Top 5 players with the most Premier League appearances
The Premier League is widely regarded as the most prestigious domestic league across the globe owing to its glorious history and rich status. The ongoing 2022-23 edition is the 31st season of EPL as the English top-flight football league and we have witnessed the high-profile competition being home of many legendary footballers over the years.
Every young and talented aspires to reach the highest level of his game and perform at the Premier League stage to garner worldwide success. In a recent turn of events, the Liverpool phenomenon James Miller achieved an individual feat that has placed him on the third rank of all-time charts of most EPL appearances.
Hence, ‘Parimatch News‘ brings you the list of five players having the most appearances in the history of the Premier League.
5. David James (572 Appearance)
The Hertfordshire-born former English goalkeeper who was infamous by his nickname of ‘Calamity James’ is the only gloveman to make it to this list of elites. He never got the fortune to get his hands on the prestigious EPL trophy despite playing in the English top-division league for 18 straight seasons but still managed to be part of Team of the Year twice.
James was famous for his acrobatic heroics during the penalty kicks and still tops the leaderboard of most saved penalties in PL history with 13 saves at a commendable success rate of 21%. He also held the record for keeping the most number of clean sheets (169) until it was broken by the legendary Czech shot-stopper Petr Čech in December 2015.
David’s professional club career peaked while donning the red colors of Liverpool with whom he spent seven seasons and also won the 1994-95 FA Cup. An impressive seven-year stint with the Reds helped him to earn moves to several EPL outfits like Aston Villa, Manchester City, West Ham United, Portsmouth etc. James was signed by Bristol City in 2010 thus marking Portsmouth as his last Premier League destination and bringing an end to his emphatic journey.
4. Frank Lampard (609 Appearances)
Lampard is considered among the most successful midfielders in PL history and is also widely regarded as one of the greatest ever to don the Chelsea colors. The 44-year-old was a fan favorite figure during his playing days at Stamford Bridge who later coached the first team for two seasons and is also currently rumoured to return as an interim manager.
He kick-started his footballing career with West Ham United after graduating from the Hammers’ academy and earned the tag of one of the most promising talents of that time. Frank thoroughly enjoyed his stay at Stamford Bridge and played a pivotal role in their triumph of winning 4 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cup editions and solitary Champions League heroics.
Frank had to bid adieu to the London Blues in May 2014 as they opted to not extend his one-year contract forcing him to spend the rest of his career at another destination. However, the midfield maestro decided to sustain further his EPL career for another year and joined Manchester City to feature in 32 fixtures in the 2014-15 season for the Sky Blues. He bowed out of England after a solitary season with City and remained the third most appeared PL player before recently being overtaken by James Milner.
3. James Milner (610 Appearances)
The 37-year-old English hulk who is counting the final days of his professional football career is the only active player to feature in the list. Milner is a known name in the English football circuit for his versatility after having played in multiple positions such as winger, midfielder and full-back.
The Leeds-born midfield maestro attained prominence in top-division football through his Manchester City spell which turned out to be a career-defining stint for him. He played a vital role in the rise of Citizens to the top and was a crucial part of Roberto Mancini’s reign and the Manuel Pellegrini Era in the blue half of Manchester.
However, his career’s most glorifying period was still yet to come as he joined Liverpool in 2015 and lifted the 2018-19 Premier League and 2019-20 UEFA Champions League as vice-captain of the Reds. Milner achieved this remarkable feat against the familiar foes Chelsea on Wednesday where he replaced the Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez in the 79th minute of the goalless encounter.
Interestingly, James has featured in the EPL for 24 successive seasons as only 6 out of his 616 club career appearances came outside the league when he was transferred to second-division side Swansea City for a short-term loan in 2003-04. He is likely to break the seven-year tie with the Reds at the end of the season but still has the opportunity to reach the top of the chart if he is able to find another Premier League employer.
2. Ryan Giggs (632 Appearances)
The next feature in this list is the man who needs no introduction to anyone after winning almost every team honor in his illustrious career of 24 years. Giggs is the only non-English player to make it to the Top 5 of elites and is always mentioned whenever the debate of Premier League’s greatest-ever midfielder is going on.
The Cardiff-born midfielder commenced his youth career with Manchester City from 1985 to 1987 and started making headlines through his triumphant run with Salford Boys at the school-level tournaments.
His initial heroics garnered the attention of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and the Scottish gaffer made no delay in onboarding the youngster. Since then, the play-coach duo remained constant at Old Trafford and it was broken only before his final season with the Red Devils.
The Welshman is among the only few footballers around the world who spent their entire professional career in a single club and has a long list of won individual and team honors. He was part of every Manchester United roster which graced the champions’ podium of the Premier League as the most successful EPL outfit is yet to attain glory since his retirement. Giggs was on top of this list at the time of his retirement in 2014 and was dethroned three years later by our next and final feature.
1. Gareth Barry (653 Appearances)
Barry has earned his reputation of being a hard-working yet most underrated and under-appreciated player in the Premier League. He was highly praised for his defensive work rate as a holding midfielder and also got an opportunity to lead his nation in a friendly fixture against Egypt in 2010.
After spending a year at Aston Villa Academy, the English assailant was promoted to the first team in 1998 and went on to make the eighth-highest league appearances (365) for the Birmingham-based club.
The breakthrough stint with the Villains helped him to earn a high-profile move to Manchester City which bolstered their roster with big guns in the same window. Gareth spent four seasons with the Citizens and emerged as a key player in Roberto Mancini’s compact PL-winning strategy.
The departure of the Italian gaffer also forced Barry to end his stay at Manchester as he was loaned out to Everton on the transfer deadline day of September 2023. A season-long loan spell later became a permanent one for further three years donning the badge of the Toffees in 131 EPL games. Following the relegation of West Bromwich Albion from the English top division in 2018, it also marked the end of his historic record-breaking Premier League run lasting for 653 games.