The Premier League has been home to great players both past and present who have made the most appearances in Premier League in their playing careers. Many of them have made a name for themselves before moving on to other ambitions, while others have stayed and become legends in their respective teams and clubs.
Gareth Barry holds the record for the players with the most Premier League appearances of all time with 653 games during his 22-year League career in which he represented Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton, and West Bromwich Albion.
Only 13 players in Premier League history have made more than 500 appearances. 41 players have made more than 300 appearances for a single club, with England players crowning the list.
Premier League emanates the majority of its power from the simple fact that more people want to watch it than any other league. Every Premier League game has a global audience on average. Having their club on the back pages of newspapers rather than the front, as well as the hours of TV coverage, pageantry, and excitement, all contributed to the Premier League standing as the most popular league in the world. Here’s a list of the 20 players who have made the most Premier League appearances:
20 Players Who Made The Most Appearances In Premier League
1. Gareth Barry – (653)
Gareth Barry is a former professional footballer from England who played as a midfielder. He made 653 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton, and West Bromwich Albion, the most in the league in his 22-year career, a record that has yet to be broken.
Gareth Barry made his Premier League debut in the 1997-1998 season and played for 21 years before retiring in 2018. During his time in the Premier League, Barry played for four different clubs. He began his career with Aston Villa, where he appeared in 365 games.
After leaving the club, Gareth Barry went on to play 132 games for Manchester City and 131 games for Everton before finishing his career with West Bromwich Albion where he played 52 games.
2. Ryan Giggs (632)
Ryan Giggs is the current manager of the Wales national team and a former Manchester United player. Giggs is also a co-owner of Salford City. Giggs is a one-club player, having played all of his games for Manchester United. After making his debut in the 1992-1993 season and retiring in 2014, the former Wales star made 632 appearances for the Red Devils.
During a legendary 22-year spell at Old Trafford, the winger won 13 league titles, two Champions League titles, and four FA Cups as a member of the famous Class of ’92. With 162 assists, Giggs holds the record for the most in Premier League history.
In 2009, Ryan Giggs was awarded BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In addition to numerous football honors, Giggs was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours List for his services to football.
3. Frank Lampard (604)
Frank Lampard is one of the top ten players in Premier League history to have scored 150 or more goals. With 102 assists, he ranks fourth all-time in the Premier League. On August 19, 2001, he made his Premier League debut for Chelsea.
Frank Lampard, the current manager of Everton, is third with 604 appearances. He played 429 games for Chelsea, but he began his career with West Ham, appearing in 148 games. In the latter part of his career, he also made 32 appearances for Manchester City.
With Chelsea, Frank Lampard won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, and the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, as well as being named Premier League Player of the Season in 2004/05.
4. James Milner (601)*
James Milner made his first-team debut for Leeds on 10 November 2002, when he came on as a substitute for Jason Wilcox for the final six minutes of a game against West Ham United. At 16 years and 309 days, he became the Premier League’s second-youngest player ever.
He is the only active player with the most Premier League appearances. James Milner’s ongoing importance to Klopp is demonstrated by the fact that he signed a new contract with the club in December 2019 and appeared in 82 games across all competitions in 2018-19 and 2019-20, scoring 11 times.
James Milner played 147 times for Manchester City, 100 times for Aston Villa, 94 times for Newcastle United, and 48 times for Leeds United before joining Liverpool.
5. David James (572)
David James, a retired former goalkeeper, had a long career, playing for several Premier League clubs and winning 53 caps for England, as well as representing the Three Lions at the 2010 World Cup. In 2018, he was the manager of Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League.
He also contributes to Sky Sports’ football coverage. David James has appeared in 572 Premier League games for five different clubs. He is one of only two top-ten goalkeepers. David James played for Liverpool 214 times, Portsmouth 134 times, Manchester City 93 times, Aston Villa 67 times, and West Ham 64 times.
6. Gary Speed (535)
Gary Speed, who died on 27 November 2011, made 535 Premier League appearances. He was a Welsh professional footballer and manager. As Wales manager, Gary Speed is frequently credited with being the catalyst for the national team’s turnaround and for paving the way for future success.
He held the record for the most Premier League appearances with 535 until it was broken by David James. Only James and Ryan Giggs had played in more Premier League matches than Gary Speed at the time of his death. Gary Speed was active from 1992 to 2007. The late Wales international played 213 games for Newcastle, 143 for Leeds, 121 for Bolton Wanderers, and 58 for Everton.
7. Emile Heskey (516)
Emile Heskey was a striker who appeared 516 times in the Premier League during his 18-year career. Heskey spent his Premier League career with five different clubs. He played for Liverpool 150 times, Leicester City 124 times, Aston Villa 92 times, Wigan 82 times, and Birmingham City 68 times. After winning the League Cup in 1997 and 2000, he joined Liverpool for £11 million in 2000, which was the club’s record transfer fee at the time. Emile Heskey won the FA Cup in 2001 while playing for Liverpool.
8. Mark Schwarzer (514)
Mark Schwarzer is a former professional footballer from Australia. He was a great goalkeeper, who kept 151 clean sheets in Premier League history which is 3rd most along with Petr Cech (202) & David James (169). From 1993 to 2013, he represented Australia at the international level, and he was chosen for both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in Premier League history. Mark Schwarzer appeared in 514 Premier League games. The Australian made 332 appearances for Middlesbrough, 172 for Fulham, six for Leicester City, and four for Chelsea.
9. Jamie Carragher (508)
Jamie Carragher is renowned for his nearly 17-year career as a defender for Liverpool Football Club. He was regarded as one of the best Premier League defenders of his generation, making 508 appearances and scoring three goals for the Reds. He has also won two FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League, one UEFA Cup, and two Super Cups with Liverpool. Carragher announced his retirement from football on February 7, 2013.
10. Phil Neville (505)
He is the head coach of the MLS team Inter Miami and is an English football manager and former player. He also co-owns Salford City with a number of his former Manchester United teammates. Captain Phil Neville was instrumental in keeping Arsenal at bay for extended periods. Neville was responsible for clearing half of Arsenal’s attacks on his own.
Phil Neville, Gary Neville’s brother, rounds out the top ten with 505 appearances for Manchester United (263) and Everton (242). He was a member of the Manchester United team that dominated the 1990s. Between 1994 and 2005, Phil Neville played under Sir Alex Ferguson, winning six Premier League titles, three FA Cups, and a UEFA Champions League trophy.
Top 20 Players with the most Premier League appearances
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FAQs about most appearances in the Premier League
Mohamed Salah holds the record for most goals scored in a Premier League season with 32 goals in 38 games for Liverpool in 2017/18. Alan Shearer and Andy Cole both had 34 goals in a 42-game season.
Alan Shearer holds the record for most goals in Premier League history with 260 goals, became the first player to score 100 Premier League goals in the 1995-96 season, and holds the record for the fewest games played to achieve the feat, doing so in 124 appearances.
David Beckham holds the record for the most free kick goals in Premier League with 18 goals.
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