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8 Of The Most Overrated 'Underrated' Players Of All Time

8 Of The Most Overrated 'Underrated' Players Of All Time
By Eoin Lyons Updated

Now before you start a lynch mob for slighting one of your beloved footballing icons, let me be clear in what I mean by an 'overrated' underrated player.

An 'overrated' underrated player is one who has received so much praise and adulation for being 'underrated' that they cease to be so. That is not to say that these players are bad, far from it, more that they have received so much praise for being underrated that they are simply 'rated'.

The prime suspects when it comes to overrated underrated players are defensive midfielders, probably because of the fact that if you are compiling a list of highlights from a match, interceptions and good positional sense don't make for great viewing.

Here are eight of the most overrated underrated players of all time.

Claude Makelele

The Frenchman was so underrated he even had a position named after him. The first in a long line of 'underrated' defensive midfielders.

Roberto Firmino

The 'Underrated' flavour of the month at the moment, pundits love to wax lyrical about the Liverpool forwards' work rate and off the ball pressing, bemoaning how the Brazilian isn't more lauded. Anyone who watches Liverpool regularly will know that the player is perfectly 'rated' at the club.

Wes Hoolahan

One of the most obvious choices for this article, the tricky midfielder's skills have definitely been amplified by the dearth of talent around him and of course a certain RTÉ pundit. Not to say it wasn't a sad day when the Norwich man retired from international duty recently, but for a man that played so little it was a wonder how he was so 'underrated'.


Paul Scholes

The ginger ninja always seemed to be regarded as underrated despite the fact he basically ran the show during United's most dominant period in the Premier League. Maybe the fact he retired from the England scene quite early on in his career and big goalscoring midfielders such as Lampard and Gerrard were always grabbing the headlines, Scholes' quality was obvious to anyone who watched the midfielder closely.

Michael Carrick

Another United midfielder makes the list, Carrick has garnered the tag of midfield metronome during his nine years at Old Trafford but when he first arrived to the club for the then exorbitant fee of £14 million, the midfielder found it hard to escape his price tag. However, as he progressed with the club Carrick became a mainstay of the United midfield, then the pundits came out of the woodwork proclaiming how underrated the England man was.

Denis Irwin

The former Irish international won seven Premier League titles, one Champions League, three FA cups, one League cup and five Charity Shields. He was twice nominated in the PFA Team Of The Season, included in the PFA Team Of The Century and was inducted into the English Football Hall Of Fame in 2016. How he could be considered underrated is beyond me.


James Milner

Mr Reliable is the perennial underrated player. Underrated for England, underrated for Man City and underrated at Liverpool. Doesn't look like he's going to buck the trend before retiring.

Sergio Aguero


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