Football is a game driven a lot of the time by hate. Hate of teams, referee’s, managers and players.
But despite all this, there are some Premier League players almost universally immune to the visceral, tribal nature of the game.
However, after some deliberation around the desk at Dream Team HQ, we’ve come up with who we think 10 players you simply cannot hate.
9 – James Milner
Milner may not have been on this list five years ago.
Whether we are coming round after hearing about the twitter account, ‘Boring James Milner’ or whether we are just starting to realise what an honest and hard working player Milner is, who knows.
He was vital in last season’s *near* success and is once again starting the season with understated hard-working performances.
8 – Jordan Pickford
What self-respecting England fan could honestly say they hate Jordan Pickford?
Yes he swears a lot and looks a little rough around the edges. And yes, before the World Cup, it may well have been Jack Butland on this list…
But who can forget the saves against Columbia? Just look at the passion of the man.
7 – Vincent Kompany
Even the most die-hard Man United fan must at least respect Kompany.
He has captained City to three league titles and conducted himself in an exemplary manor.
You only had to watch the ‘All or Nothing’ documentary to see just how humble he is. He watched United slip up to crown City champions again in the company of his father-in-law, a United fan.
It was all in good spirits, hugging each other after a couple of lines of chat.
A real prince of Manchester.
6 – Sadio Mane
Shockingly, yet another Liverpool player on this list.
Sadio Mane appears to be the innocent one in the pack next to Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino.
He is always the first to stop for pictures with fans and tends to be beaming when the cameras are on him during a game.
5 – Harry Maguire
After that towering header against Sweden, Harry Maguire cemented his name into English footballing folk law.
Looking like he belongs on a rugby pitch, Maguire during the World Cup was something of a figure head for the national side.
He can do very little wrong in the eyes of most Premier League fans.
4 – Santi Cazorla
Yes, yes, I know. Cazorla has left Arsenal and is currently with Villarreal.
This list just wouldn’t be right without him on it though.
For years, it felt like every football fan was gutted when Cazorla picked up another injury – we reckon even Spurs fans would probably agree with this addition.
3 – Juan Mata
Despite playing for the two most disliked clubs in the Premier League in Man United and Chelsea, Juan Mata seems a remarkably nice chap.
Mata is leading the drive for Premier League stars to donate a small percentage of their wages to charitable causes across the globe.
He has got the likes of Mats Hummels and Giorgio Chiellini on board, and this good deed has not gone unnoticed.
Well played Juan.
2 – David Silva
David Silva has been a golden ray of sunshine on our league for eight years now.
He has been an outstanding player, and like his fellow Spaniards; Cazorla and Mata, loved by more or less every fan.
Seen above walking out a life ling City fan and mascot, you can’t help feeling he is just a really decent bloke.
1 – N’Golo Kante
Who else but N’Golo Kante?
The former Leicester City man still drives his Mini Cooper to Chelsea training, a sign of the humble nature of the man.
He was also recently seen eating curry and watching Match of the Day at a fan’s house after meeting them at the local Mosque.
I think it is safe to say N’Golo is universally loved by football fans across the world.
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