The 2019/20 Premier League is close to the end and last Wednesday, at the Anfield farewell, Liverpool squad finally received the desired Cup and the champions medals. The Reds received 40 medals to be distributed among players, technical staff and directors. 23 of them are for players.
According to the Premier League rules, only players with more than five games are entitled to a medal, which means that many players and become champions but didn’t receive the desired prize. Throughout the history of the English Championship, there are a lot of examples, especially because in the first years the rules required at least 10 matches played to deserve the medal.
Gary Neville (Manchester United)
The legendary Manchester United full-back appears not once, but twice on this list. The former English national team player made his debut for Man United in the 1993/94 season, at a time when to qualify for the medal it was still necessary to play 10 games. That year, United have crowned champions, but Neville only played one game.
Later, in the 2009-10 season, with the five-game rule already in force, Neville would again fail to comply with the minimums, as an injury forced him to end his career. And he only took four matches.
Mohamed Salah (Chelsea)
In 2019/20 Mohamed Salah guaranteed his Premier League champion medal, but it was not always like that.
In 2014/15 the Egyptian star left Chelsea in the middle of the season to join Fiorentina on loan, watching from Italy the Londoners walk towards the title. Before leaving the Blues, Salah only played four matches.
At the time the Liverpool star has been replaced by Juan Cuadrado. The Colombian was a flop, but he played 14 times and received his medal.
Matic’s first days in the Premier League were disappointing. He was part of a Chelsea squad that in 2009/10 made the double, but did not convince Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian sold him to Benfica in 2011 with only two Premier League games.
The Serbian became champion in Portugal and returned to Chelsea in 2013, to finish the work. He won not one, but two medals, counting the 2015 and 2017 titles.