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How Were These Top Players Ever Relegated From The Premier League?

Relegation is for chumps, right? Only proven losers and journeyman pros ever drop into the lower reaches of the football league structure.

Wrong. As our helpful little list below will show you, some of the most decorated players in the history of the game have been relegated from the Premier League. We have Champions League victors, Ballon d’Or winners, La Liga winners, Olympic Gold medalists and multiple-time Premier League champions.

How many of these great players did you know had been relegated from the Barclays Premier League?

Michel Salgado

Salgado was at Real Madrid for ten glorious seasons, winning La Liga on four occasions and the Champions League twice. He then, inexplicably, signed for Blackburn Rovers, where he spent three seasons until the Lancashire side were relegated from the Premier League in 2012. Salgado duly retired from the game.

Rio Ferdinand

rio ferdinand

(Photo | @lordprotocol / Twitter)

81 caps for England, countless Premier League and European titles at Manchester United and at two points in his career the most expensive British footballer in history, Rio Ferdinand now has relegation to add to his list of achievements.

We’re quite sure, however, that Rio has far weightier thoughts on his mind right now, and we wish him the very best.

Michael Carrick

michael carrick

(Photo | @AhmedHamedrvp / Twitter)

While Michael Carrick may today be the invisible hand that makes Manchester United tick, 11 years ago he was dumped out of the Premier League with West Ham United, arguably one of the finest collections of talent to ever be relegated.

Nwankwo Kanu


(Photo: | @waatpies / Twitter)

The gangly Nigerian forward’s career has included spells at some of Europe’s most illustrious clubs, such as Ajax, Inter and Arsenal, picking up a Champions League medal, a UEFA Cup medal, two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and three Eredivisie titles. He’s also got an Olympic Gold tucked away somewhere.

Unfortunately for Kanu, he also ended up at West  Brom and Portsmouth, where he was relegated in 2006 and 2010 respectively.

Roy Keane

roy keane zidane giggs

(Photo: @scenesfromrome | Twitter)

Manchester United’s midfield enforcer captained the Red Devils to seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League.

But before all the silverware started flowing at Old Trafford, however, Keane was relegated in the Premier League’s first season, with Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.

Michael Owen

The man who was named the Best Young Player at the 1998 World Cup and Ballon d’Or winner in 2001 has also suffered the ignominy of relegation, at Newcastle in 2012. Owen's agents produced a glossy pamphlet highlighting his many qualities and feats, and hawked him around to any club with two pennies to rub together. In the end, Sir Alex Ferguson signed Owen on a pay-as-you-play basis. 

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