Chelsea’s success in the 21st century has been largely down to their billionaire owner; Roman Abrahamovic.
His takeover of the west London club in 2003 was followed by a large flurry of silverware.
In that time, Stamford Bridge has been home to so many wonderful players and here’s the best starting eleven from the illustrious lot.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
An undisputable choice in goal, Petr Cech was a near-impenetrable last line of defence for Chelsea. He enjoyed a trophy-laden spell winning 13 major honors including the UEFA Champions League. The Czech goalie also won the Golden Glove three times.
Left-Back: Ashley Cole
Another obvious choice here. Ashley Cole was a mainstay in the Blues’ back four in his eight years at the club. On the back of leaving Arsenal for Chelsea, the Englishman enjoyed another successful spell in London winning eight major honors along the way.
Centre-Back: John Terry
Captain, Leader, Legend. John Terry was “Mr Chelsea” himself. He rose through the ranks to become Chelsea’s most successful captain ever. Terry currently holds the record for most Premier League titles lifted as captain. In total, the Englishman lifted 15 trophies as Chelsea skipper.
Centre-Back: Ricardo Carvalho
Vastly under-appreciated. The Portuguese formed an extraordinary partnership with his captain during their six years together. The duo was in the heart of defence when Chelsea set the record for most clean-sheets and least goals conceded in a season; two records which still stand till today.
Right-Back: Branislav Ivanovic
The Serb was a menace in both boxes during his nine-year stint in west London. Asides from being a dogged defender, he also had a knack for scoring clutch goals with his injury-time winner in the Europa League final against Benfica a prime example.
Central-Midfielder: Frank Lampard
It takes something special to be a club’s all-time highest goal-scorer from midfield. “Super Frank” was a constant source of goals during his time whether he was scoring or creating them. He formed an amazing union with Didier Drogba and together they came up with many priceless moments.
Defensive-Midfielder: Claude Makelele
Do you know how good you have to be for a role to be named after you? Makelele was a very efficient destroyer for Chelsea in his five years at the Bridge. His defensive solidity in the middle of the park gave room for the likes of Frank Lampard to express themselves. As well as winning two League cups, the Frenchman won two Premier League titles and one FA cup.
Central-Midfielder: Ngolo Kante
On the back of Leicester’s miraculous title win in 2016, Kante moved to Chelsea. A year later, he was celebrating back-to-back titles as well as the PFA Player Of The Year award. The midfielder was instrumental in Chelsea’s most recent Premier League triumph. He has also won the FA cup and most recently; the Europa League.
Attacking Midfielder: Eden Hazard
Most of Chelsea’s “old guard” had departed by 2015 and new faces had emerged. One man that stood out among the others was Eden Hazard. The “Prince of Stamford Bridge” enjoyed a stellar seven-year spell before leaving for Spain. He bowed out in style with his man-of-the-match performance against Arsenal in Baku.
Centre-Forward: Didier Drogba
If any phrase describes him, it’s “big-game player”. Drogba often delivered for Chelsea when it mattered most. He found the back of the net in almost every final he played in. The Ivorian also scored the decisive penalty in Munich.
Centre-Forward: Diego Costa
Costa had his off-the-pitch issues but certainly none on it. The Spaniard joined Chelsea during Mourinho’s second stint. He would go on to win the Premier League twice whilst scoring 20 goals on both occasions.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Simply the Special One. Jose wins wherever he goes. The Portuguese delivered three Premier League crowns and numerous cup triumphs across two spells.