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Ultimate Chelsea dream team - Lampard, Drogba & Terry but no Kante or Carvalho

7:15 PM SGT 1/10/22
Dream Team Chelsea

Chelsea are one of the most successful English clubs in the 21st century, with the Roman Abramovich era truly transforming them into a continental giant. Five Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies, interspersed with multiple FA Cup wins, have only highlighted that fact.

However, Chelsea have some magical moments even before Abramovich took over. They won their first English title in 1955 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 and 1998.

There have been some absolute legends who have donned the blue shirt of Chelsea over the years. While the likes of Ron Harris, Bobby Tambling, Kerry Dixon and Peter Bonetti were the darlings of Stamford Bridge in the past, players like Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, John Terry and Eden Hazard were some of the superstars who wrote themselves into the annals of Chelsea's history in the 21st century.

Safe to say, then, that Chelsea fans have quite a few heroes over the years.

Only 11, however, can take their place in GOAL’s greatest ever Chelsea team…

  • Petr Cech Chelsea

    GK: Petr Cech

    Petr Cech is an absolute legend at Chelsea, having made 494 appearances for the Blues and helping them win multiple honours. However, his choice as the goalkeeper of the Ultimate Chelsea XI was not so straightforward.

    It wasn't easy to ignore Peter Bonetti, who spent almost 20 years at Chelsea between 1959 and 1979. However, the sheer amount of success that Cech enjoyed at Chelsea was staggering.

    The former Czech Republic international played a key role in four Premier League title-winning seasons, their shock 2012 Champions League success and a Europa League triumph. He also lifted the FA Cup four times, and claimed the Premier League Golden Glove award on three occasions.

    Cech, then, is our Chelsea Dream Team No.1!

  • 20220507 Cesar Azpilicueta

    RB: Cesar Azpilicueta

    The current Chelsea captain is an automatic choice at right-back. Though Branislav Ivanovic could stake a claim, it is safe to say that Azpilicueta has earned this spot after a decade of exemplary service, featuring nearly 500 appearances in all competitions.

    The Spaniard has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two Europa League trophies. More importantly, Azpilicueta led Chelsea to victory in the 2020-21 Champions League.

    A reliable defender who wore the Chelsea shirt with pride, Azpilicueta is an obvious inclusion.

  • 20211226 John Terry

    CB: John Terry

    Captain. Leader. Legend. If there was ever a Chelsea player who fit this description, it was John Terry. This warrior of a centre-back was considered one of the greatest defenders of his generation.

    A Chelsea youth product, Terry made over 700 appearances for the Blues in a trophy-laden career. A no-nonsense defender known for his strong tackles and commanding style of play, Terry was a captain who truly led by example.

    The former England international was part of all of the club's five Premier League triumphs, while he also won the Champions League and the Europa League.

  • Ron Harris George Best Chelsea Manchester United

    CB: Ron Harris

    The all-time appearance record for Chelsea, with 795 games, but longevity is not the only reason why Ron Harris makes our Ultimate Chelsea XI. He was the face of the club during the '60s and '70s, holding the team together with his tenacity and commitment to the cause.

    The tough-tackling defender, who also played as a full-back and a defensive midfielder, led Chelsea to their first major European trophy in 1971: the Cup Winners' Cup.

    Harris makes this line-up just ahead of Ricardo Carvalho, who had a very successful stint at Stamford Bridge from 2004-2010 but never quite achieved the same mythical status as the man known as 'Chopper'!

  • Ashley Cole Chelsea

    LB: Ashley Cole

    Cole might have started his career at London rivals Arsenal, but he enjoyed a huge amount of success at Chelsea after a controversial cross-town move in 2006.

    The marauding left-back spent eight years at Stamford Bridge, amassing more than 330 appearances in all competitions. He won the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League with the Blues. He was also Chelsea's Players' Player of the Year twice.

    There really was no accomplished candidate for the left-back berth.

  • Claude Makelele Chelsea Premier League

    CDM: Claude Makelele

    Often considered one of best defensive midfielders of his generation, Claude Makelele was highly acclaimed during his time at Chelsea. The combative midfielder was the defensive foil for Chelsea's attack-minded players. During the five years he spent at Stamford Bridge, Makelele was an integral part of the team.

    He won two Premier League titles and an FA Cup with Chelsea – not to mention the fact that he was Chelsea's Players' Player of the Year in 2006.

    At the end of the day, the former France international's selection was a no-brainer. After all, the defensive midfield position became widely known as 'The Makelele role' for a reason!

  • Essien Chelsea

    CM: Michael Essien

    Is Essien's inclusion in this team over N'Golo Kante justified? There will no doubt be plenty of people who will disagree. We'd certainly be the first to acknowledge that by the time Kante concludes his career at Stamford Bridge, he'll be a sure-fire pick for this position.

    For now, though, Essien, who made over 250 appearances for Chelsea, makes the cut. The Ghanaian helped Chelsea win two Premier League titles and four FA Cup trophies, as well as the 2012 Champions League, though he had a bit-part role in that campaign.

    At his peak, though, he was the ultimate box-to-box midfielder, a seemingly indefatigable force of nature capable of constantly breaking up opposition attacks, while at the same time scoring outrageous goals, often from distance.

  • Frank Lampard Chelsea

    CM: Frank Lampard

    Chelsea's greatest-ever player? Certainly, Lampard rivals Terry for that particular title.

    The all-action English midfielder definitely played a huge role in Chelsea's rise to the top of English football in the 21st century. With 211 goals in 648 appearances, he is the club's all-time record goalscorer, while he also won four Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, a Champions League and a Europa League.

    A hugely influential presence in midfield, no Chelsea dream team would be complete without Lampard.

  • Gianfranco Zola Chelsea

    RW: Gianfranco Zola

    The front three of our Chelsea Ultimate XI simply has to feature the brilliant Gianfranco Zola, one of English football's greatest ever imports.

    The Italian attacking midfielder became a cult hero at Chelsea thanks to the seven fantastic seasons he spent at Stamford Bridge, from 1996 to 2003.

    His creativity, skill and a penchant for magical moments made him a fan favourite and he was the first Chelsea player to win the FWA Player of the Year (1997).

    Zola made more than 300 appearances for the Blues in total, helping them win two FA Cups, a Cup Winners' Cup, a League Cup and a UEFA Super Cup.

    In short, Zola is one of Chelsea's finest ever players.

  • Eden Hazard Chelsea 2019 Europa League final

    LW: Eden Hazard

    Chelsea fans adored Hazard. And why wouldn't they? The nimble-footed Belgian was the face of the Chelsea attack for seven glorious years.

    Indeed, Hazard's trickery, pace, dribbling and goalscoring ability made him one of the most feared forwards in the Premier League.

    He scored 110 goals in 352 appearances, helping the Blues win two Premier League and two Europa Leagues.

    When he finally departed in 2019, he became Chelsea's highest transfer sale, with Real Madrid signing him for an initial £88 million ($112m).

  • Didier Drogba Chelsea

    CF: Didier Drogba

    Didier Drogba was the definition of 'talismanic striker' for Chelsea fans, leading the club's attack with aplomb from 2004 to 2012.

    He even came back for a season, in 2014-15, and helped the club win the league again. He scored more than 160 goals across his two spells at Stamford Bridge.

    Ever the man for the big occasion, Drogba's most iconic moment in a Chelsea shirt probably came in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern where he scored an injury-time header to extend the game into extra-time. Chelsea would go on to win after a penalty shootout, with Drogba inevitably converting the decisive spot-kick.

    What better man to spearhead this dream team's attack?