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19 players who are their country’s only Premier League winners

The Premier League is the centre of the universe.

So imagine being the only man from your country who’s got his hands on one of the little shiny medals you get for winning it.

You’d be a God among men, with the freedom of all cities and a free pass to live, love and leer however you damn well please.

What would it be like?

Only these men know.


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1 Alex Manninger (Austria)

Former Arsenal keeper Alex Manninger

Kept clean sheets in a row as cover for Big Dave Seaman in the Arsenal double-winning team of 1997-8. He was actually in goal for that famous 1-0 win away at Old Trafford that virtually sealed the league.

2 Edin Dzeko (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Former Man City striker Edin Dzeko

He actually won it twice and chipped in with 30 goals in the process. Then he inexplicably turned a bit s*** and can now be found scoring one in four for Roma in Serie A.

3 Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria)

Former Man United striker Dimitar Berbatov

If Stoichkov had come to England, he’d almost certainly become the first Bulgarian to win the Premier League. But he didn’t, so it was left to this man who won it twice without ever really contributing satisfactorily.

4 Juan Cuadrado (Colombia)

Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado, the only Colombian to have won a Premier League winners medal

He wasn’t even here long enough to call it a gap year and  still he beat living legends like Faustino Asprilla and Juan Pablo Angel to become the first Colombian to trouser a Premier League winners medal.

5 Antonio Valencia (Ecuador)

AntonioValencia

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement has picked up two winners medals (2011 and 2013) so far and we’re pretty confident in predicting they will be his last.

6 Michael Essien (Ghana)

Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien

When he wasn’t sleeping or getting injured, he was winning titles. He took two Premier League crowns, rather surprisingly four years apart, in 2006 and 2010.

7 Eidur Gudjohnssen (Iceland)

Eidur Gudjohnsen

Most of Eidur’s big football achievements weren’t even unique in his own house, what with his Dad Arnor being an Icelandic international. But you never won a Premier League title, did you Gudjohnsen Senior? So there.

8 Mario Balotelli (Italy)

Mario Balotelli

Hard to believe that of all the great Italians to have played in England (your Ravanellis, your Casiraghis, your Zolas, your Viallis), this useless oik is the only one to have won the title. Life’s not fair.

9 Shinji Kagawa (Japan)

Former Man United midfielder Shinji Kagawa

Besides a bitter resentment towards Sir Alex Ferguson, Shinji has at least one other souvenir to remember his time in England by.

10 Igor Stepanovs (Latvia)

Former Arsenal defender Igor Stepanovs

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Igor’s prowess is probably best summed up by his marshalling of Arsenal’s back four at Old Trafford in 2000, when Arsenal lost 6-1. Not a fans favourite but a title-winner nonetheless.

11 Christopher Wreh (Liberia)

George Weah

George Weah’s ACTUAL cousin was another one of Arsene Wenger’s one hit wonders. He scored a couple of goals, did a mean backflip and sloped off into the night to concentrate on his soul music as a Premier League winner.

12  Javier Hernandez (Mexico)

Former Man United striker Javier Hernandez

Contributed 26 goals to his two title-winning seasons at Old Trafford. Still Louis Van Gaal didn’t see fit to keep him. Still Louis Van Gaal probably regrets that.

13 Tomasz Kuszczak (Poland)

Ex-Man United keeper Tomasz Kuszczak

We sincerely hope that every time Kuszczak sees Wojciech Szczesny he whaps his FOUR Premier League winners medals out on the table and leerily sneers: ‘Show us your medals, Wojciech.’

14 Costel Pantilimon (Romania)

Ex-Man City keeper Costel Pantilimon

Soon to become the first Romanian ever to have won and been relegated from the Premier League AND starred in The Addams Family.

15 Quinton Fortune (South Africa)South Africa midfielder Quinton Fortune

 

 

He played about four games in seven years at Old Trafford, but he got that medal. And he did it with a smile.

16 Park Ji-Sung (South Korea)

Park Ji-Sung

When Park-Ji goes back to Korea he gets all the free barbecued meat he can eat, however questionable its origin. Four league title wins ON THE TROT between 2007 and 2011 see to that.

17 Dwight Yorke (Trinidad & Tobago)

DwightYorke

You’ve got to feel sorry for Dwight Yorke. You come from one of the smallest countries on earth, you win all the trophies football has to offer and still you have to play second fiddle to Brian Lara as your nation’s finest.

18 Oleg Luzhny (Ukraine)

Oleg Luzhny

Dealing with the indignity of failing to displace an ageing Lee Dixon from the 2001-02 Arsenal starting line-up has at least been partially offset by the fact that he’s got one thing Andriy Shevchenko will never have.

19 Diego Forlan (Uruguay)

Uruguay striker Diego Forlan

One of the few men on this list who went on to bigger and better things. He practically burgled his medal in 2002-3, scoring a paltry six league goals in 25 matches.


VIDEO:  This man is one of 12 Dutch players to have won the Premier League. Watch him in action then guess the other 11. If you like.