To celebrate the Premier League’s 30th anniversary, we take a look at the top stars who have led the way over the past three decades for appearances, goals, assists, clean sheets and ill-discipline.
Gareth Barry holds the all-time record for Premier League appearances, with 653 runouts – representing Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton and West Brom over a 21-year career in the division.
Barry only retired two years ago after three seasons with the Baggies – playing his last two campaigns in the Sky Bet Championship – and has earned 53 senior England caps during his playing career.
There are few surprises in the top 10, with Ryan Giggs comfortably securing second place with 632 appearances – he made his debut for Manchester United just before the Premier League kicked off at the age of 17 and was still representing the club 23 years later before announcing his retirement in 2014.
Frank Lampard, James Milner, David James, late Gary Speed, Emile Heskey, Mark Schwarzer, Jamie Carragher and Phil Neville complete the top 10.
Barry also leads the way for total playing time, with 54,439 minutes on the pitch, with David James moving into second place, while Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, Jamie Carragher and John Terry fill in the top 10.
A more famous ranking is for all-time Premier League goals with Alan Shearer still dominates the chart at 260 over a 14-year career in the league with Blackburn and Newcastle – around 52 goals away from runners-up Wayne Rooney.
Shearer and Rooney remain the only two players to score a double goal in the Premier League, while Harry Kane stands at 184 goals and is on track to challenge the leading pair as the only active player in the top 10.
Standing at 6′ 7” tall, Peter Crouch secures first place in this category with 53 goals during his Premier League career, which spanned periods at Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham, Stoke and Burnley.
Crouch remains the only player to have scored goals in the division for more than half a century, but shearer his career only finished four of that milestone – one ahead of Dion Dublin.
Les Ferdinand, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham, Duncan Ferguson, Christian Benteke, Olivier Giroud, Tim Cahill and kane compete in the top 10.
Direct free kicks
This category made headlines last season as a Southampton set-piece specialist James Ward-Prowse scored his 14th direct free kick – to come just four times behind the record of 18 scored by David Beckham.
Premier League Legends Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Gianluca Zolac are locked at 12 apiece, with Ronaldo in third.
A host of free kick masters round out the top 10, summoning countless wonder attacks, including: Sebastian Larsson, Laurent Robert, Ian Harte, Morten Gamst Pedersen, lampard, Nolberto Solano and Jamie Redknapp.
shearer was clinical from all angles and was equally effective from the penalty spot, setting a career record of 56.
Midfield Maestros lampard and Steven Gerrard are next on the list, while kane – who is locked on 28 with recently retired Mark Noble – the Liverpool legend could appropriate this term.
Sergio Aguero, Jamie Vardy, Matt Le Tissier, Rooney, Henry, David Unsworth and Luka Milivojevic complete the top 10.
Recent followers of the game can expect Kevin De Bruyne tops this ranking, but the Belgian playmaker is currently tied for eighth on the all-time list at 86 – nearly half of the top scorers performances at 162.
The former Wales international is 51 assists clear of runner-up Cesc Fabregas – while Rooney and lampard are the only other players to have recorded more than 100 assists in the Premier League.
Dennis Bergkamp, David Silva, Gerardus, De Bruyne, Milner and Beckham complete the top 10.
Only two players have received more than a century of yellow cards during the Premier League era: Barry and Rooney. However, Barry cemented his top-level career with 21 more warnings than any other player.
attacker Kevin Davies ranks third for a string of midfield destroyers, including: Lee Bowyer, Paul Scholes, Scott Parker, Robbie Savage, Lee Cattermole, Kevin Nolan and George Boateng.
Three feisty former players top the table for most red cards during the Premier League era: Patrick Vieira, Richard Dunne and Duncan Ferguson with eight layoffs each.
Interestingly, only one player from the yellow card ranking is also in the top seven of red cards: Cattermolewho was sent off seven times during his top career.
Roy Keane, Alan Smith – from Leeds and Manchester United – and Vinnie Jones were also broadcast seven times.
Goalkeeping legends populate the clean sheet rankings with former Chelsea and Arsenal stoppers Peter Cech lead with 202 – about 33 ahead of number two David James.
Schwarzer pips former England ‘goalkeepers’ David Seaman and Nigel Martynfollowed by Pepe Reina, Tim Howard, Edwin van der Sar, Brad Friedel and David de Gea.