While only a small nation of about three million people, Wales has produced a number of supremely talented footballers in its history.
The legends of 1958, like John Charles and Ivor Allchurch, made history by getting to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. They were knocked out by Pele’s first goal for Brazil in an impressive world cup performance.
To the current crop of Wales National Team players who made it the Euro Semi Final and competed at the FIFA World Cup.
Led by Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale, a number of legends came from that team and top the Wales football cap list.
Wales has not always produced hoards of World Class players. With the retirement of Gareth Bale, the future of Wales looks bleak.
However, the nation has produced a number of players to have won the Premier League. There are five Welsh football players who have won the Premier League
(Note: There are a number of Welsh players to have won the old First Division, like Ian Rush. However, this list will only mention ones who have won the league since the start of the Premier League in 1992.)
Club: Manchester United
Year: 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-00,2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13.
Despite his recent history putting a black mark on his career, no player in the history of English football is more decorated than Ryan Giggs.
Originally from Cardiff, he moved to Manchester as a child and joined the Manchester United Academy at a young age.
Making his debut for the club at aged 17, he continued to command a starting place until he was 41 when he briefly took over as manager after the sacking of David Moyes.
He started off as a lightning fast, tricky winger who wowed fans with his incredible pace and crossing ability.
He sat on the opposite wing to David Beckham as United crafted one of the greatest teams in football history, winning multiple Premier League titles and even the treble (Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League) in 1999, in impressive fashion.
He played nearly 1000 games for Manchester United en route to his unbeatable 13 Premier League titles. He has the most league wins of any player in English football and was the first Welshman to lift the Premier League trophy.
His longevity was something that is hard to beat, given that he played top-flight football for the biggest club in the world for 24 years.
He also managed to transition into midfielder later in life, elongating his career for an extra few years and a couple more titles.
Ryan Giggs is the first of the Welsh football players to win the Premier League and is the most successful player in Premier League history.
Despite being one of the all-time great Welsh football players in the Premier League, Ryan Giggs never put in the same effort for the Wales National Team.
Despite playing until he was 41 years old for Manchester United, Giggs came nowhere near topping the Wales football caps list.
His 64 caps lands him nowhere near the most-capped Wales players. That is almost half of Gareth Bale’s record 111 caps, despite Wales’ record goalscorer retiring at the age of 33.
Club: Manchester United
Year: 1992-93, 1993-94
Mark Hughes won his first Premier League title with Manchester United in his second spell with the club.
He rejoined United in 1988 after a spell in Barcelona. He signed for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side for £1.5 million pounds and soon became the main man in Manchester.
In 1992/93, Hughes scored 15 times to fire the Red Devils to the Premier League title. He formed a partnership in attack with Eric Cantona, the legendary Frenchman who had joined from Leeds earlier that year.
The former Wales manager won his second Premier League the year after, scoring a further 12 league goals. He also won the FA Cup in a trophy-laden season for the club, although they lost 3-1 in the League Cup final to Aston Villa.
He left the club in 1995 to sign for London side Chelsea, ending his spell at United with 163 goals and two Premier League titles.
He is the Welsh player with the second most Premier League titles, with two. However, is far behind his former United teammate Ryan Giggs, who won the league a record 13 times.
Mark Hughes is also a legend for the Wales national football team. He famously played a match for both Wales and Bayern Munich in the same day.
He also managed the side twice, almost qualifying for the 2004 European Championships. Mark Hughes’ Wales came agonisingly close when they lost to Russia in the play offs.
Club: Manchester United
Alongside both Ryan Giggs and Mark Hughes, Clayton Blackmore was a Welshman who won the Premier League title.
The versatile Welshman could play anywhere on the pitch for United. In the days of the shirt numbers corresponding to position, he wore every number between 2 and 11.
However, by the time 1992 came around he was suffering from injuries and had lost his place in the side. The full back lost his place in the side to Denis Irwin, who went on to become one of the clubs greatest ever left backs.
However, he played a number of games for Manchester United that season, usually coming off the bench to play either side of full-back.
He picked up a winners’ medal at the end of the 1992-1993 season, becoming the third Welshman to pick up a Premier League winner’s medal.
While he was still at the club the next season, was injured at didn’t play. Because of this, he did not win the Premier League and receive a winners’ medal. Clayton Blackmore left Manchester United in 1994 to join Middlesborough.
Blackmore achieved 39 caps for Wales, but never played in a World Cup or European Championship. This is a common theme for Welsh football players, outside the 1958 and 20222 sides.
Club: Leicester City
Andy King is the most recent Welsh player to win the Premier League. He was part of the legendary Leicester City side that beat the odds in 2016, defying the bookmakers 5000/1 odds to lift the Premier League Trophy.
He is also the first Welshman to win the title not with Manchester United! While not considered one of the best Welsh midfielders of all time, he has more Premier League titles than the like of Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale.
While he was not a starter in Claudio Ranieri’s side, he was a key part of the squad that shocked the world. Coming in when Danny Drinkwater or N’Golo Kante needed a rest, he was an invaluable asset.
Andy King started 9 Premier League matches that season, while coming on as a substitute in a further 16. He scored twice in the league during the campaign, adding a vital contribution to the team’s incredible season.
With the win in 2016, Andy King became the first player to win League 1, the Championship and The Premier League with one club. He also played for Wales during their incredible run to the Semi Finals of Euro 2016.
Neco Williams won the Premier League with Liverpool as a young player in the 2020 season.
This was the season where the league was interrupted due to COVID, so no fans were in attendance to see the Welshman lift the trophy.
Williams did not have a big part to play in the season. He only made six appearances for the reds, serving as understudy to Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Roberston at full back.
With the minimum amount of appearances needed to earn a winner’s medal being five, Neco Williams played enough to become the fifth Welshman to win the Premier League.
He left the club three years later to sign for Nottingham Forest in a big-money move.
Neco Williams was part of the Wales squad that played in the EURO 2020 and 2022 FIFA World Cup Tournament. He started every game in the World Cup as Wales crashed out in the group stage, scoring only once in a disappointing, yet historic, showing.
The former Liverpool full-back is one of the most promising Welsh football players at the moment, and the future looks bright for Neco Williams.