The Barclay’s Premier League is regarded as the best football league in the world because of its exciting style, large fanbase, popularity, panache and its position in the world of football.
It’s a league that plays host to 380 matches every season because only 20 teams are allowed to compete. The top four teams qualify for Europe’s elite competition, the UEFA Champions League, while the teams that occupy the fifth to seventh positions as well as the winners of the Carling Cup and the FA Cup get a chance to strut their stuff in the UEFA Europa League.
The Premier League has produced teams of outstanding quality that have dominated European and world football at large. A considerable chunk of the Premier League’s exports are essential pieces in their national team’s jigsaw puzzle, while key players for some Premier League clubs are regarded as world beaters.
In recent seasons, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool have excelled beyond measure in the Champions League. Two of the aforementioned teams have won it recently, while the other two had to settle for silver in 2006 and 2008. Liverpool won the competition in dramatic fashion against AC Milan in 2005, and Manchester United won against rivals Chelsea with the grueling aid of a penalty shootout to claim the glory in 2008.
In the days of old, the Premier League used to be an all-British affair with the core players from every club coming from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. But in recent times, the Premier League has become an avenue where ambassadors representing different continents unite for the good of the beautiful game.
Africa has produced great players who have graced the Premier League, including Jay Jay Okocha (Bolton Wanderers 2002-2006), Didier Drogba (Chelsea 2005-present), Michael Essien (2005-present), Frederic Kanoute (West Ham 1999-2003, Tottenham 2003-2006) and much more.
Asia also had its contingent who has placed its mark in the Premier League with the most notable figureheads being Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United 2005-present), Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton 2009-present), Seol Ki-Hyeon (Reading 2006-2008, Fulham 2008) and Hidetoshi Nakata (2005), among others.
Australia has produced Premier League stalwarts like Harry Kewell (Leeds United 1996-2003, Liverpool 2003-2008), Mark Viduka (Leeds United 2000-2004, Middlesbrough 2004-2007, Newcastle United 2007-2009) and Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers 2003-present) who have played in the league for a very long while.
North Americans who flew over the Atlantic to play in the Premier League are not much, but Brad Friedel (Liverpool 1997-2000, Blackburn 2000-2008, Aston Villa 2008-2010, Tottenham 2011), Clint Dempsey (Fulham 2006-present), Landon Donovan (Everton 2009), Stuart Holden (Bolton 2009-present), David Hoilett (Blackburn 2005-present), Carlos Vela (Arsenal 2005-present) and others have done the continent proud with their performances.
South Americans don’t thrive too well in the Premier League, but Gilberto Silva (Arsenal 2004-2008), Juan Sebastian Veron (Manchester United 2001-2003, Chelsea 2003-2007) and Diego Forlan (Manchester United 2001-2005) flew the continent’s flag and moved away years after. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is now the flag bearer of the continent, and he’s doing exceedingly well.
Europeans rule the Premier League in terms of numbers, but all these players from different continents come together to play in the Premier League because they were bought by the clubs that wanted their services. This season, money has been spent to acquire players, and transfer activity has been going on from when the window opened in June until August 31, when it’s going to end.
Here’s my take on the top 20 transfers in the Barclay’s Premier League so far.