|2012 Champions' League|
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club. The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.
Chelsea had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship. They then won various cup competitions between 1965 and 1996. The club's greatest period of success has come during the last two decades; winning 17 major trophies, and 21 in total, since 1997. Chelsea have won five national league titles, seven FA Cups, five League Cups and four FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups, one UEFA Europa League and one UEFA Super Cup. Chelsea are the only London club to win the UEFA Champions League, and one of four clubs, and the only British club, to have won all three main UEFA club competitions.
GK: Peter Bonetti (England)
Nicknamed as "the Cat", Bonetti was a legend at Chelsea. His finest moment came in the Final of the FA Cup in 1970 where his heroic play helped Chelsea to win the FA Cup. He was the FWA Player of the Year runner-up that year. However, he only earned 7 caps for England. his career was limited by playing with Gordon Banks at the same time. He was Banks' backup in the World Cup 1966.
Cech is best remembered for being Chelsea's undisputred starting keeper from 2004 to 2014. He won almost everything in club football. He is considered among the greatest of his era. He also played for Sparta Prague, Rennes and Arsenal. For Czech Republic, he is the most capped player in the history of the Czech team, with 124 caps, and represented the country at the 2006 World Cup, as well as the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 European Championships.
GK: Ed de Goey (Holland)
De Goey played for both Sparta Rotterdam and Feyenoord. He later spent 6 seasons with Chelsea during the pre-Roman Abramovich days, winning the Cup Winners' cup in 1998. He had 31 caps for the Dutch national team. He went to the 1994 World Cup Finals in the 1994, starting all of Oranje's games. He was a member of the WC squad in 1998 and European Championship of 1996 and 2000.
RB: Peter Sillett (England)
Peter Sillet was the son of Charlie Sillett, a fullback who also played for Southampton. He played with Southampton until 1953 when he joined Chelsea along with his brother John. He was the club's highest scoring defender until John Terry broke the record. He won the League title in the 1954-1955 season. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1958.
RB: Steve Clarke (Scotland)
Clarke started his career with St Mirren. He was transferred to Chelsea in 1987. He stayed at Chelsea until 1998, making 421 appearances. He was a part of the Chelsea sides which won the 1997 FA Cup Final, 1998 Football League Cup Final and 1998 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final. In 2005 he was voted into Chelsea's centenary XI, occupying the right-back berth. Capped 6 times.
CB: John Terry (England)
John Terry is a top centre-back of his generation and was the captain for Chelsea during most of his Chelsea's rise to the top of English football starting in the season 2004-2005. He won 4 Premiership titles and the Champions League in 2012. Terry was named PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2005. For England, he earned 78 caps for England. However, his career was overshadowed by several controversies.
He was the hero of Porto's Champions' League winning team in 2004. He then played 6 seasons with Chelsea. He also played for Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho was his manager at the three clubs. He also played for Monaco and Shanghai SIPG. He was capped 76 times. He helped Portugal to reach the Final of Euro 2004 at home and the semifinal of the World Cup Finals in 2006. He was a part of Portugal's Euro 2016 winning team.
CB: Jack Dempsey (Ireland)
Started with Fulham, he moved to Chelsea in 1969. He won the FA Cup in 1970 and won the Cup Winners' Cup a year later in which. he scored the opening goal. He moved to the Philadelphia Fury of the NASL, playing alongside fellow ex-Chelsea star Peter Osgood. In 1979, he was voted the NASL's defender of the year, beating out Franz Beckenbauer who finished second.
CB: Ron Harris (England)
Known by the nickname "Chopper", he played for Chelsea between 1961 and 1980. Harris is widely regarded as one of the toughest defenders of his era. He captained Chelsea as it won the FA Cup in 1970. Then, he helped Chelsea to win the European Cup Winners' Cup a year later in 1971, Chelsea's first ever trophy in Europe. He finally left Chelsea in 1980 to become a player-coach at Brentford.
LB: Eddie McCreadie (Scotland)
McCreadie joined Chelsea in 1962. He scored a memorable winner in the League Cup final of 1965 in which he dribbled 80 yards up the pitch before slotting the ball past Leicester City goalkeeper Gordon Banks. He also won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 1970. The side won the Cup Winners' Cup the following season, but McCreadie missed the final in Athens through injury. Earned 23 caps between 1965 and 1969.
LB: Ashley Cole (England)
Ashley Cole was considered one of the finest leftbacks of his generation. He was voted the England Player of the Year in 2010. He played in 3 World Cup Finals. He is also England's most-capped full-back in history. He played with Arsenal, but moved to its rival Chelsea in 2006. In 2014, he moved to AS Roma in Italy. He won the Champions' League in 2012 with Chelsea.
CB/DM: Marcel Desailly (France)
Marcel Desailly was considered to be one of the greatest defensive players during the 1990's. He played 116 times for France, winning the WC in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000. He was the first player to win the European Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs, when he won it with Marseille in 1993 and AC Milan the following year.
DM: Dennis Wise (England)
In a career spanning over 20 years, Wise played for Wimbledon, Leicester City, Millwall, Southampton, Coventry City and, most notably, Chelsea. He was known as the most successful captain at Chelsea before the emerge of John Terry. He captained Chelsea as they won two FA Cups, two League Cups and an UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Despite his successes at club level, he only earned 21 caps.
DM: Claude Makelele (France)
Michelle played for Nantes, Marseille and Celta Vigo before making a big move to Real Madrid in 2000. Over there, he quickly established as one of the best defensive midfielder in the world. He won every single club title available. In 2003, he moved to Roman Abramovich's Chelsea. he earned 71 caps for France. He helped France to reach the Final of Germany 2006.
CM: Frank Lampard (England)
Lampard was the all-time leading scorer for Chelsea. he started his career with West Ham before joining Chelsea in 2001. He won the Champions' League in 2012 and 3 Preimership with Chelsea. He was runner-up at FIFA Player of the Year in 2015. In 2014, he made a controversial move to Manchester City through a loan deal from NY City FC. For England, he was a key player from 1999 and 2014. The Lampard-Gerrard debate was a hot topic throughout his career with England.
RW/LW: Charlie Cooke (Scotland)
Cooke began his professional career with Aberdeen in 1960 and moved to Dundee in December 1964, where he was voted player of the year. He signed for Chelsea in 1966 for a then club record of £72,000 as part of manager Tommy Docherty's restructuring of the Chelsea side. He also won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 1970. The side won the Cup Winners' Cup the following season. He earned 16 caps.
LW: Pat Nevin (Scotland)
In a 20-year career, he played for Clyde, Chelsea, Everton, Tranmere Rovers, Kilmarnock and Motherwell as a winger. He played with Kerry Dixon in the 1980's with Chelsea. He was the Chelsea Player of the Year: 1983–84, 1986–87. He joined Everton in 1989, but never recaptured the form at Chelsea. Capped 28 times for Scotland between 1986 and 1996, but only managed to attend Euro 1992.
A graduate of Real Madrid's youth academy, Mata played for Valencia for 4 seasons. In 2011, Mata signed for Chelsea of the Premier League, and in his debut season was part of the team that won the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup. The following year, Chelsea won the UEFA Europa League, making Mata and team-mate Fernando Torres the first players to hold the Champions League, Europa League, World Cup, and the European Championships simultaneously. After falling out of favour at Chelsea under José Mourinho, Mata was sold to Manchester United in 2014.
AM: Gianfranco Zola (Italy)
Gianfranco Zola played with Diegoi Maradona at Napoli as a young player. He played for Parma between 1993 and 1996, winning the 1995 UEFA Cup with Tomas Brolin, Fernando Couto, Faustino Asprilla and Stefano Fiore. He moved to Chelsea in 1996 and won the FWA Footballer of the Year. His transfer to Chelsea started a wave of foreign players heading over to England. For the national team, he only played 35 times for Italy due to overcrowding of attack midfielders during his prime.
Started with Newcastle United, Roy Bentley joined Chelsea in 1948. He played 367 games for Chelsea and captained the club to their first League Championship in the 1954-55 season. He also won 12 caps for the England national side. He played at the World Cup Finals in 1950, including the 1-0 loss against the United States.
ST/SS: Jimmy Greaves (England)
Jimmy Greaves was the top scorer in the English league for 6 seasons. He won the FA Cup in 1962 and 1967, and the UEFA Cup in 1963. He started with Chelsea, but alo played with AC Milan and spent 9 seasons with Tottenham Hotspurs. He was a member of the World Cup winning team in 1966. However, he lost his starting position after suffering an injury against France.
He was Chelsea's all-time top scorer for 47 years, with 202 goals in all competitions until Frank Lampard surpassed this total on 11 May 2013. Tambling remains Chelsea's all-time top scorer in league competition with 164 goals. After enjoying a successful career in the Football League during the 1960s and early 1970s, Tambling moved to Ireland. He subsequently played for several Irish clubs. Capped 3 times.
ST: Peter Osgood (England)
Osgood was a legend with Chelsea. He helped them to win the Cup Winners' Cup in 1970. Despite his successes with Chelsea, he only earned 4 caps. Sir Ramsey is rumoured to dislike him for his playboy lifestyle. He was a member of the 1970 World Cup squad, making two appearances against Czechoslovakia and Romania as a substitute. Near the end of his career, he played for Southampton, Norwich, Philadelphia Fury and a return to Chelsea.
After spells with Chesham United, Dunstable and Reading in the lower division, he signed with Chelsea in 1983, which was then in the 2nd division. He led them to first division in his first season. For Chelsea, his 193 goals across all competitions made him their third-highest goalscorer of all time. Dixon scored four goals in eight international appearances for England and represented the nation at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
ST: Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
Didier Drogba was voted African Footballer of the Year twice; 2006 and 2009. He is probably Ivory Coast's greatest ever player. The best part of his career was spent with Chelsea. He won the Champions' League for 20011-12. He also finished the top scorer in the Premiership twice. He also played in France, MLS and China. For his country, he led Ivory Coast to the World Cup Finals in 2006, 2010 and 2014. He was also their all-time leading scorer.Honorable Mention
Roberto Di Matteo, Gary Cahill, Joe Cole, Ray Wilkins, Colin Pates, Ed de Goey, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Terry Venables, John Hollins, Eden Hazard.
-- The third keeper is between Ed de Goey and Carlo Cudicini.
--The rightback position is loaded with great players: David Webb, Branislav Ivanovic, Peter Sillett and Steve Clarke. Sillett is probably Chelsea's greatest rightback. And I took Clarke for his loyalty to Chelsea.
-- The leftback position is even loaded with more talents. Eddie McCreadie, Stan Willemse, Ashley Cole and Graeme Le Saux had all done well with the club. McCreadie and Cole, in general, were probably the most highly rated.
-- The last centerabck was between Frank Leboeuf and John Dempsey. Gary Cahill needed a few years before I put him here. Dempsey scored the winning goal at bthe Cup Winners' Cup in 1971. His place in Chelsea's history is sealed.
-- Juan Mata helped Chelsea to win the Champions' League, Chelsea's biggest trophy at the time of writing. He was Chelsea Player of the Year that season and the season after too. I selected him over Terry Venables and John Hollins for the last spot on the team.
-- At the time of writing, Eden Hazard has played 6 seasons for Chelsea. For 2014-2015 season, he was the best player in the Premiership, winning both FWA and PFA Player of the Year award. Not many Chelsea player could claim that. N'Golo Kanté also won the double, but he has only been there since 2016.
-- Ashely Cole also made my all-time team for Arsenal. Jimmy Greaves was on mine for Tottenham Hotspurs. I did not punish them for their controversial moves to their rivals.
-- John Hollins should be on the team, but he played too many positions. Each position are occupied a few legends of the club.
-- Ruud Gullit was nominated for Honorable mention because his signings transferred the club into a major European club.
-- The old timers such as Osgood, Dixon, Bentley, Tambling and Greaves already occupied the strikers' spots. Then, the team had Drogba. It was impossible for others to be considered.