Three Irishmen make English paper's list of the top 100 players of the Premier League era
The Daily Telegraph has compiled a list of the greatest players in the history of the Premier League and an Irishman came very close to topping the chart.
Only Ryan Giggs, who is about to leave Old Trafford after 29 years, and Thierry Henry eclipse former Manchester United captain Roy Keane on the list, with the teak tough midfielder coming in third.
The paper wrote: "The most dominant midfielder of the Premier League having arrived at United in a British record £3.75m transfer from Nottingham Forest in 1993. Keane scored goals, tackled ferociously and led from the front during an eight-year reign as United captain. His toxic exit from the club - amid a flurry of claims and counter-claims - was catastrophically handled and United have never found a player of his ilk to succeed him."
Keane's former team mate and fellow Cork man Dennis Irwin makes it into the Top 50 and is named at 46.
"Reckoned by Sir Alex Ferguson to be his best ever pound-for-pound signing, the undemonstrative left-back won seven league titles across a 12-year career at Old Trafford. Renowned for his consistency and concentration – he was another player who seemed impervious to injury – Irwin was also a ruthless penalty taker, and took a mean free-kick."
Ireland's record goalscorer Robbie Keane scrapes into the prestigious list at 92.
"Keane falls into that category of players whose talents were rather underappreciated: certainly his scoring record, at Coventry, Leeds and Tottenham made him one of the most consistent goal threats in the top flight. His spell with Liverpool was less happy but it is his form at Spurs – where his endearingly naff forward-roll goal celebrations were a regular sight – which earns him a place in our list."
Here is the Top 10:
10. Frank Lampard
9. Dennis Bergkamp
8. Eric Cantona
7. Patrick Vieira
6. Cristiano Ronaldo
5. Paul Scholes
4. Alan Shearer
3. Roy Keane
2. Thierry Henry
1. Ryan Giggs