One of the top football leagues in the world, the English Premier League
has given us phenomenal players throughout the years who have helped their teams to victory through pure aggression and intimidation.
Yes, these players were skilled, but it was their sheer toughness that made them special to fans.
This list is dedicated to some of the most fearsome players to have played in the Premier League stage:
Image source: ESPN.com
The retired defender started his professional football career playing for Conventry City in 1983. He was bought by Nottingham Forest, where he played for 12 seasons, winning the League Cup in 1989 and 1990. Pearce, also known as ‘Psycho’, made his England debut against Brazil in 1987, and he was earned 78 caps for his country by scoring 5 times. His hard style of playing has made him unforgettable. He would also often fly straight into tackles on unsuspecting winders and dumping them in the stands, which explains the nickname Psycho.
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Scotland born striker, Duncan Ferguson began his career in at Dundee United in 1990. He was then transferred for a record of £4 million at the time to Rangers in 1993. Ferguson spent the remainder of his career in England with two spells at Everton and Newcastle Untired between 1998 and 2000. He retired from football at the age of 35 in 2006. One incident that stands out is when Ferguson took matters in his hands out on the pitch and strangled Stefan Freund. He was just as fierce off the pitch, as he left burglars hospitalised.
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Papa Bouba Diop
Image source: skysports.com
The retired player born in Senegal preferred to play the defensive midfield position, but he could also play as a centre back. Diop was nicknamed ‘The Wardrobe’, a name that was given to him by Fulham fans, because of his large frame and height. He is well known for his strength and aggression, his long-range shots, solid style of play and his great leadership skills.
Image source: thesefootballtimes.co
The ex-Arsenal player turned coach was born in Senegal and made a mark in the football world as one of the best enforcers in Premier League History. Vieira played successfully under Arsene Wenger. During his nine-year stint in the Premier League, Vieira established himself as a dominating box-to-box midfielder. He was noted for his aggressive and highly competitive style of play, an attitude that also helped him excel as captain of Arsenal from 2002 until 2005.
Image source: sportskeeda.com
From the Republic of Ireland, Roy Keane is the classic Premier League hardman. He combined an unquenchable desire to win with a quick temper and plenty of talent. Initially approached up by Nottingham Forest from Cobh Ramblers, Keane soon made his mark and got a move to Manchester United. There are so many Roy Keane stories, but his hardman career highlights include his on-pitch assault of Alf-Inge Haaland and his explosive behind the scenes bust up with manager Mick McCarthy on international duty.
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