If you’re a soccer fan looking to place a bet on the Premier League, you’ll more than likely plump for Liverpool to win the title, or Jamie Vardy to finish as top goalscorer. But one thing that makes the league so watchable is its unpredictability, no matter the talent on display. The Premier League has been home to some of the greatest players the world has ever seen and while some choose to explore the other big European leagues, others prefer to cross the Atlantic and join the MLS at the end of their career. Here, we’ll take a look at five of these players.
1. David Beckham (LA Galaxy)
Beckham graced the Premier League for nearly a decade and was part of Manchester United’s famous treble-winning squad in 1999. Winning six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League, Beckham left England for Spain and joined the Galácticos era at Real Madrid, before moving to LA. The former England captain reached over a century of appearances for the MLS team, winning back-to-back MLS Cup titles.
2. Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
Henry had an illustrious career in four of Europe’s biggest leagues (Ligue 1, Serie A, Premier League and La Liga), before joining the MLS. At Arsenal, he was part of the Invincibles squad that went 49 games unbeaten. As well as being the club’s top goalscorer with 228 goals in all competitions, Henry also won the Premier League Golden Boot a record four times. During his time in the MLS, Henry won the 2013 Supporters’ Shield. He now coaches in the Eastern Conference of the MLS at Montreal Impact.
3. Wayne Rooney (DC United)
Another incredible talent with an eye for a goal. Rooney is not only Manchester United’s all-time top goalscorer with 253 in all competitions, but his tally of 208 goals in the Premier League is the most by any player for one single club. He won five Premier League titles, as well as the FA Cup and League Cup, with European success in both the Champions League and Europa League. He joined DC United in June 2018 and three games in, was made captain. During his debut season, Rooney was DC’s MVP and Golden Boot winner, and he’s now set to return to England as a player/coach for Derby County of the Championship.
4. Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact)
Our list is a battle of the strikers as we have the former Chelsea number 11 next. During his two stints with the south west London club, Drogba won four Premier League titles and FA Cups, as well as the Champions League. He was the first player of African descent to score 100 Premier League goals. He’s Chelsea’s highest scoring foreign player of all-time with 104 league goals and 164 in all competitions. He spent two seasons in the MLS with Canadian team Montreal Impact, scoring 23 league goals in 41 appearances.
5. Frank Lampard (New York City)
Lampard is one of the greatest midfielders in Premier League history. He spent the majority of his career in England’s top flight with West Ham United, Chelsea and Manchester City before moving to New York and joining the MLS. As well as being Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer (211 in all competitions), Lampard is the highest scoring midfielder in Premier League history, sitting fourth in the all-time standings for both goals and assists. In his two seasons with NYCFC, Lampard scored 15 goals and was named an MLS All-Star. He’s now back in the Premier League and at Stamford Bridge as manager of the Blues.