Transfer Records: Predicting the Next Footballers to Smash Highest Ever Fees Position by Position

​Transfer fees will always be a go-to topic for football fans everywhere.

Records have always been broken and eyebrows have always been raised regarding the extraordinary numbers that are thrown around when it comes to high-profile transfers.

However, now that we all live in the post-Neymar to PSG for over £200m era, price tags for world class talents seem to be more outrageous and eye-popping with each summer that passes by.

So with that in mind, we’ve decided to have a look who we think will be the next big players to break the world record for their particular position.


Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak

Jan Oblak

Current Record: Kepa Arrizabalaga – Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea (£71.6m)

Arguably the most reliable and consistent goalkeeper in world football right now, Atletico Madrid shot stopper Jan Oblak has long been a target for some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The big Slovenian conceded just 27 goals in 37 La Liga appearances last season, and has been part of one of the meanest defences in recent memory for nearly six years.

However, with Atletico beginning to lose some of their star players such as Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann, the 26-year-old may be starting to think that he has reached his limit at the Wanda Metropolitano, amid rumoured interest from the likes of Manchester United, who would have to put up more than £100m for Oblak’s services.

Other candidates include Gianluigi Donnarumma and David de Gea, however Donnarumma of Milan is not the finished article as of yet, and De Gea, who only has a year left on his contract, has seen his value drop since his dip in form at the end of last season.

Honourable Mentions: Gianluigi Donnarumma, David de Gea.


Full Back: Joshua Kimmich

Joshua Kimmich

Current Record: Lucas Hernandez – Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich (£67m)

It may be a good while before the recent record broken by the 23-year-old World Cup winning Hernandez’s record is broken.

However, there will surely come a time where world class right-back Joshua Kimmich gets bored of winning the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich year after year and not compete for the Champions League.

The 24-year-old clearly loves the club, and they clearly love him as he is an elite footballer, so getting him out of the Allianz Arena will not be cheap, but Barcelona have been reportedly looking into bringing him to the Nou Camp.

Other full backs such as Juventus’ Joao Cancelo and Ben Chilwell of Leicester City have also been linked with big moved this summer, but they wouldn’t command the fee that the German would.

Honourable Mentions: Joao Cancelo, Ben Chilwell.


Centre Back: Harry Maguire

FBL-ENG-PR-WEST HAM-LEICESTER

Current Record: Virgil van Dijk – Southampton to Liverpool (£75m)

Harry Maguire is a superb defender who has never failed to impress when given the chance. 

He had an outstanding World Cup last summer, and followed that up with an excellent season for Leicester City. He is calm on the ball, a rock at the back, and even contributes a good rate of goals.

Now, whether he is worth the reported £80m that Manchester City are prepared to pay for a 26-year-old defender who isn’t the quickest is a different question all together, and it does seem a bit mad that he may have a higher price tag than Van Dijk.

But the ‘English premium’ means he probably will…

Honourable Mentions: Matthijs de Ligt, Kalidou Koulibaly.


Central Midfielder: Saul Niguez

Saul Niguez

Current Record: Paul Pogba – Juventus to Manchester United (£89m)

Another member of Diego Simeone’s side who have been heavily linked with a big move away from the club, Saul Niguez is already one of the world’s best midfielders at the age of 24.

Though not the most prolific, his all round ability in the centre of the park make him a clear standout for his club and for Spain, but Atletico will not let him leave cheaply, as his contract doesn’t expire until 2026.

Pep Guardiola is reportedly extremely keen to bring Saul to Manchester City as a long term replacement for David Silva, and would be far more valuable and useful in that role as oppose to other elite central midfielders such as Lazio’s Milinkovic-Savic and Atletico teammate Rodri.

Current record holder Pogba doesn’t seem shy in letting people know that he would like to leave Manchester United this summer, but his value has dropped since that huge move in 2016.

Honourable Mentions: Paul Pogba, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.


Attacking Midfielder/Winger: Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling

Current Record: Neymar – Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (£200m)

Yes, this one is a bit of a stretch and almost impossible to predict, but we’ve given it a go anyway.

It will probably be a while before there is another £200m transfer, but Sterling, in a team full of superstars at the Etihad, stood out as the best player in that squad, and was often the first name on the team sheet for Guardiola, eventually winning the Football Writers’ Player of the Year.

Sterling speaks well about important issues, is an exceptional player, and is only 24 years old, which makes him an incredible asset. 

However, Guardiola, who is very much Sterling’s mentor, doesn’t exactly stick around long at clubs, and City may be caught up with when he leaves.

If they’re not on top dominating Europe, the Englishman may eventually receive an offer from the likes of Barcelona or Real Madrid and become a global superstar.

Honourable Mentions: Neymar, Jadon Sancho, Kai Havertz.


Forward: Kylian Mbappe

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-MONACO

Current Record: Kylian Mbappe – Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain (£166m)

If anyone is going to beat Mbappe’s record of most expensive striker in the world which was set two years ago, it’s Mbappe himself.

During his time in Paris, he has won two Ligue 1 titles, a player of the year award, scored in the World Cup final which his France side won, and won the World Cup best young player award.

Oh, and he’s only 20. 

He bagged 33 goals in 29 Ligue 1 appearances, and there is no doubt that he is a special player, but all is not well at PSG.

Mbappe will justifiably want the team built around him, but Neymar surely won’t let that happen, and the talk that Real Madrid want the Parisian at the Bernabeu won’t go away.

It will take something remarkable for PSG’s Qatari owners to sell him, but once Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo leave the stage, we will all be living in Mbappe’s world.

Honourable Mentions: Harry Kane, Joao Felix.


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Transfer Rumours: Man Utd Back in for Sancho, Spurs Eye £15m-Rated Winger, Zaniolo to Juve & More

​In a week where Luis Suárez appealed for a penalty after the goalkeeper handled the ball inside his own penalty area, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that some of the transfer rumours floating around are just as bizarre as the Uruguayan’s antics against Chile.

Here’s a handful of some of the best (and weirdest) transfer stories that are currently doing the rounds.


James Rodriguez Forced to Wait on Napoli Switch by Florentino Pérez

James Rodriguez

S.S.C. Napoli’s move for Colombia international James Rodriguez has been temporarily halted by Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez.

The 27-year-old has reportedly already agreed to link up with his former manager Carlo Ancelotti in Naples, but TuttoNapoli report that decision-makers in the Spanish capital want to delay the move whilst Colombia continue their journey in the Copa América.

It’s claimed that Real Madrid’s head honcho Pérez is looking to use the tournament in Brazil as a way of driving Rodriguez’s price up, similar to how Los Blancos were forced to pay a premium for his signature following the 2014 World Cup.


Tottenham Consider Cut-Price Deal for Danish Winger Andreas Skov Olsen


Nordsjælland starlet Andreas Skov Olsen has emerged as a transfer target for Tottenham this summer, with the Denmark Under-21 international set to enter the final 12 months of his contract in Farum.

The 19-year-old was involved in 32 goals across all competitions for the club last season, announcing himself as one of Denmark’s brightest talents alongside his namesake Robert Skov at Copenhagen, who has also popped on Tottenham’s radar.

Although the wheels aren’t in motion to bring Olsen to north London, The Mirror claim that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are keeping tabs on the teenager as he’s expected to be available at a cut-price £15m due to his contract situation with Nordsjælland.


Coach Claims Arsenal Target Can Become ‘Best Midfielder in the World’

RB Salzburg v SKN St. Poelten  - Tipico Bundesliga

Arsenal transfer target Dominik Szoboszlai can become the ‘best centre-midfielder in the world’, according to RB Salzburg’s assistant coach Rene Maric.

The Hungarian teenager recently emerged as a potential signing for Unai Emery, although Arsenal remain short of matching Szoboszlai’s £15m asking price.

Salzburg’s Rene Maric played down links with a move to north London, but he also added fuel to the fire by claiming that the 18-year-old has the potential to become one of the best players on the planet.


Everton & Arsenal Target ‘Not on the Market’ Despite €25m Offers

Armando Izzo

Italian outlet Gianluca Di Marzio claims that Torino defender Armando Izzo could be rewarded with a new contract with the Serie A club, despite being the subject of interest from Arsenal and Everton.

According to Di Marzio, offers of €25m were being readied by the two Premier League sides ahead of a meeting between Torino’s chairman Urbano Cairo and Izzo’s agent on Tuesday.

But they add that Izzo is not being put up for sale after his stand-out season with the club, with Cairo instead looking to offer the 27-year-old centre-back an improved contract ahead of the 2019/20 season.


Manchester United ‘Relaunch Interest’ in Jadon Sancho Ahead of Double Exit

Jadon Sancho

Manchester United have apparently reignited their interest in Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, as they prepare to cash in on both Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba.

It’s a story which is being peddled by The Sun, who have cited an article from Forbes as where the rumour originally came from.

But nowhere in Forbes’ piece does it come close to suggesting that Manchester United will come back in for Sancho after Lukaku and Pogba’s futures are sorted.

In fact, the article which The Sun have cited is claiming the exact opposite, leading with the title: “Manchester United Accept Signing Jadon Sancho Not Possible This Summer.”


Juventus’ €35m Bid for Nicolò Zaniolo Rejected by Roma

Nicolo' Zaniolo

Serie A champions Juventus have seen their €35m offer to sign Italian wonderkid Nicolò Zaniolo rejected by AS Roma, according to Gazzetta dello Sport’s Nicolo Schira (via Football Italia).

The 19-year-old only arrived in the Italian capital last summer following a move from Inter, but Zaniolo is already widely regarded as one of the most exciting prospects across Europe.

Eager to lure the teenager to Turin, Juventus are claimed to have submitted a €35m bid which has quickly been rejected, but the club’s sporting director Fabio Paratici is remaining in contact with Zaniolo’s representatives.


Paris Saint-Germain Shortlist Nélson Semedo as Need for Reinforcements Increases

Nelson Semedo

Barcelona defender Nélson Semedo has emerged as a transfer target for Paris Saint-Germain ahead of an exodus of right-backs in the French capital.

Dani Alves has already confirmed that he will not renew his contract, while Thomas Meunier is also expected to be sold as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract.

Looking to bolster that position back up, AS (via Sport) claim that PSG want to bring Barcelona’s Semedo to the Parc des Princes this summer, but the Catalan side are unlikely to budge from the defender’s €100m release clause.

One thing that has been suggested is that Semedo could be used as a makeweight to help bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou.


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Stoke City Confirm Ex-Man Utd Star Nick Powell Among 5 New Signings Ahead of 2019/20 Season

​Stoke City have confirmed the signing of five new players ahead of the new Championship season, including former Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell.

The Potters were able to sign four of the new players on free transfers after their contracts elsewhere expired, while they’ll pay an initial £2m to bring Barnsley centre-back Liam Lindsay to the club.

Announced in a social media video on Tuesday, Stoke City confirmed that Lindsay would be joined next season by his former Barnsley teammate Adam Davies, while Powell, Millwall striker Lee Gregory and QPR’s Jordan Cousins are also arriving this summer.

Lee Gregory

All five players will be introduced to their new teammates on Wednesday.

“I’m really pleased that we have managed to make these five signings. It has been an ongoing process for three to four months and I’d like to thank the Club because they have backed my judgement,” manager Nathan Jones said, quoted by the club’s official website.

These players are signings that I think are going to be key for us in terms of enhancing the environment and improving results.

I’m delighted to get these guys in as early as we have done, although we still have a little bit of work to do.”

Stoke finished in 16th place in the Championship last season, missing out on automatic promotion by 34 points, while they were also 18 points away from reaching the play-off places.

The club only avoided following in Sunderland’s footsteps of achieving back-to-back relegation by 15 points, with their efficiency in the final third proving to be a major flaw after scoring fewer goals than relegated Rotherham United.

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Arsenal Face Fight to Keep Lucas Torreira With AC Milan Set to Test the Gunners Resolve

​Arsenal are set for a fight to keep midfielder Lucas Torreira at the Emirates Stadium with new AC Milan manager Marco Giampaolo keen to bring the Uruguayan back to Italy. 

Torreira has been rumoured to be keen on a move away from north London since the close of the season after struggling to adapt to life in the Premier League but with the 23-year-old contracted until 2023, the Gunners remain in a strong position. 

Lucas Torreira

Giampaolo’s appointment has added fuel to the already lit fire that the diminutive midfielder may make a move back to ​Serie A, the league he only left a year ago. 

The 51-year-old became the head coach at ​Milan following his departure from Sampdoria, the former employers of Torreira, and this recent change in management at San Siro looks to have pushed I Rossoneri to the front of the queue, ahead of rivals ​Napoli, for the signature of the Uruguay international. 


Regardless of where he ends up, he certainly looks to want out one way or another, however, ​Arsenal will be looking at a significant increase on their investment of £27m in which they paid for the 23-year-old only last year. 

According to the ​Evening Standard, the price could prove a stumbling block with speculation in Italy that the seven-time ​Champions League winners will look to explore a loan deal prior to a fixed permanent payment.

Lucas Torreira,Henrikh Mkhitaryan

With a widely speculated much decreased ​transfer budget available to the Gunners, a loan deal could look to be the worst possible option available for both parties as any respectable offer from the Italian giants could well force the hand of Unai Emery and co. in north London.

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Ranking the 50 Greatest Footballers in MLS History

​For many years, Major League Soccer (MLS) was the butt of many a footballing joke – a retirement home for the ageing footballer who was once a star in Europe’s leagues, searching for their last fat paycheck in a place where the pressure was off and the football less intense.

However, in recent seasons, that’s changed. Sure, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival points to the above, but one could also point to the influx of young South American players in the league, as well as players making the switch to Europe from MLS (Miguel Almiron and Alphonso Davies are two notable names), that the quality of play and players in North America’s top league is growing. 

So, it would behove us to look back through the annals of MLS history, from modern to, well, less modern (MLS was founded in 1995) and sift through 50 of the greatest players in the league’s short history.

*Note: This list ranks 50 of the MLS’ greatest players, not great players to have played in the MLS. So Andrea Pirlo won’t be making the cut.


50. Kei Kamara

Kei Kamara

Kicking off the list is Sierra Leone international Kamara, who is one of only 11 players to have scored 100 goals in MLS history, doing so in 300 appearances. ​

He’s currently on 120 strikes – good for fifth all-time in the league.


49. Wayne Rooney

FBL-US-DCUNITED-VANCOUVERWHITECAPS

Yes, Rooney has precisely zero silverware to his name during his time in MLS (unless you count a best XI nomination in 2018 – we don’t), but he still deserves a place on this list.

Why? Eyeballs. With a former Champions League and Premier League winner turning out for D.C. United on a weekly basis, fans will flock to see the former Everton and ​Manchester United striker perform on pitches throughout the country.


48. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

US-FBL-MLS-REDBULLS-GALAXY

Of course he’s making this list – you can’t deny the Zlatan.

Sure, he might have only joined MLS in 2018, and has won precisely nothing, but just like Rooney, his mere presence  – as well as his excellent kung fu goals – is fantastic for the league’s exposure. For that reason, he has to make the top 50.


47. Ignacio Piatti

Ignacio Piatti,Marco Donadel

The Montreal Impact’s best player, Piatti is a three-time MLS All-Star​, and has two MLS best XI nominations to his name. 

Though he hasn’t won anything with the Impact, it’s not for lack of trying – the Argentinan has been their top scorer for the last three consecutive seasons.


46. Guillermo Barros Schelotto

Guillermo Barros Schelotto

Having experienced a ton of success in the Argentine Primera Division (winning 17 official titles), Schelotto joined Columbus Crew in 2007, winning three more trophies as well as one league MVP award in 2008.


45. Luciano Emilio

Luciano Emilio

The Brazilian was a star for D.C. United, winning the Supporters Shield, Golden Boot and Newcomer of the Year in 2007. He followed that up with a U.S. Open Cup win in 2008.​


44. Alex Pineda Chacón

Earthquakes v Fusion X

How’s this for a one-season wonder: In one campaign with Miami Fusion in 2001, Chacón registered 19 goals and nine assists for the team and led the league in goals, receiving the league MVP, Golden Boot, and a best XI nomination. 

The Honduran was unable to reproduce this form the following season, and by 2003 was out of the league.


43. Jason Kreis

Burn v MetroStars

​Kreis is a legend over at FC Dallas where, as part of the Dallas Burn (who would later become FC Dallas), he scored 91 goals in 247 appearances.

He won the MVP in 1999, and won the MLS Cup as manager of Real Salt Lake.


42. Andre Blake

Andre Blake

The Jamaican international is one of the best goalkeepers in MLS at present, winning the Goalkeeper of the Year and being named to the league’s best XI in 2016.


41. Stefan Frei

Stefan Frei

The Swiss-born goalkeeper has enjoyed a 10-year career in MLS, winning the U.S. Open Cup, Supporters’ Shield (both in 2014) and MLS Cup (2016).


40. Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore

After being hounded out of Sunderland, Altidore has found a home with Toronto FC, winning the MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield in 2017.

He’s also a two-time league All-Star.


39. Mike Magee

Mike Magee

Magee is a two-time winner of the MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield​, as well as a former league MVP (2013).


38. Brian McBride

Galaxy v Crew X

Fans of the Premier League will likely remember McBridge for his stint with Fulham, where he was the Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

With Columbus Crew, he won the Open Cup in 2002, and was elected to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014.


37. Raul Diaz Arce

Raul Diaz Arce #2...

Won two MLS Cups, one Supporters’ Shield and one U.S Open Cup, all with DC United in just two years.


36. Miguel Almiron

Miguel Almiron

Almiron made waves in his two seasons with Atlanta United, winning the Newcomer of the Year award and being named to two All-Star teams in both seasons.

He also helped United win the MLS Cup in 2018, before signing for Newcastle for £21m, a club record and the highest fee for an MLS player.


35. Mauricio Cienfuegos

Mauricio Cienfuegos dribbles the ball

After a fine playing career in Central America and Mexico, ​Cienfuegos made the switch to MLS.

As part of the LA Galaxy, the Salvadoran won an MLS Cup in 2002, Supporters’ Shields in 1998 and 2002, a CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2000 and a U.S. Open Cup in 2001.


34. Robin Fraser

Rapids v Galaxy

​A 10-year veteran of the MLS, Fraser won two Supporters’ Shields and the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, and was named as the Defender of the Year twice, in 1999 and 2004.


33. Steve Ralston

Steve Ralston/Lance Key

A footballing ironman, Ralston played in 378 regular season games, accruing 33,143 minutes.

He’s second all-time in assists, and was the first player to win the Rookie of the Year award.


32. Michael Bradley

Michael Bradley

Despite never quite hitting the heights expected of him in Europe with Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach, Bradley has been loving life with Toronto FC, winning the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield, and making three All-Star teams.


31. Diego Valeri

Diego Valeri,Felipe Gutierrez

Led the Portland Timbers to the MLS Cup in 2015, won the league’s MVP award in 2017, has made three best XI teams and is a four-time All-Star.


30. Omar Gonzalez

Omar Gonzalez

The U.S. international is a three-time MLS Cup winner, two-time Supporters’ Shield winner, won the Rookie of the Year and Defender of the Year in 2009 and 2011 respectively and was named in four MLS best XI teams.


29. Josef Martinez

Josef Martinez

Atlanta United’s lethal striker shattered the MLS single-season scoring record last campaign, bagging 31 strikes as United won the MLS Cup.

He also holds the MLS record for career hat-tricks (6), and in 2018 became the most decorated single-season player in MLS History by winning League MVP, All-Star Game MVP, Golden Boot, and MLS Cup Final Game MVP.


28. Brad Davis​

Brad Davis

A 15-year veteran of the MLS, Davis, despite leaving the league in 2016, is still third all-time for total assists.

He also won one Supporters’ Shield, two MLS Cups, was a six-time All-Star and was named to the league’s best XI in 2011.


27. C.J. Brown

C.J. Brown

​Brown is a Chicago Fire legend, having made 286 appearances for the club. 

He also helped the Fire to an MLS Cup in 1998, four U.S. Open Cups in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006, and a Supporters Shield in 2003.


26. Donovan Ricketts​

Donovan Ricketts

One of the best keepers in MLS history, the Jamaican won the Goalkeeper of the Year award twice, two Supporters’ Shields, and one MLS Cup.


25. Piotr Nowak

Revolution v Fire

Joining the Chicago Fire in 1998, the Polish midfielder won the 1998 MLS Cup and two U.S. Open Cups in four years with the club. Not a bad return.


24. Brian Ching

Brian Ching

Ching played for four clubs during his career in MLS, winning three MLS Cups and a Supporters’ Shield.

He also made the best XI team on one occasion, was a six-time All-Star, and won the Golden Boot in 2004.


23. Bradley Wright-Phillips ​

Bradley Wright-Phillips

Overshadowed by his brother Shawn and father Ian, Bradley Wright-Phillips has found great success with the New York Red Bulls.

He’s won the golden boot twice, and helped the club to the Supporters’ Shield on three occasions. He’s also eighth on the all-time top scorer charts. ​


22. Ben Olsen

Ben Olsen

Olsen is one of the few men to have won silverware in the MLS as a player and as a manager.

With DC United, Olsen racked up three Supporters’ Shields, two MLS Cups, and a U.S. Open Cup as the manager of the club. He also won the Rookie of the Year award in 1998, was named to the best XI team in 2007, ​and was the Coach of the Year in 2014.


21. Sebastian Giovinco​

FBL-CONCACAF-GUADALAJARA-TORONTO

The Atomic Ant scored some sublime goals during his three-year stint at Toronto FC.

The 5’4 playmaker won the MVP and Golden Boot in his first season in MLS, and was the first player in league history to record 20+ goals and 10+ assists in a single season.


20. Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry

Henry is the most talented and the most decorated footballer to have played in the MLS (sorry Zlatan). 

For that reason alone, he’s worthy of inclusion to this list, but the Frenchman also won the 2013 Supporters’ Shield and scored 51 goals with 42 assists in five seasons with New York Red Bulls.​


19. Taylor Twellman​

Twellman goes for header

Twellman’s career in the MLS was cut short due to concussion problems, but the striker still bagged an impressive 101 goals during an eight-year career with New England Revolution, putting him 10th all-time in the scoring charts.


18. Preki

Preki advances

Predrag Radosavljevic – understandably known as ‘Preki’ – is still the only player in MLS history to earn the MVP award twice.

An MLS Cup winner with Kansas City, Preki scored 79 goals and made 112 assists over the course of 242 league appearances.​ He’s currently an assistant coach with the Seattle Sounders.


17. Marcelo Balboa

Rapids v Mutiny X

There’s been a lot of great hairstyles to grace MLS pitches over the years, and Balboa’s flowing locks and goatee are right up there with best of them.

Despite only playing in the league for seven years, Balboa’s technical ability and knack for popping up with important goals meant that he was named to the MLS all-time greatest XI. 


16. Carlos Ruiz​

Ruiz cuts with the ball

El Pescadito played for 14 years in the MLS, taking to the field with five different clubs in his career in North America.

In his debut MLS season, the Guatemalan scored 24 goals to win the Golden Boot and led the L.A. Galaxy to the 2002 MLS Cup. He also won the MVP for that season.


15. Kevin Hartman

Kevin Hartman

​When it comes to longevity in the MLS, no one can top Kevin Hartman.

Nicknamed ‘the Cat, Hartman played for 17 seasons, earning the records for most minutes on the pitch, most saves in MLS history, and was named as the goalkeeper of the year in 1999. He also has two U.S Open Cups, two MLS Cups, and two Supporters’ Shields on his CV.


14. Carlos Valderrama 

Valderrama header

El Pibe was the original pioneer for South American talent in MLS.

​Valderrama won the inaugural MVP award of the league in 1996, as well as leading the Tampa Bay Mutiny to the Supporters’ Shield in the same year. He’s a member of the league’s all-time XI squad, and sits fourth in the all-time assists charts with 114.


13. David Villa

David Villa

The Spaniard was already a household name before he joined New York City FC, but when he came to MLS at 33, many questioned whether the striker could replicate the form that made him so lethal in Europe.

Well, Villa bagged 77 strikes in just 117 appearances, won the MVP in 2016 and was named to the best XI twice in his short stint in the MLS, which lasted just four seasons. Quite the impact.


12. Cobi Jones

Steven Old,Cobi Jones

Jones is one of the most decorated players in MLS history.

Scoring 70 goals in 306 games for the LA Galaxy (an impressive feat for a midfielder), Jones won two MLS Cups, two Supporters’ Shields, and two U.S Open Cups.​ He also helped the Galaxy win the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2000 – the last American side to do so.


11. Jeff Cunningham 

Osvaldo Alonso,Jeff Cunningham

Cunningham was quite the journeyman in MLS, playing for five different teams. 

He scored 134 goals in a 13-year career, which puts him third in the all-time goalscoring charts. Though he only won two team honours (an Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield), the American won the golden boot on two occasions and was named to the league’s best XI three times. 


10. Tony Meola

Tony Meola kicks

The greatest goalkeeper in MLS history deserves to be in the top 10 in this list, and rightly so.

Meola is the only goalkeeper to win the league’s MVP award, and also had a video game named after him: Tony Meola’s Sidekicks Soccer​. Legend.


9. Eddie Pope

Jaime Moreno,Eddie Pope

Considered to be the greatest defender in U.S. men’s national team history, Pope was named to the league’s all-time greatest XI in recognition of his defensive excellence.

Pope won the defender of the year award in 2007, and in 2011 was named to the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He was also named to the league’s best XI on four occasions.​


8. Marco Etcheverry

MLS All Star Game

​Another man with a fantastic nickname, ‘El Diablo’ is one of the old greats of MLS, having played in the inaugural MLS season in 1996.

During his career, Etcheverry stuffed his trophy cabinet, winning three MLS Cups, two Supporters’ Shields, four best XI nominations, one MVP award, and was named to the MLS’ all-time best XI in 2005.


 7. Dwayne De Rosario

Dwayne De Rosario,Brek Shea

The Canadian international enjoyed a 15-year career in MLS, scoring 104 goals in 343 matches (currently ninth all-time). 

He won four MLS Cups championships during his career, and was named the 2011 MVP – an impressive feat, considering he played for three different teams that season.


6. Jeff Agoos

Jeff Agoos United

He may be number six on this list, but Jeff Agoos is number one on the all-time best MLS nicknames, uniquely referred to as ‘The Goose’.

On the pitch, the U.S. international was a defensive rock, winning five MLS Cups, ​two Supporters’ Shields, and one U.S. Open Cup. He was named to league’s best XI on three separate occasions.


5. Jaime Moreno

Jaime Moreno

When you become the first player in league history to accumulate 100 goals and assists, you automatically install yourself as one of the greatest players in said league’s history. 

Such is the case for DC United legend Jaime Moreno, the Bolivian winning four MLS Cups and being named to the league’s Best XI five times. Moreno finished his MLS career with 133 goals and 102 assists in 340 games.


4. David Beckham

David Beckham,Victoria Beckham

One could argue that Becks should be higher on this list. One could also argue that he should be lower. 

On the one hand, Beckham, with his global superstar status, drew the world’s attention to the MLS, and created the Designated Player rule – initially dubbed the Beckham rule – which allows each MLS franchise to sign up to three players that would be considered outside the team’s salary cap. 

He won two MLS Cups and two Supporters’ Shields with the Galaxy, which is less than many of the other players on the list, but his impact on the MLS is greater than these statistics, and merits his inclusion in the top 5 (he does have a statue, after all). Beckham is also in the process of bringing the new Inter Miami franchise to the MLS for the 2020 season.


3. Chris Wondolowski

Chris Wondolowski

Wondolowski is the top scorer in MLS history, with 152 goals to his name. And, currently playing as a forward for the San Jose Earthquakes at 36, there’s every chance he adds to his impressive tally. 

‘Wondo’ has also won two MLS Cups, two MLS Golden Boots, has earned three Best XI nods, and was the league MVP in 2012.


2. Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane is one of MLS’ most successful international players. The Ireland international joined the Galaxy in 2011 after successful spells with Liverpool and Tottenham (and Leeds before that), winning three MLS Cups, and proving that he was still a lethal finisher with 83 goals in 125 games.


1. Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan

The ‘face’ of MLS, and undoubtedly the league’s greatest ever player. ​One of the few men to start their professional career overseas before joining MLS, Donovan moved from Bayer Leverkusen to the San Jose Earthquakes on loan in 2001, and immediately hit the ground running.

He scored 42 goals and added 35 assists in four years at the club, leading the Earthquakes to two MLS Cup championships in the process. He would briefly return to Leverkusen before joining the LA Galaxy, where he would cement his place in MLS folklore. Donovan won four MLS titles, two Supporters’ Shields, and one Open Cup trophy in Los Angeles. 

He won the Golden Boot award in 2008, and was selected to the MLS Best XI seven times. He’s also second in the all-time scoring charts with 145, first in assists (136), and the league’s most valuable player award is named after him. After all that, it should be easy to see why he comes in at number 1.

Let’