Here are the 10 best Chelsea players of all time, see the full details right here right now on this article.
Chelsea is an interesting club. Granted they
won the first division title in 1955, and a few
cups spread throughout the years, but an
extended period of success seemed to
continually elude them, until the arrival of
Roman Abramovich in 2003, and shortly after,
“The Special One”, Jose Mourinho.
One thing is apparent though, Chelsea has had
no shortage of incredible players during their
115-year history. Perhaps due to their
glamorous west-London location, or maybe
their passionate fans, the Blues have had no
problems attracting the best of the best, and in
this list, I’ll show you some of the finest
players to ever represent this great club.
#10 – Eden Hazard
The selection of Hazard may be seen as
controversial by some, but a slightly bitter
departure should not cloud the fact that the
Belgium winger enjoyed a hugely successful
spell at Chelsea.
During 7 years at the club, Hazard helped the
club to two Premier League’s, two Europa
League’s, an FA Cup, and a League Cup, and
firmly established himself as one of the
world’s best players.
It’s no wonder Real Madrid were so keen to
sign the player, though Hazard has yet to
recapture the form that made him such a
threat at the blues.
Hazard was blessed with a real turn of pace,
and his dribbling skills were a joy to behold.
His highlight reel, simply put, is outrageous. If
Premier League fans were disappointed to see
a player like Hazard leave the league, Premier
League defenders may have been slightly
Surprisingly strong, and never afraid to get
stuck in, or exchange words with rival players,
Hazard made the physical Premier League his
own, winning a number of individual awards
during his time in west London.
Known primarily for his dribbling, Hazard was
also a prominent goal threat, reaching double
figures in the Premier League in 5 of the 7
seasons he featured for Chelsea.
Hazard would ultimately go on to score 110
goals in 352 appearances for Chelsea, and is
ninth in the club’s list of all-time goalscorers,
further justifying his place on this list. All of
this was in addition to assisting 54 times for
the club in the Premier League alone.
Hazard was a threat from anywhere on the
pitch, and defenders were never allowed a
moment of peace when the Belgium flyer was
on the ball.
It’s hard to see players that you love leave,
especially when still in the prime of their
careers, but it’s tough to turn down Real
Madrid, and time will help heal the blow.
Ultimately, Hazard achieved great things at
Chelsea, and in the end, this is what should be
#9 – Peter Osgood
When there is a statue of you outside the
ground where you made your name, you can
be sure that that player made quite the impact.
Peter Osgood did just that.
It’s a testament to how things have changed in
soccer and the wider world that Osgood’s
uncle had to write to Chelsea to secure a trial.
Osgood took his chance, and scored twice on
his debut for the club, a clear sign of things to
Osgood, like Didier Drogba many decades later,
had a talent for scoring in important games,
netting in major cup finals, 3 seasons in a row.
He helped Chelsea win the European Cup
Winners’ Cup, scoring in the final, and the final
replay, as the blues held off the mighty Real
Madrid. All of this was made more impressive
by the fact that Osgood suffered a broken leg
A serious injury now, it was even more
worrying at this time, and could often lead to
retirement, or a sharp decline in soccer
abilities. Fortunately for Osgood, this wasn’t
the case, and he kept scoring the goals that
have led to his lofty place in Chelsea folklore.
Being a young player in the 1960s and ’70s,
Osgood enjoyed his life, and what came along
with his fame, which didn’t always go down too
well with the Chelsea management.
He was sold by the club in 1974 to
Southampton, before returning for a brief spell
at the end of his career. When all was said and
done, Osgood scored 105 goals for the club,
and as mentioned above, you can find his
statue outside the West Stand at Stamford
“The Wizard of Os,” as he’s fondly
remembered, deserves his place in any list
about Chelsea’s greatest players. He brought
genuine hope to the club, scored important
goal after important goal, and brought
silverware Chelsea’s way. They don’t make
statues for just anyone.
#8 – Ray Wilkins
The world of soccer was left devastated at Ray
Wilkins’ untimely death in 2018, with many
remembering his affable nature, and talents on
the pitch. Wilkins only spent 6 years at
Chelsea, but made many memories during this
spell, made all the more remarkable at the fact
Wilkins was just starting his career.
Wilkins had something about him, an aura if
you will, and the powers that be at Chelsea
certainly felt the same way, naming him captain
at just 18 years old. The mid-1970s were
tougher times for Chelsea, but Wilkins, and the
young Chelsea team around him, managed to
provide a much-needed boost to the club’s
Chelsea was promoted back to the top flight
under Wilkins’ captaincy, an impressive
achievement considering the young age of
both the captain and the players around him.
Chelsea kept their place in the top division the
next season, and Wilkins was well on his way
to legendary status at the club.
Wilkins was a gifted reader of the game and a
sublime passer of the ball. He didn’t score
many, but he did score memorable goals and
was called up for England while he was playing
in division 2, a clear indication of just how
good he was.
He was named Chelsea’s player of the year
during his spell at the club, and later on in his
career, would return to the club as an
assistant, and caretaker manager.
Ray Wilkins and the club had a special
relationship, from the beginning to the end, and
he’s as well known for his talents on the pitch,
as his wonderful personality off it.
#7 – Ron Harris
Soccer was a different game in the 1960s and
1970s, a physical battle that would make
modern players wince. It took a lot to get sent
off, and players would often be forced to
continue with injuries until substitutions were
finally introduced into the soccer league in
1965. If ever a player was suited to these
conditions, it was Chelsea great Ron Harris,
Harris took no prisoners and is still known as
one of the most fearsome soccer players to
ever play the game. He loved the physical style
of soccer, which is a world away from the tiki-
taka style that a number of teams play in this
day and age.
“Chopper” is still beloved by Chelsea fans, and
for good reason. He stuck with the club when
they were twice relegated, and would play
whatever position was asked of him.
He is Chelsea’s record ever appearance maker,
representing the Stamford Bridge club an
incredible 795 times. Ron Harris is seen as one
of the game’s foremost hard men, and is still a
part of the Chelsea scene, delighting fans both
old and new.
#6 – Peter Bonetti
“The Cat” sadly died in April 2020, allowing
Chelsea fans to reminisce about one of their
greatest ever goalkeepers. Bonetti has made
the second-most appearances for the blues,
with the aforementioned Ron Harris at number
one in the list.
Bonetti did not fit your stereotypical view of a
big, all imposing goalkeeper. He was all of 5ft
10 inches, weighing 11 stone for much of his
Playing in the physical English leagues during
the 60s and 70s, it’s a testament to how good
Bonetti was, that he racked up all these
appearances, and was viewed as one of the
best goalkeepers in the league. Bonetti was
seen as being ahead of his time, focusing on
quick distribution, something that is
commonplace in today’s game.
Bonetti was brave, agile, and as proven by his
number of appearances, durable. His
performance in the 1970 FA Cup final against
Leeds was one of the best in the competition’s
history, finally bringing the trophy to west
Bonetti, rather incredibly, conceded one goal or
fewer in more than two-thirds of his Chelsea
appearances, adding statistical evidence to
what fans of the Stamford Bridge club already
knew, “The Cat” was a special goalkeeper.
#5 – Petr Cech
From one great goalkeeper to another, Petr
Cech is synonymous with Chelsea’s 21 –
century success. Signed in 2004, it’s important
to remember that Chelsea already possessed a
great goalkeeper at this time, in the form of
Coming from the French league, Cech was
somewhat of an unknown quality but soon
established himself as the Chelsea number 1.
Cech’s list of team and personal honors are
beyond impressive, as he established himself
as one of the best goalkeepers in world
4 Premier League’s, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups,
as well as a Champions League, and a Europa
League. Cech’s performance in the Champions
League final win against Bayern Munich, was a
masterclass, as he saved a penalty in extra
time, before saving two penalties in the shoot-
After all the Premier League success, Cech
had played a huge part in Chelsea’s elusive
Champions League success.
Individually, Cech has won a number of
goalkeeping awards and was part of the
incredible Chelsea defense that conceded only
15 goals in the 2004/05 season.
This is, in my opinion, one of the finest
achievements in the Premier League, and Cech
was the goalkeeper the Chelsea defense knew
they could rely on. Cech also has the most
clean sheets in Premier League history with
202, a number achieved during spells at
Chelsea, and then Arsenal.
Standing at 6ft 5 inches, Cech was a
significant physical presence, yet agile enough
to not let his height become an issue. He read
the game at a level rarely seen in the Premier
League, and positionally, was without peer.
One of the most impressive aspects of the
career of Petr Cech is the fact that he came
back from a serious injury, to regain his place
in the pantheon of great goalkeepers. It’s hard
to remember a time where Cech didn’t wear his
protective headgear, but this was the case,
until his injury against Reading in 2006, where
he suffered a depressed skull fracture.
Cech had no recollection of the injury, but
came back arguably as good as ever. Chelsea
lost his first game back, but then kept a simply
incredible eight clean sheets in a row, with
Cech marshaling the team as if he’d never
been away. Cech was deservedly awarded the
Premier League player of the month, which is
quite a rare accolade for a goalkeeper.
No discussion of the Premier League’s best-
ever goalkeepers is complete without mention
of Cech, and Chelsea fans still hold the keeper
in high esteem, despite him joining London
Cech is still heavily involved in dealings at
Chelsea and was surprisingly named in their
Premier League squad for the 2020 season as
an emergency goalkeeper. You never know,
maybe we’ll see Petr Cech back on the
Stamford Bridge pitch. You don’t think Chelsea
fans would begrudge it.
#4 – Didier Drogba
Signed for £24m from Marseille in 2004, it’s
amazing to think now, that Drogba had a slow
start to life as a Chelsea player. His first
season was marred by injury and persistent
claims of diving. Had manager Jose Mourinho
made a mistake in bringing the Ivorian to
Stamford Bridge? Well, it turns out, no he
Never truly prolific (he only scored more than
20 goals in a season twice for Chelsea,)
Drogba was instead known as a scorer of
important goals, your classic “Big-game
He scored in four separate FA Cup finals, and
stole the show in the 2012 Champions League
final, where he scored an 88 -minute equalizer
against Bayern Munich with a fantastic header,
and then went on to score the winning penalty
in the shoot-out. Didier Drogba was the man
for the big occasion.
At Stamford Bridge, he won Premier Leagues.
He won FA and League Cups, and as
mentioned, he was a vital part of the team that
won the Champions League.
Similarly to John Terry, Drogba experienced his
own redemption after success in 2012. He had
been sent off in the 2008 final defeat against
Manchester United, which the Blues would lose
on penalties. Drogba, Terry, and Chelsea were
finally able to banish those demons, and
Abramovich has his Champions League.
Drogba was a big personality in a Chelsea
team full of them and meshed perfectly with
manager Jose Mourinho, who was not shy in
defending his charismatic striker.
The Ivorian was strong, a beast in the air, and
brilliant at holding the ball up, and bringing
others into play. He is a classic Premier
League striker, and his influence for Chelsea is
huge, where he even returned for a second
spell in 2014, naturally going on to win yet
another Premier League.
He was carried off by his Chelsea teammates
following an injury during his last Premier
League appearance, which shows exactly how
highly the club revere him. There is no doubt,
the fans feel exactly the same way.
#3 – Gianfranco Zola
In the mid-’90s, there was a definite change in
West London, with things becoming a lot more
glamorous. Dutch legend Ruud Gullit was now
the manager, and the club signed a number of
continental players, which at the time in the
Premier League, was quite rare. Gianfranco
Zola, the diminutive Italian genius, was one of
these players, and his impact was remarkable.
It’s worth remembering that Chelsea wasn’t the
Premier League powerhouse that they are now,
and the signing of Zola was seen as a bit of a
coup for the blues.
He made quite the impact in his first season at
the club, leading the club to an FA Cup win. A
standout performance against Manchester
United, in which he scored, led to the then
manager Sir Alex Ferguson labeling Zola as a
“clever little so-and-so,” which is a nice way of
summing him up.
Zola was also named Player of the Year in his
first season, which was made even more
impressive, by the fact that he didn’t play the
whole season, having not signed until
November of 1996.
Zola’s arrival to the Premier League showed
that players of smaller stature could still
impact games, with his quick thinking, skill,
and importantly set-piece prowess all key parts
of his game, that made the Italian stand out.
Zola left the club just before Roman
Abramovich and his millions role in town, but
his impact on the club will be forever
remembered. His goal against Norwich in the
2001/02 season is still revered for its
brilliance. A backheeled effort, in mid-air
nonetheless, was as incredible as it was
innovative. The goal goes a long way to
summing up the player, sheer genius.
In 2003, Chelsea fans voted him as their
greatest ever player, and while he may have
slipped down that list slightly, due to more
recent success, there is no denying that Zola is
a legend of both the club and the Premier
League. He paved the way for others to follow
and brought an injection of glamour to
#2 – John Terry
“Captain, Leader, Legend”. I could easily leave
this section on John Terry at those three
words, as it perfectly sums up just what the
player means to Chelsea fans.
He was “Mr. Chelsea”, a player that progressed
from youth level to the senior ranks. He made
his first-team debut for the club at the age of
17, in a League Cup tie against Aston Villa,
who, interestingly enough, is the club where he
is currently assistant manager to Dean Smith.
What would follow was a near 20 year run at
the club, where Terry would go on to establish
himself as not only one of the greatest Chelsea
players of all time, but one of the best
defenders the Premier League has ever seen.
During his time at Chelsea, Terry led the club to
five Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three
League Cups, one Europa League, and
famously, one Champions League, where he
helped to banish the demons from his penalty
shootout miss in 2008.
Individually, Terry was named the UEFA Club
defender of the year on three occasions and
was named in the FIFPro World XI in five
consecutive seasons. He was also named PFA
Players’ Player of the Year in 2005.
John Terry was an incredible reader of the
game, and as brave as they come, even being
knocked unconscious on more than one
occasion for the club, as he threw his body on
the line. Terry was a gifted passer, often
proving to be the catalyst for the club’s
attacks, under Mourinho’s management.
The defender was also known for scoring
goals, and is the highest-scoring defender in
Chelsea’s history, netting 41 times for the
Blues. Just to add to his legend, Terry even
had time in goal, following in-game injuries to
both of Chelsea’s usual goalkeepers. Of
course, he helped to maintain a clean sheet.
The player was disliked by plenty of fans of
other clubs, who perhaps begrudgingly knew
just how good John Terry was. He was a
mainstay of the club’s defense, forming some
incredible partnerships during his time there.
He was the man you would want to lead you
into battle, and he did just that with Chelsea.
There’s no wonder he’s looked at one of the
very best to ever wear the famous royal blue of
#1 – Frank Lampard
Already an established Premier League
midfielder when he joined Chelsea, Frank
Lampard took his game to unprecedented
heights at the blues, becoming the club’s all-
time top scorer, during an incredible 13-year
When you hear the term “Goal-scoring
midfielder”, Frank Lampard is the name that
should come to mind. Late runs into the box
are still described as being “Lampard-esque”,
and the midfielder could score any type of
Blessed with a terrific engine, Lampard could
cover box-to-box and was also adept at
creating opportunities for others, laying on 102
assists during his time in the Premier League.
Lampard is the only midfielder, from 9 players
who have achieved the feat, to score at least
150 Premier League goals, and absolutely
deserves his place in a discussion of the
league’s very best players.
In a team of leaders, Lampard was not always
the most vocal, but was not shy in getting his
point across, and was a huge reason for
Lampard’s soccer brain is second to none, and
it was no surprise to see him go into
management. An initial spell at Derby has of
course led to him managing Chelsea, where
he’ll hope to bring success on par to what he
enjoyed as a player at the club.
Early signs are promising, and with the
cerebral Lampard in charge, Chelsea might be
poised for another spell of dominance.
Lampard was part of an incredible spine at
Chelsea, and it’s no surprise to see that Petr
Cech, John Terry, and Didier Drogba all appear
in this list. All of these players are rightly seen
as Chelsea legends, and their impact on the
club won’t long be forgotten.
The Final Whistle
As mentioned at the top, Chelsea is an
interesting club, enjoying pockets of success
mixed with long periods of tougher times. They
have had some incredible players wear that
royal blue though, and I think this list shows
just how lucky Chelsea fans have been at
times, to be able to see these players in action.
With exciting young talent at the club, this list
may soon have to be updated, as Chelsea look
on the cusp of further success, all under the
leadership of one of their best ever, Frank