Premier League Title Winners Who Missed Out on a Medal
Being part of a title winning team does not guarantee a Premier League winner’s medal as these ten players have discovered over the years.
Remarkably, so far just six teams have won the Premier League, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Leicester City. This means that 271 players have receive winner’s medals. While this sounds like a lot, there are a number of big name players who have surprisingly never received one.
This is partly because until the 2012/13 season, a player on a winning team would only receive a medal if they had taken part in at least ten matches across the season. This was then lowered to five matches in the next season.
The league also started handing out 40 commemorative medals to the winning team and it is up to the team to distribute the medals as they see fit. This means that some players who didn’t make five games have received medals.
With all of that in mind. Here are some of the top players to play for title winning teams and not receive a medal.
Mohamed Salah – Chelsea
Many Premier League fans are under the misconception that Mohamed Salah already possesses a winner’s medal. This is down to Jose Mourinho declaring that the player would be recognised for his contributions to the team despite leaving halfway through the season when they won the title.
By the end of 2014, Salah no longer had a place on Mourinho’s side after joining them a year earlier from Basel. He was competing with the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Oscar for a first team place and was eventually sent on loan to Fiorentina in exchange for Juan Cuadrado.
Before moving to Italy, Salah had made just three league appearances, meaning that he was ineligible for a winner’s medal when Chelsea took the title. Mourinho said that he would ask the club to buy medals for players such as Salah, but it was never revealed whether this happens. Either way, Salah certainly didn’t receive an official one.
Federico Macheda – Manchester United
Federico Macheda’s first moment of fame came in April 2009 when he was thrown in the deep end by Sir Alex Ferguson and scored a late winner against Aston Villa to prevent the team’s third consecutive defeat. Just a week later he scored again, a crucial goal in a 2 – 1 victory over Sunderland.
This meant that United had consolidated their position at the top of the league and they then went on to secure the title, four points ahead of Liverpool. In many ways, the team’s title is down to those points secured by Macheda, without those wins, they could have lost the title to Liverpool. Yet, Macheda didn’t receive a Premier League winner’s medal having made just four appearances. To add insult to injury, the team decided against requesting a special dispensation for him.
Nathan Ake – Chelsea
The summer transfer window always produces some curious decisions and 2017 was no exception. Chelsea recalled Nathan Ake from his successful loan period at Bournemouth and then barely used him for the next six months.
Upon his return, Chelsea were headed for the title under Antonio Conte. The team climbed to the top of the table and stayed there until the end of the season. However, during this time, Ake barely had a look in and once they had secured the league, he was used even less. As a result, he didn’t hit the five-appearance mark and received no medal. The next summer he returned to Bournemouth on a permanent deal.
Ben Foster – Manchester United
The early rule insisting on a ten-game minimum in order to receive a winner’s medal meant that many players missed out and Ben Foster is a prime example. Sir Alex Ferguson had brought Foster to Old Trafford after seeing him play for Wrexham while he was out on loan from Stoke City.
Foster signed a deal with Manchester United in 2005 before spending two years out on loan and then returned to play as backup to Edwin van der Sar in 2007. Manchester United then won the league in both 2008 and 2009, but Foster missed out on a medal in both years having failed to play in ten matches.
Since then the rules have been changed, primarily in order to recognise players such as Foster and this is why players such as Claudio Bravo and Asmir Begovic have medals despite not hitting the 10-game mark. However, this will be of little consolation to Foster who is still medal-less.
Jose Bosingwa – Chelsea
It is possible to draw a number of comparisons between Jose Bosingwa and Steven Gerrard. Both of them have won medals in the UEFA Champions League but not the Premier League. However, Liverpool have never won the league while Chelsea have done so, including when Bosingwa was part of the squad.
Bosingwa arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2008 and very quickly became one of Chelsea’s main first-team players. He made an impressive 34 appearances for the team when they won the FA Cup and reached the Champions League semi-finals.
He then kept his place in the first team when Carlo Ancelotti took over at the club in 2009. However, after making eight appearances in the league he was then out of action for a year after suffering a serious injury and therefore, missed out on a Premier League winner’s medal.
Carlo Cudicini – Chelsea
Many people consider Carlo Cudicini a bit of a legend at Chelsea. While he began with some uncertainty, in 2000 he took charge of the goal and was then voted the club’s Player of the Year in the 2001/02 season.
Cudicini kept his place protecting the goal for Chelsea until 2004 and in 2003, he was recognised with the Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year award. However, when Jose Mourinho took over in 2003, the club brought in Petr Cech to provide competition for Cudicini, ultimately ending his dominance.
The team then went on to win the league in 2004/05 and 2005/06 with Cech as their first pick goalkeeper. Unfortunately for Cudicini, he missed out on medals in both season having played in just a total of seven games across the two.
Carlton Cole – Chelsea
For a while, Chelsea academy players were struggling to break into the first team. Many tried and failed and Carlton Cole can be counted among them.
While Cole is best known for his time at West Ham United, he is in fact a Chelsea academy graduate and he came very close to breaking into the first team. The former England player made thirteen appearances for Chelsea in the league in 2002/03. However, he was then sent on loan for three consecutive seasons until 2005.
Upon Cole’s return to Stamford Bridge in 2005, Chelsea were the titleholders and Jose Mourinho was in charge. He opted to stay for the season and came extremely close to receiving a winner’s medal. However, with nine appearances, he just missed out.
Gabriel Obertan – Manchester United
In 2009, Manchester United spent a total of £19 million on Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan. While Obertan was the cheaper of the two, at £3 million, the pair of them were expected to fill the space created by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.
While the team lost the league to Chelsea that season, they then went on an unbeaten run of 23 games between August 2010 and February 2011. United had a strong lead at the top of the table and while it wasn’t always smooth sailing, they went on to win the title.
There were high hopes for Obertan after he had suffered an injury in the previous season. However, he failed to secure a first team place and made just seven appearances throughout the season.
Scott Parker – Chelsea
Scott Parker has played for five different London clubs, Charlton, Chelsea, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Fulham, and he is currently manager at the last of these. Furthermore, during his career he has won many awards, such as the FWA Footballer of the Year and the England Player of the Year in 2011. However, he has been denied a Premier League winner’s medal.
The closest he came was during his time at Chelsea. He was part of the team that won their first Premier League title. However, Jose Mourinho regularly chose players such as Claude Makelele and Tiago over Parker and when Chelsea took the title, he had made just four league appearances that season.
Andrej Kramaric – Leicester City
When Leicester City shocked the world and won the title in 2015/16, it was a true team effort. However, there were a number of players that stood out but still missed out on the winner’s medal.
Andrej Kramaric was one of them. The Croatian striker had chosen Leicester City over Chelsea in January 2015 but he did not manage to dislodge Jamie Vardy and take his place in the starting eleven. He stayed at the club for just one year during which he made two appearances before leaving for Hoffenheim. While Leicester City won the league, Kramaric was not amongst those to receive a medal.