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Stats: 16,610 members, 63,840 Topics, 14,492 Comments. Date: March 21, 2019, 6:56 am

Ojedeji Michael
, Nigeria.
The Premier League is in its 27th season, since its foundation in February 1992, and is currently one of the most watched sports leagues in the world. It is broadcast approximately to 643 million homes and is watched by more than 4.7 billion people all around the world. It is a highly enticing affair, dividing fans over club loyalties and boasts of the second highest stadium attendance in a professional league in the world, behind the Bundesliga.

Since its start, the Premier League has been home to some of the best players of the World, whose presence has added glamour and quality to the league. Since the addition of the lucrative TV deals and broadcast rights, the spending power of Premier League clubs has increased by leaps and bounds and this has made the league even more attractive to football players around the world. Add to this the fact that it is the most watched and most followed league in the world and the Premier League would seem like it is the place to be for every football superstar. However, that is not the case.

The Premier League has been graced by some of the most talented footballers in the world, however, there are also some immensely gifted ones who never set foot here and today we look at 5 great footballers who had offers on the table, but opted not to join the Premier League.

1 Kaka

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Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, commonly known as Kaka, is one of the most loved Brazilian footballers in the planet. He was the last player to have won the prestigious Ballon d’Or before the Messi-Ronaldo monopoly, back in 2007, the same year he won the FIFA World Player of the Year. His list of personal honors is long, endless and glittery. He won the FIFA World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and announced himself to the world.

Kaka started his club career at Sao Paolo and before the start of the 2003/04 season, secured a move to AC Milan. He played there for 6 years, scoring 95 goals from 270 games and it was here that he mesmerized the world with his dribbling ability and technical game. At Milan, Kaka won the Serie A, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup, and Supercoppa Italiana. It was arguably the greatest phase of his career.

2 Pavel Nedved

Sampdoria v Juventus
The Czech icon is one of the greatest midfielders of his generation and was a much-loved footballer all over the world. He was known as the Czech cannon during his football career and was a valuable part of the Czech team that reached the final of the 1996 Euro. Nedved won the Ballon d’Or in 2003, before going on to win the European Footballer of the Year in the same year. He won many other accolades in his wonderful playing career, including the Golden Foot, Czech Footballer of the Year and Czech Golden Ball among others.

Nedved started his club career at Dukla Prague in the 1991/92 season, before moving to Sparta Prague next season. During the 1995/96 season, Nedved scored 19 goals from 38 games and attracted the attention of Italian giants Lazio. He moved to the Stadio Olimpico in the summer of 1996, where he spent 5 fruitful seasons, winning a Serie A title, 2 Coppa Italia, 2 Super Coppa Italia, 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and 1 UEFA Super Cup.

3 Andrea Pirlo

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Andrea Pirlo is one of the greatest deep-lying playmakers in the history of the game. He was a part of the Italian Team that lifted the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He was the man of the match of the final Match against France and was the top assist provider of the tournament. He started his professional career at Brescia and won the Serie B there. He next moved to Internazionale, however, since he was unable to break into the team, he was loaned back to Brescia, and it was here that he was first deployed in the deep-lying playmaker role. Ahead of the 2001/02 season, Pirlo joined AC Milan and became one of the greatest deep-lying playmakers of the world. He spent 10 seasons there, winning the Serie A title twice, two UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, FIFA Club World Club, Supercoppa Italiana, and the Coppa Italia.

4 Xavi

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A star product of the fabled Barcelona Academy, the Spanish midfield maestro eased into the Barcelona team from the Barcelona B team in the 1998/99 season and spent 17 years at the Nou Camp, where he went on to become one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. He won 8 La Liga titles, three Copa Del Rey, six Supercopa de Espana, two UEFA Super Cup, two FIFA Club World Cups, and four UEFA Champions League titles. In addition, he won two UEFA European Championships and one FIFA World Cup with Spain. Xavi is one of the most decorated footballers of his era and was the backbone of the Barcelona dominance in the 21st century.

5 Andres Iniesta

Barcelona v Real Sociedad - La Liga
Iniesta, like Xavi, is a product of the fabled La Masia and made his professional debut for Barcelona in the 2002/03 season. He went on to feature in 16 seasons for Barcelona and played 674 games for the Spanish Giants, scoring 57 goals. He won 9 La Liga titles, 6 Copa Del Rey, 6 Supercopa de Espana, 3 FIFA Club World Cup, 2 UEFA Super Cup, and 4 UEFA Champions League. He also won the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Spain along with the 2008 and 2012 Euros.

He is considered one of the greatest midfielders of his generation and would have certainly won the Ballon d’Or, but he was unlucky to be in the era of Messi and Ronaldo. Iniesta ended his long association with the Catalans at the end of last season and joined Japanese Club Vissel Kobe in a 3-year deal.

Great Footballers Who Never Played In The Premier League - Sporting & Gaming

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