15 Greatest Welsh Football Players in the History

Who is the best Welsh footballer of all time?

In the world of football, Wales is recognized as a small country that only qualified for the World Cup tournament once and has never won any major trophy at the European level. Although the number of trophy won by this country is still very minimum, Wales has produced great numbers of world class players. The world's most expensive football player record is even held by a Welsh footballer, Gareth Bale.

In this article, I created a list of 15 best Welsh footballers from time to time. Although most of them failed to take their country to the World Cup tournament, some of these players achieved outstanding feats at club level. Without further ado, let's take a look at the list.

15. Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey is a young midfielder who has a crucial role at Arsenal in the 2013-14 season. In that season, Ramsey proved that he is not only an expert in constructing the team's attack, but also prolific in scoring goals. His duet with Mesut Ozil in midfield-line made Arsenal topped the English Premier League table for several weeks. Together with Gareth Bale, Ramsey is expected to be able to lead Wales national football team to win its first major honor.

14. Ivor Allchurch

Ivor Allchurch was dubbed as "The Golden Boy" because of his high productivity in scoring goals. He started his career at a local club, Swansea Town, before moving to Newcastle United in 1958. At the club, Allchurch successfully proved his quality as a striker and became top scorer of Newcastle United twice. He was also one of the leading players in the Wales national team in the 1958 World Cup tournament.

13. Trevor Ford

Trevor Ford is one of the Wales strikers with the best ratio of goals and appearances in the national team. Played in 38 matches, Ford scored 23 goals for his country. This player played in the 1946-1957 period, in which he joined some of the best clubs in English League such as Sunderland, Aston Villa and Cardiff City. He played for PSV Eindhoven for three years before ended his career as a professional footballer at Newport County.

12. Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy is an energetic and temperamental striker who spent most of his career played in the Premier League. Bellamy joined several English clubs, such as Liverpool, Newcastle United and Manchester City. His best season occurred in 2001-02 when he played for Newcastle United. At that time, he was named the Premier League's best young players of the season. At national team level, Bellamy appeared in 78 matches and scored 19 goals for his country.

11. John Hartson

Explosive, powerful, and possessed high stamina. Just like most of the Wales' top players, John Hartson spent most of his time played in the Premier League. He played for Arsenal, West Ham and Wimbledon before moving to Glasgow Celtic. After not winning a single trophy in the Premier League competition, Hartson actually managed to win several titles at Celtic. For five years joining Celtic, he won three Scottish Premier League titles and two Scottish Cups.

10. Billy Meredith

Billy Meredith is legendary striker of Manchester United and Manchester City. He played for those two clubs in the 1894-1924 period and scored more than 150 goals. Not only that, Meredith also retired as a professional footballer at the age of 49 years. This player is regarded as an almost perfect footballer. His abilities in dribbling, passing, shooting and crossing are above-average; and he can be positioned as a striker or a defender.

9. Gary Speed

Over 22 years of playing in Premier League, Gary Speed ​​showed consistent performances. The left midfielder helped Leeds United win promotion to the Premier League in 1992 and then underwent a career with various clubs such as Everton, Newcastle United, and Bolton Wanderers before finally retiring at Sheffield Wednesday. Besides being known as a midfielder with comprehensive football skills, Speed ​​also has good leadership ability. He was trusted to be the captain of Wales for several years before retiring from the national team in 2004.

8. John Toshack

John Toshack is a former Wales striker who had a period of a brilliant career at Liverpool. His duet with Kevin Keegan in the 1970s was very great and it played a major role in helping Liverpool dominate the English League competition. For eight years playing for the Reds, Toshack won three English League titles, one Champions League trophy, and two UEFA Cup trophies. After his retirement, he works as a football manager and coached some big teams such as Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Sporting CP.

7. Cliff Jones

Playing as a winger, Cliff Jones was one of the leading players of Tottenham Hotspur in 1960. This player's skill is said to be as good as Ryan Giggs' or Gareth Bale's. He was instrumental in helping Tottenham Hotspur claimed double-winner in the 1960-61 season. In 1963, Jones achieved greater feats when he won the Cup Winners'. He also acted as a key player in the Wales national team during the 1958 World Cup tournament.

6. Neville Southall

The title of Wales's best goalkeeper of all time should be given to Neville Southall. The goalkeeper who played in the 1980-2002 period holds the record number of the most number of appearances in Wales national team, with a total of 92 caps. His best career period at club level was when he played for Everton, where he won two English League titles, two FA Cups and a Cup Winners' within seventeen years playing for the club. He was also selected as the best player in the English League in the 1985-86 season.

5. Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes is regarded as one of the best Manchester United strikers of all time. Under the leadership of coach Alex Ferguson, Hughes became Manchester United number-one striker from 1988 to 1995 and managed to present two Premier League titles for the club. He decided to move to Chelsea in 1996, and although his career at the club is fairly short, Hughes claimed an FA Cup and a Cup Winners'. After his retirement, he is known as a reputable football managers.

4. John Charles

John Charles is one of the few British players who achieved success in the Italian League. This player became a mainstay of Juventus in the period 1957-1962. Charles possessed strong posture, high running speed and great finishing ability that helped him score a great number of important goals. Not only that, he also possessed high spirit of fair-play and was never sent off throughout his entire career. At Juventus, Charles won three Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia trophies, and was named the best player of the Italian League in 1958.

3. Gareth Bale

The quality of Gareth Bale as a world-class footballer cannot be doubted. He possesses very good speed, stamina, and goal-scoring instincts. No wonder, Real Madrid was willing to spend a fund of 77 million pounds to recruit Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013. Bale's first season at Madrid went pretty well, where he was able to demonstrate a significant contribution to the team. If he can maintain his performance, it is not impossible for Bale to achieve status as a legendary player in the world of football.

2. Ian Rush

Ian Rush is a former striker who becomes a symbol of Liverpool's golden era. During his 15-year career at Liverpool, Rush presented a lot of titles for the club. He won five English League titles, five League Cups, two Champions Cup trophies and three FA Cup trophies. Not only that, Rush also nine times became Liverpool's top scorer and once was named as Europe's top scorer. His contribution to the national team was also significant, shown by the fact that he still holds the record as the top scorer of his country with a total of 29 goals.

1. Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs is indeed a football legend. He underwent a long, honorable, and brilliant career at Manchester United. Playing as a left winger, Giggs possesses excellent dribbling skills, high creativity, and accurate passing. At Manchester United, he played alongside world's best players such as David Beckham, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo. Throughout his career, he won 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and two Champions League trophies. Giggs also holds the record as a player with the highest number of assists in Premier League history.

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