Can You Identify These Famous ’90s Premier League Footballers?

SPORTS

Zoe Samuel

7 Min Quiz

Image: Wikicommons by Gordon Flood

About This Quiz

Premiership football has long been the home of some of the best players in the world, with members of the League often fielding teams that contain international stars from multiple countries, and that's just for regular games! This is because England is the home of football, and as such, the professional game there is one of the oldest in the world. This means that franchises have had time to build up fan bases all over the world. It's also a part of the legacy of empire, where football itself and the English language were exported across the globe just in time to make it particularly easy for talented players throughout the world to come to this sceptred isle to make their fortunes.

However, Premiership players were not particularly well-paid until the advent of universal colour television in people's homes, and even then, they were only paid commensurately with an accountant. However, in 1979 large salaries came into play with the £1,000,000 transfer of Trevor Francis to Nottingham Forest. This sort of money only grew, and as endorsements swelled to match it, footballers turned into stars. By the '90s, it was normal for a Premier League player to pull down £10,000 a week.

That means that this is the first decade in which there are truly dozens of extremely memorable players who were able to become household names. Of course, not all of them lasted a long time, and some have been largely forgotten. How well do you remember them?

Who is this former scion of Newcastle?

Alan Shearer was a Newcastle player who is now a beloved pundit noted for his insightful commentary. He was the England captain for a while and was noted for his level head and good tactical mind.

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What gorgeous, squeaky-voiced midfielder is this?

He's married to a Spice Girl turned successful fashion designer, he looks like a Greek deity, and he somehow has the voice of a cartoon character. David Beckham would be an interesting figure even if he were not also a uniquely talented footballer whose corner kicks were the stuff of legend.

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This player was England's captain and loves Walker's Crisps. Who is he?

Gary Lineker mostly played for Tottenham, where he was unusually level-headed and known as just an all-round nice guy. This earned him a hilarious endorsement deal with Walkers' Crisps that lastest some years, in which the joke was that the nice guy was a charade, and Lineker would go around taking crisps away from sweet children and little old ladies. He is also a very successful football pundit.

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Now a manager, this player was a midfielder and a defender. What is his name?

Gareth Southgate was once the most hated man in England when he missed a crucial penalty at the 1996 European Cup. However, he recovered the love of the nation by managing the England team to successful outcomes later on!

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This English international spent 17 years at Everton. Do you know who he is?

A Welsh international, Neville Southall was a goalie who spent his career at Everton. While he did go into football management later, most of his post-football focus was on helping out disadvantaged children.

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Who is this player, who played at Milan before the Premiership lured him away from the continent?

Patrick Vieira played for Arsenal, where he helped achieve the remarkable feat of going an entire season with no losses. He was also shockingly successful for his native France, where he was part of the 1998 World Cup-winning team, as well as the Euro 2000 title.

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This footballer became a politician in retirement. Can you name him?

George Weah played for Milan and Marseille as well as Manchester City and Chelsea. The Liberian-born player also played for his country, and some years later, he became its president!

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Can you identify this 22-year veteran of Arsenal?

Tony Adams spent his whole career at Arsenal, though he did also play for England. He was sadly prone to drinking and got into many fights, but as a player, his legacy remains untarnished, including being honoured by a statue outside Emirates Stadium.

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Who is this Frenchman, noted for his excellent head of hair?

David Ginola's luxurious locks and French charm won him not just plenty of hearts, but also plenty of endorsement deals. He played for Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Aston Villa, and also had a side job as a model.

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Can you name the famous goalie who played for the England team?

As a Premier League goalie, David James was so good that he held the record for most clean sheets (i.e., when the other side is unable to score). He played for England and was noted for not just his talent, but also his bleached blond hair and good looks.

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Now an assistant manager at Chelsea, who is this Italian player?

Gianfranco Zola was a flashy player who loved to try different things, usually successfully. He played in various continental teams before heading north to Chelsea. Indeed, he liked it so much there, he was later an assistant coach.

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This incredibly talented Danish goalie was briefly a quiz show host. What is his name?

Danish player Peter Schmeichel was an unusual fixture in football as he was a goalie who became a captain. He helped Manchester United take the Treble, that is, the FA Cup, the League, and the Champions' League all in the same year!

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You still see this player offering commentary on "Match of the Day." Who is he?

Ian Wright played for Crystal Palace and Arsenal and won the League with the latter. He is now a weekly fixture in people's homes as a pundit, but both of his sons are professional footballers. Talent is clearly a family affair at the Wright house!

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A million teen girls became interested in football just to watch this man. What is his name?

Ryan Giggs was a Manchester United player whose good looks were a leading reason that people who didn't care about football would choose that team as their favourite if pressed. He was as talented as he was handsome, taking home 13 League titles and four FA Cup titles.

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Do you remember the name of this player, who is noted for his fiery temperament, to put it mildly?

Irish international Roy Keane was noted for being the fighting type. He got into trouble, but his club stuck by him, and he took home an astonishing 17 titles throughout his career, most of them at Manchester United.

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Who is this Welsh international player whose professional career took place mostly at Everton?

Barry Horne is widely credited as having saved Everton from relegation. He also went on to become a successful pundit. Rather unusually for a Premiership player, he has a first-class degree in chemistry!

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What lifelong Manchester United player is depicted here?

Paul Scholes won 11 Premiership titles as a Manchester United player and was the team's third-highest scorer. He made 600 appearances for the club and moved directly from being a player to being a coach there.

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Who is this Dutchman who later went into management at Ajax?

Dennis Bergkamp came to England and then stuck around, in part because he was so scared of flying that living in a small country where he could easily get to away games was the best option for him. As a result, Arsenal fans affectionately called him "The Non-Flying Dutchman."

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Ooh! Aah! Who's this bloke then?

Any serious list of '90s players would always put Eric Cantona in its top three. His skill was simply magical, and he was quite handsome, which — along with his delightful French accent — made him quite a heartthrob. That's why his appearances were always marked with universal chants of, "Ooh, aah, Cantona!"

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This man played for an impressive six Premiership teams. Can you remember his name?

Dwight Yorke made an enormous amount of money during his career but blew right through all of it. He and former partner, model Katie Price, both got into financial troubles, which cast a shadow over his impressive footballing legacy.

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Before there was Rio, there was this fellow, who shares his last name. Who is he?

Les Ferdinand is now the coach of Queens Park Rangers, but before that he was a talented player. Talent runs in the family, as his cousins Rio, Kane and Anton are all professional players!

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Who is this German player who later crossed the pond to manage a team?

A player who later became the coach for the U.S. national team, Jürgen Klinsmann was noted for his self-deprecation and sense of humour. He played in Germany and Italy but spent his time in England with Tottenham Hotspur.

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One major Liverpool star scored a preposterously high number of goals. Can you recall his name?

Robbie Fowler was such a prolific goal scorer that he became known as "God" by Liverpool fans. The Anfield crowd were not the only beneficiaries of his talent, either — he also scored seven goals for England.

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From a Milwall minor to the old man of the league, who is this striker?

Teddy Sheringham played for the famously aggressive Milwall but later moved to Tottenham. He was capped for England, and while he wasn't a glamourous player like some of his colleagues, he did his country proud.

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He had magical feet, but could barely get out a complete sentence. Who is he?

Michael Owen was the boy next door who captured England's heart. He had truly magical football skills and could get past any defender. However, his career as a pundit was shortlived when it became apparent that all his brainpower was in his feet.

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Who is this player who holds a record as the League's third-highest goal scorer?

Andy Cole's father was a Jamaican immigrant turned coal miner, whose son rose to the heights of the game of football. Cole's glory days involved Newcastle United and later Manchester United, where he often pulled off feats like scoring 12 goals in 12 games.

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One of the greatest Irish players of all time, who is this player?

Paul McGrath played for Aston Villa and Manchester United for most of his career. He was an Irish international and unusually for a defender, he won the PFA Players' Player of the Year Award, which is given by players to their peers.

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He was tough as nails, and turned that persona into a successful acting career. Who is he?

Vinnie Jones was of a sufficiently erratic temperament to be known as part of the Crazy Gang at Wimbledon. He regularly got into shoving matches, but he mellowed out when he left football and went into acting. He still leveraged his hard man image and became a successful actor, appearing in several big movies and shows.

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Another future manager, who is this controversial player?

Paolo Di Canio was a successful player for West Ham, but his career was blighted by his violence and aggression, including a ban for pushing a referee. Indeed, he also raised eyebrows when he declared himself in favour of fascism, which did not win him any friends in England!

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He stuck with his team through a relegation. What's his name?

Roland Nilsson is beloved as his team of Sheffield Wednesday for not jumping ship through their relegation. He is mostly noted for his appearances for his native Sweden, however.

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This player loved Yorkshire puddings nearly as much as Yorkshire itself. Can you name him?

Tony Yeboah is a hotel magnate in his native Ghana these days, but he spent some years circling Europe, including stints with several German teams. He played for Leeds United for two seasons.

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One hothead started and ended the decade in the Premiership. Who is he?

Paul Gascoigne achieved the first £2,000,000 transfer in the late '80s. He was exceptionally talented but often got in trouble for his attitude. "Gazza" was a household name before footballers typically achieved that level of fame, and his fans often copied his hairstyles, however unusual they were.

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Who is this Dutchman who played all over Europe before he made it to Chelsea?

Ruud Gullit led Chelsea to an FA Cup win, making him beloved in the London club. Before that he went all over Europe, playing very successfully for Milan and also for PSV and other clubs.

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Who is this Scotland international who played for four Premiership teams?

Gary McAllister is a Scotsman who played for Leicester and Leeds, and even ended up becoming the manager at Leeds. He was also a Scottish international and captain for four years.

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Can you name this extremely dedicated Southampton man?

Francis Benali spent most of his career with Southampton, and despite several hundred Premiership appearances, he only scored one goal. However, since he was a defender, he wasn't really trying to score most of the time, so he is fondly remembered by his home team.

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This player, who turned fans against himself by moving from one team to its local rival, needs to be identified. Can you do it?

Sol Campbell initially played at Tottenham Hotspurs but upset some fans when he switched to arch-nemesis Arsenal. Campbell's career was blighted by institutional racism within football, where he was passed over for a less experienced colleague. He has since fought to change the game by speaking out on the subject.

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A Liverpool man ended up at Real Madrid. What is his name?

Steve McManaman was rather unprepossessing and never enjoyed the celebrity of some of his England teammates, but he was a stupendously talented player all the same. He was lured to Real Madrid for a truly massive amount of money, where he became known as one of England's most successful football exports.

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Was he a sailor or a footballer? Who is this goalie?

A truly talented goalie who was beloved for his work for England, David Seaman's leading successes came during his time for Arsenal. He was a leftie, which made him a little more able to find a rival team's weaknesses and exploit them.

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One of the most reliable penalty kickers of all time, who is this Southampton man?

Southampton's second-highest ever scorer, Matt Le Tissier, is known as "Le God" by locals due to his unwillingness to leave his home team. He was a midfielder from Guernsey, which meant he never had much in the way of an international career as the small island was unable to compete against bigger nations.

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Who is this four-time winner of the Golden Boot?

Thierry Henry scored a preposterous number of goals for Arsenal, playing at the club in its glory days under Arsene Wenger. He also had a huge amount of successful endorsements thanks to his French accent, good English, and very good looks!

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