The BPF Top 50 through the years

The Back Page Football Top 50 Players in the World feature kicked off in 2010 as a bit of fun at the end of the calendar year and it is something we now enjoy putting together every 12 months.

In 2015, we mixed things up a bit and decided to look at the Premier League to see who would be deemed to be the greatest players to have graced that stage since it kicked off in 1992.

The Top 50 gives our readers the chance to have their say on the best performers of the year, and it always generates plenty of interesting debate across our various social media channels.

Here’s how the players have ranked in each edition.

2015

BPF Top 50 2015 teaser

  1. Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
  3. Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, Southampton)
  4. Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
  5. Paul Scholes (Manchester United)
  6. Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
  7. Roy Keane (Manchester United, Nottingham Forest)
  8. Patrick Vieira (Arsenal, Manchester City)
  9. Peter Schmeichel (Aston Villa, Manchester City, Manchester United)
  10. Frank Lampard (Chelsea, Manchester City, West Ham United)
  11. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
  12. Eric Cantona (Manchester United)
  13. Tony Adams (Arsenal)
  14. John Terry (Chelsea)
  15. Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
  16. Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
  17. Gianfranco Zola (Chelsea)
  18. Wayne Rooney (Everton, Manchester United)
  19. Matthew Le Tissier (Southampton)
  20. David Beckham (Manchester United)
  21. Robert Pires (Arsenal, Aston Villa)
  22. Petr Cech (Arsenal, Chelsea)
  23. Rio Ferdinand (Leeds United, Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers, West Ham United)
  24. Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)
  25. Robbie Fowler (Leeds United, Liverpool, Manchester City)
  26. Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
  27. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
  28. Xabi Alonso (Liverpool)
  29. Ashley Cole (Arsenal, Chelsea)
  30. Gary Neville (Manchester United)
  31. David Seaman (Arsenal, Manchester City)
  32. David Silva (Manchester City)
  33. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
  34. Claude Makelele (Chelsea)
  35. Andrew Cole (Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Portsmouth, Sunderland)
  36. Paul McGrath (Aston Villa)
  37. Sol Campbell (Arsenal, Newcastle United, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur)
  38. Jaap Stam (Manchester United)
  39. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal, Chelsea)
  40. Denis Irwin (Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  41. Robin van Persie (Arsenal, Manchester United)
  42. Gary Speed (Bolton Wanderers, Everton, Leeds United, Newcastle United)
  43. Carlos Tevez (Manchester City, Manchester United, West Ham United)
  44. Marc Overmars (Arsenal)
  45. Fernando Torres (Chelsea, Liverpool)
  46. Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)
  47. Michael Owen (Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Stoke City)
  48. Marcel Desailly (Chelsea)
  49. Ian Wright (Arsenal)
  50. Edwin van der Saar (Fulham, Manchester United)

2014

BPF Top 50 2014 Preview

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal)
  2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
  3. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  4. Luis Suarez (Barcelona and Uruguay)
  5. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid and Wales)
  6. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  7. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich and The Netherlands)
  8. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St. Germain and Sweden)
  10. Diego Costa (Chelsea and Spain)
  11. Neymar (Barcelona and Brazil)
  12. James Rodriguez (Real Madrid and Colombia)
  13. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City and Argentina)
  14. Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium)
  15. Angel Di Maria (Manchester United and Argentina)
  16. Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea and Belgium)
  17. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal and Chile)
  18. Luka Modric (Croatia and Real Madrid)
  19. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid and Germany)
  20. Paul Pogba (Juventus and Italy)
  21. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  22. Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  23. Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Côte d’Ivoire)
  24. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and France)
  25. Andrea Pirlo (Juventus and Italy)
  26. Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich and France)
  27. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland)
  28. Arturo Vidal (Juventus and Chile)
  29. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)
  30. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Germany)
  31. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City and Belgium)
  32. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain)
  33. Thiago Silva (Paris St. Germain and Brazil)
  34. Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid and Uruguay)
  35. Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea and Spain)
  36. David Silva (Manchester City and Spain)
  37. Xabi Alonso (Bayern Munich and Spain)
  38. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool and England)
  39. Blaise Matuidi (Paris St. Germain and France)
  40. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool and England)
  41. Robin van Persie (Manchester United and The Netherlands)
  42. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United and England)
  43. Carlos Tevez (Juventus and Argentina)
  44. Marco Verratti (Paris St. Germain and Italy)
  45. Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea and Serbia)
  46. David De Gea (Manchester United and Spain)
  47. Mario Mandzukic (Atletico Madrid and Croatia)
  48. Arda Turan (Atletico Madrid and Turkey)
  49. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France)
  50. David Alaba (Bayern Munich and Austria)

 

2013

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal)
  2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
  3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St. Germain and Sweden)
  4. Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich and France)
  5. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain)
  6. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid and Wales)
  7. Luis Suarez (Liverpool and Uruguay)
  8. Neymar (Barcelona and Brazil)
  9. Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco and Colombia)
  10. Robin van Persie (Manchester United and The Netherlands)
  11. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  12. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich and The Netherlands)
  13. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City and Argentina)
  14. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  15. Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund and Poland)
  16. Andrew Pirlo (Juventus and Italy)
  17. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)
  18. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona and Spain)
  19. Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona and Spain)
  20. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal and Germany)
  21. Arturo Vidal (Juventus and Germany)
  22. Edinson Cavani (Paris St. Germain and Uruguay)
  23. Juan Mata (Chelsea and Spain)
  24. Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Côte d’Ivoire)
  25. Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid and Spain)
  26. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  27. Thiago Silva (Paris St. Germain and Brazil)
  28. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United and England)
  29. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  30. Isco (Real Madrid and Spain)
  31. David Alaba (Bayern Munich and Austria)
  32. Paul Pogba (Juventus and France)
  33. Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona and Spain)
  34. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City and Belgium)
  35. Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  36. Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  37. Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  38. Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)
  39. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus and Italy)
  40. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool and England)
  41. Gerard Pique (Barcelona and Spain)
  42. Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid and Belgium)
  43. David Silva (Manchester City and Spain)
  44. Michael Carrick (Manchester United and England)
  45. Luka Modric (Croatia and Real Madrid)
  46. Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid and Spain)
  47. Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus and Italy)
  48. Oscar (Chelsea and Brazil)
  49. Kevin Strootman (AS Roma and The Netherlands)
  50. Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)

 

2012

  1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal)
  3. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain)
  4. Robin van Persie (Manchester United and The Netherlands)
  5. Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid and Colombia)
  6. Andrea Pirlo (Juventus and Italy)
  7. Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona and Spain)
  8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St. Germain and Sweden)
  9. Edinson Cavani (Napoli and Uruguay)
  10. Neymar (Santos and Brazil)
  11. Luis Suarez (Liverpool and Uruguay)
  12. Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Côte d’Ivoire)
  13. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City and Belgium)
  14. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City and Argentina)
  15. Juan Mata (Chelsea and Spain)
  16. Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid and Germany)
  17. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona and Spain)
  18. David Silva (Manchester City and Spain)
  19. Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid and Spain)
  20. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid and Spain)
  21. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur and Wales)
  22. Didier Drogba (Galatasary and Côte d’Ivoire)
  23. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain)
  24. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)
  25. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus and Italy)
  26. Arturo Vidal (Juventus and Chile)
  27. Jordi Alba (Barcelona and Spain)
  28. Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus and Italy)
  29. Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)
  30. Thiago Silva (Paris St. Germain and Brazil)
  31. Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund and Poland)
  32. Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona and Spain)
  33. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  34. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  35. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United and England)
  36. Ashley Cole (Chelsea and England)
  37. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  38. Danielle De Rossi (AS Roma and Italy)
  39. Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)
  40. Gerard Pique (Barcelona and Spain)
  41. Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich and France)
  42. Petr Cech (Chelsea and Czech Republic)
  43. Joe Hart (Manchester City and England)
  44. Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium)
  45. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  46. Stephen El Shaarawy (AC Milan and Italy)
  47. Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  48. David Luiz (Chelsea and Brazil)
  49. Klass Jan Huntelaar (Schalke and Germany)
  50. Joao Moutinho (FC Porto and Portugal)

 

2011

  1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal)
  3. Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona and Spain)
  4. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain)
  5. Robin van Persie (Arsenal and The Netherlands)
  6. David Silva (Manchester City and Spain)
  7. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United and England)
  8. Gerard Pique (Barcelona and Spain)
  9. Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona and Spain)
  10. Edinson Cavani (Napoli and Uruguay)
  11. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City and Argentina)
  12. Neymar (Santos and Brazil)
  13. Luis Suarez (Liverpool and Uruguay)
  14. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  15. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan and Sweden)
  16. Dani Alves (Barcelona and Brazil)
  17. Thiago Silva (AC Milan and Brazil)
  18. Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid and Germany)
  19. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City and Belgium)
  20. Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United and Serbia)
  21. Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid and Spain)
  22. Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)
  23. Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  24. Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Côte d’Ivoire)
  25. Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale and The Netherlands)
  26. Luka Modric (Tottenham Hotspur and Croatia)
  27. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid and Spain)
  28. Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid and Argentina)
  29. Eden Hazard (Lille and Belgium)
  30. David Villa (Barcelona and Spain)
  31. Antonio Di Natale (Udinese and Italy)
  32. Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco and Colombia)
  33. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  34. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona and Spain)
  35. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur and Wales)
  36. Victor Valdes (Barcelona and Spain)
  37. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and France)
  38. Nani (Manchester United and Portugal)
  39. Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona and Chile)
  40. Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid and Argentina)
  41. Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)
  42. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich and The Netherlands)
  43. Roberto Soldado (Valencia and Spain)
  44. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  45. Juan Mata (Chelsea and Spain)
  46. Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich and France)
  47. Hulk (FC Porto and Brazil)
  48. Joe Hart (Manchester City and England)
  49. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  50. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli and Argentina)

 

2010

 

  1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
  2. Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona and Spain)
  3. Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale and The Netherlands)
  4. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain)
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal)
  6. David Villa (Barcelona and Spain)
  7. Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid and Uruguay)
  8. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  9. Gerard Pique (Barcelona and Spain)
  10. Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid and Germany)
  11. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich and The Netherlands)
  12. Samuel Eto’o (Internazionale and Cameroon)
  13. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid and Spain)
  14. Diego Milito (Internazionale and Argentina)
  15. Carlos Tevez (Manchester City and Argentina)
  16. Lucio (Internazionale and Brazil)
  17. Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Côte d’Ivoire)
  18. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  19. Dani Alves (Barcelona and Brazil)
  20. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur and Wales)
  21. Carles Puyol (Barcelona and Spain)
  22. Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid and Spain)
  23. Maicon (Internazionale and Brazil)
  24. Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United and Serbia)
  25. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich and Germany)
  26. Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid and Argentina)
  27. Samir Nasri (Arsenal and France)
  28. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan and Sweden)
  29. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona and Spain)
  30. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United and England)
  31. Julio Cesar (Internazionale and Brazil)
  32. Luis Suarez (Ajax and Uruguay)
  33. Pedro (Barcelona and Spain)
  34. Esteban Cambiasso (Internazionale and Argentina)
  35. Ashley Cole (Chelsea and England)
  36. Florent Malouda (Chelsea and France)
  37. Javier Zanetti (Internazionale and Argentina)
  38. Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur and The Netherlands)
  39. Luka Modric (Tottenham Hotspur and Croatia)
  40. Edinson Cavani (Napoli and Uruguay)
  41. Fernando Torres (Chelsea and Spain)
  42. Michael Essien (Chelsea and Ghana)
  43. Kaka (Real Madrid and Brazil)
  44. Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid and Argentina)
  45. Pepe Reina (Liverpool and Spain)
  46. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain)
  47. Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid and Argentina)
  48. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City and Bosnia)
  49. Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United and Bulgaria)
  50. Mark van Bommel (AC Milan and The Netherlands)

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