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Consistent performers

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It was 30 years and eight months when the world of football changed significantly with the launch of the inaugural season of the English Premier League. The new league came into existence after protests from the top five clubs of that time (Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Everton) resigned and formed the new league. And it turned out to be one of the best decisions, as the Premier League became the world’s biggest and richest football league.

And over the years, some players have shown incredible longevity in what many describe as the best league in football. These players have performed at the top level for decades and shown remarkable consistency. Some of these players even went on to win multiple trophies and are regarded as legends of the game.

So, without further ado, we look at the top ten players with the most Premier League appearances.

Phil Neville- 505 appearances

Edging out his teammate Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard by just one appearance, Phil Nevvile is the player with the 10th most Premier League appearance in history. The defender made 263 appearances for Manchester United and 242 appearances for Everton. During his spell at Manchester United, he won 14 trophies, including six Premier League trophies, three FA Cups, and one UEFA Champions League.

In 2005, he left for Everton and spent eight years at Goodison Park before retiring in 2013. After retirement, he went into management and currently is the head coach of the Major League Soccer (MLS) team Inter Miami CF.

Jamie Carragher- 508 appearances

Jamie Carragher is one of the best one-club-man players ever. The Liverpool centre-back was an integral part of the Reds’ defence for 17 years and won 11 trophies during his time at the club. He made a total of 508 appearances for the club becoming a constant presence in the heart of Liverpool’s defence.

While he failed to win the Premier League trophy, Carragher won two FA Cups, and the incredible comeback Champions League win against AC Milan was dubbed the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’.

Mark Schwarzer- 514 appearances

Mark Schwarzer has the record for the most Premier League appearances for a non-British player in history. The Australian also holds several records, such as having the third-most clean sheets in the league’s history and being the fifth-oldest player to appear in the Premier League. In addition, he also made 514 appearances in the Premier League.

During his 19-year-long career, the shot-stopper played for Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and Leicester City. However, he only had one trophy in the 2003-04 season when he won the Football League Cup. He played for Leicester City in the final season when they won the Premier League. Still, Schwarzer didn’t make an appearance in the league, which made him ineligible to get a winners medal.

Emile Heskey- 516 appearances

Emile Heskey remains one of the most consistent strikers ever to play in the history of the Premier League. With 516 appearances to his name, Heskey is the player with the seventh-most Premier League appearances. The striker started his tryst with the Premier League at Leicester City, where he spent six years before joining Liverpool in 2000.

He won six trophies with the club, which included one Champions League, one FA Cup, and two Football League Cups. Then, he left for Birmingham City before going to Wigan and Aston Villa, where he made his final Premier League appearance in 2012.

Heskey ended his career four years later with Bolton Wanderers.

Gary Speed- 535 appearances

One of the best footballers to come out of Wales, Gary Speed, had an incredible Premier League career playing for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, and Bolton Wanderers. Speed made 535 appearances in the league, winning four trophies. Out of which three came during his spell at Leeds United.

However, Speed’s significant contribution came after his retirement when he began working at the grassroots level of Welsh football and later, as manager of the national team, called for several changes in the team’s culture. His changes had a fantastic effect on the team, which went on and qualify for the 2016 Euros and 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, it was during his tenure as Wales manager that he died by suicide in 2011.

David James- 572 appearances

One of the best goalkeepers ever to play in the Premier League, David James has had a fantastic career for 26 years, out of which 18 came in the English top flight. The shot-stopper started his Premier League journey with Liverpool in 1992 and spent seven years at Merseyside before joining Aston Villa. From there, he would play for several clubs before making his final appearance in the 2009-10 season with Portsmouth.

He retired in 2014, playing his last match for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. From there, he has gone into coaching various league teams from India to Iceland.

Frank Lampard- 609 appearances

Frank Lampard was part of a golden generation of English midfielders that emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The legendary player was a product of the West Ham United youth academy and debuted for the senior team in 1996. He spent six years at the club before joining Chelsea, winning 13 trophies, including three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League.

After spending 13 years at Stamford Bridge, Lampard made a supporting decision to join rivals Manchester City where he played one season. After that, he went to Manchester City’s sister club New York City FC.

After retirement, he went into management with spells at Derby County, Chelsea and Everton. He has returned to Chelsea as caretaker manager until the end of the current season.

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James Milner- 610 appearances

James Milner made his Premier League debut in November 2002 and is still going strong till now, which shows his incredible longevity. The midfielder started his career at Leeds United, where he stayed till 2004, before he joined Newcastle United, where he became one of the best young players in the league, which got him a move to Manchester City.

There he would win five trophies, including two Premier League titles. However, he was not content with his role at the club and left the club and joined Liverpool. He won seven additional trophies there, including one Premier League and one Champions League. In the current season, he has made 22 appearances in the Premier League, taking his total tally to 610 appearances.

Ryan Giggs- 632 appearances

Probably one of the best players ever to play in the Premier League. Giggs played every season of the league between 1992 and 2013. Giggs won an incredible 35 trophies, including a whooping 13 Premier League trophies, four FA Cups, nine Community Shields, and two Champions Leagues.

By the time he retired, Giggs had played 632 matches, the most Premier League appearance by any player in history. Giggs has since gone into management, including an incredible run with the Wales national team, cut short after his partner accused him of domestic violence.

Gareth Barry- 652 appearances 

The Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa youth prospect is the player with the most Premier League appearances in history. He made 632 appearances playing for Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton and West Bromwich Albion. Barry was also part of the title-winning Manchester City squad that scored two late goals against Queens Park Rangers to win their first Premier League trophy.

After Manchester City, Barry spent four seasons at Everton before going to West Bromwich, where he would make his final Premier League appearance in the 2017-18 season.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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