The Premier League’s ‘100 club’. An exclusive list of top flight stars to have reached a century of goals at the highest level of English football, their achievements celebrated with countless replays of goal upon goal as Sky Sports pay tribute to the greats.
Tune in on any given day and you’re likely to see the likes of Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Wayne Rooney regularly immortalised, but what about the Premier League’s nearly men who fell just short of that magical mark?
Here are five of the best players to narrowly miss out on Sky Sports’ Premier League ‘100 club’:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 91 goals
The current Manchester United manager would once be amongst the finest finishers in the Premier League, the Norwegian an important member of six title-winning teams as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side dominated English football throughout the nineties and 2000’s.
Solskjaer would develop a reputation as a ‘super-sub’ for his ability to score when coming off the substitutes’ bench, including a devastating four-goal haul when introduced with just 18 minutes remaining against Nottingham Forest in 1999.
None of his goals would be more crucial than his stoppage-time winner in that year’s Champions League final, however, Solskjaer crowning United champions of Europe to seal the club’s famed treble-winning campaign and his own place in Red Devils’ folklore.
The forward would score 126 goals in all competitions during a decade spent at Old Trafford, with 91 of those goals coming in league action – “The baby-faced Assassin” missing out on the Premier League’s ‘100 club’ by just nine top-flight goals.
Mark Viduka – 92 goals
The burly Australian would arrive in the Premier League from Celtic to lead the line for an exciting Leeds side under David O’Leary, scoring prolifically during a four-year spell at Elland Road that included a run to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Forming impressive partnerships with the likes of Alan Smith and compatriot Harry Kewell, Viduka hit 72 goals in just 166 appearances for Leeds before the club’s well-documented financial meltdown led to his departure.
The forward would leave for Middlesbrough and help the club to the 2006 UEFA Cup final, once again providing a regular source of goals before a brief, disappointing spell at North East rivals Newcastle.
An unsung and underrated presence in England’s top flight, Viduka’s retired having scored 92 Premier League goals – the highlight undoubtedly a four-goal haul during a thrilling 4-3 win for Leeds against Liverpool in an all-time Premier League classic.
Ruud van Nistelrooy – 95 goals
Perhaps the most notable absentee from the Premier League’s ‘100 club’, Van Nistelrooy is one of the greatest goalscorers the division has ever witnessed.
The Dutchman would arrive at Manchester United in a British-record transfer from PSV Eindhoven after seeing his initial move delayed by a knee injury, though the forward would waste no time in making an impact, scoring prolifically for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
The penalty-box predator would score 150 goals in all competitions during a five-year spell at Old Trafford, being named as the PFA Player of the Year in 2001/02 and as the Premier League’s Player of the Season the following campaign as the Red Devils won the title.
Winner of the Golden Boot in that latter season, Van Nistelrooy would also finish as the Champions League’s top scorer on three occasions in a United shirt, leaving for Real Madrid in 2006 having scored 95 Premier League goals in just 150 appearances.
Dimitar Berbatov – 94 goals
The Bulgarian would produce many moments of magic during a memorable Premier League career, his effortless brilliance and often nonchalant style drawing admirers during spells at Tottenham, Manchester United and Fulham.
Berbatov would win two Premier League titles during nine-season stay in English football, winning the Golden Boot following a 20-goal haul as United claimed the championship in 2011.
The elegant forward would also be named in the PFA Team of the Year on two occasions, scoring 94 Premier League goals throughout a career that saw him compile an unforgettable highlight reel.
Emmanuel Adebayor – 97 goals
One of the most controversial characters in Premier League history, it can be easy to forget Adebayor’s talents following a storied career in English football’s top flight.
The Togolese forward would arrive at Arsenal as a relative unknown from Monaco, but after a period of adaptation would begin to score regularly under Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, being named as African Footballer of the Year in 2007.
Adebayor scored 46 league goals for the Gunners before joining Manchester City in a controversial big-money deal, enduring a mixed spell at the Etihad before returning to the capital – joining Arsenal’s north London rivals Spurs.
The forward’s arrival at Tottenham would coincide with a renaissance as he scored 35 goals in 92 appearances, adding a solitary strike to his collection during a brief spell at Crystal Palace to finish his Premier League career with 97 goals – just three short of the fabled century.