Throwback XI: iconic players who never won the Premier League

Manchester City completed a historic treble in 2022/23 which included their fourth league title in the past five seasons. In contrast, some players went their entire careers having never won a Premier League. Today, we honour these unfortunate legends with a throwback XI.

Given that just seven clubs have won the domestic title in the Premier League era (i.e. since 1992), there are a plethora of iconic stars that have never lifted the coveted trophy.

You are unlikely to see a player from Man United on this list, though. With 13 Premier League trophies, the Red Devils have enjoyed incredible success in the 30 seasons of the division.

This brings us to this unlucky squad of players that have never won a Premier League medal. Like some fans prefer to do, we are going to pretend that football started in 1992. Therefore, our XI of Legends only features those who actually played in the topflight during its current guise.

We have crafted a team in a 4-4-1-1 formation – and it includes some big names.

Goalkeeper and defence

Kicking off this XI of players who never won the Premier League is our goalkeeper – Shay Given. Throughout a long career including Newcastle, Aston Villa, and Man City, Given never finished top of the table.

Most frustratingly, the Irishman left City in the summer before their triumphant 2011/12 campaign.

Our back four begins with a makeshift right-back. Jamie Carragher, Liverpool legend turned Sky Sports pundit, slots in here. He won 11 trophies in over 700 appearances for the Reds – but not the League.

The centre-back partnership in this team is a pair of legendary names. Firstly, Aston Villa icon Paul McGrath starts in the heart of the defence. “God”, as Villa fans affectionately called him, won the PFA Player of the Year award in 1993.

Alongside, we have Marcel Desailly. The Frenchman is a World Cup winner, Champions League winner, FA Cup winner even – but not a Premier League champion. His six years at Chelsea ended in 2004 – just before their 2005 triumph.

Stuart Pearce fills the left-back slot. With over 200 Premier League appearances and 78 England caps, Pearce fully earns his place here.


The star players really emerge as we progress up this “never won the Premier League” XI. To start on the right, we have David Ginola. A cult hero of Newcastle and Spurs, the Frenchman took 1999 PFA POTY honours – despite Man United winning a treble.

On the other wing, we then find Gareth Bale. He did not win the Prem during his time at Spurs. Although we think his stint at Real Madrid made up for it, with five Champions Leagues amongst other trophies. The Welshman was truly electric whilst in England, winning two PFA POTY awards.

Former teammate Luka Modric joins Bale in this XI. Again, a Ballon d’Or amongst a haul of silverware for Los Blancos certainly offsets the lack of Premier League here.

Finally, no team of non-Premier League champions is complete without Steven Gerrard. The PL Hall of Famer carried Liverpool to trophies and top-four finishes. Sadly, though, the Premier League trophy eluded him throughout his career.


Playing just behind our No.9 is none other than Gianfranco Zola. The Italian maestro became an iconic figure during his time playing at Chelsea. But he left England with no League title to show for his genius, which is a shame.

Ahead of Zola in attack, and completing this XI, is Harry Kane. Yes, he still has time on his side to move himself off this team. However, currently, the England captain is the striker. His 213 goals puts him second all-time in the competition’s history – yet Kane does not have a trophy to show for it.

Who knows what may happen in the future, plus there is still time for the Spurs No.10 to change his fortunes yet. But for now, Harry Kane leads the attack of players that have never won the Premier League.

Ironically, this collection of stars would probably be able to win it if they played together.

Featured image credit: Getty