of play in world, winning only the FA Cup with the Gunners. He has won the La Liga title, Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup since moving to Barcelona as well as the World Cup and European Championships with Spain, but never won the English title.

Another player to abscond to Spain, Gareth Bale is the world’s most expensive player in history and set the Premier League on fire with his performances for Tottenham, scoring 42 goals in just 146 games but didn’t win a single trophy with Spurs. Individually, he won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, FWA Footballer of the Year, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year in the same season but never won the title.

Tottenham legends feature heavily on the list and another of their icons, David Ginola must be considered a Premier League great – the Frenchman scored 22 goals in 195 appearances across four different clubs in England and gave fans those magical moments of majesty with the ball at his feet that will never be forgotten. He won the League Cup with Spurs, French Player of the Year, PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year but never won the title.

And, last but not least, a Chelsea legend – how could we forget Gianfranco Zola. The pint-sized Italian netted 59 goals in 229 appearances in the Premier League for the Blues, won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, two FA Cup titles and the League Cup with Chelsea. Individually, he won the FWA Footballer of the Year and the Serie A title in his homeland but never the English title.

Steven Gerrard is not alone and, if anything, he is probably the best player of the modern era to never (yet) win the English title, second only to the late great Bobby Moore who Gerrard will have the chance to emulate further this summer at the World Cup in Brazil.

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