Top Ten Arsenal players with the most caps for their countries (A few surprises)

As is traditional during the international break I have written a list. As we increasingly learn who will be going to Germany for the Euros, here is a top 10 list of Gunners with the most caps. (Need to have played for us in the League. Loan signings don’t count …. sorry Kim Kallstrom!)

This list might surprise you …….

10 Kolo Toure – Ivory Coast – 120

One of 8 players to win the Prem with two different clubs.

No African player has made more appearances in the English topflight then the ‘ Invincible.’

Was part of his nation’s Golden Generation who at the time was weighed down by expectations.

Finally got his hands on the African Cup of Nations in 2015.

Played at three World Cups.


9- Mart Poom – Estonia -120

Only played once in the League for us but Poom was one of the best third choice keepers you could have.

For over a decade had been a great goalie for Derby then Sunderland.

Earnt the right to essentially be paid for being a body in training, knowing he would never play.

Transitioned into a coaching role.

Since retirement has been GK coach for his nation


8- Thierry Henry – France – 123

As Henry loves to re tell, he was brought in as a winger who had won the World Cup at France 98. Therefore, he couldn’t understand when Mr Wenger wanted to turn him into a striker, especially when he started life at Highbury with a goal drought.

It would go down as one of the best tactical decisions in our history, a moment that would change Henry’s life.

The Frenchman changed what a forward could be. Not a natural poacher – he would start on the left and cut inside.

Not just scored lots but assisted as well.

No player has scored more times for the Gunners and for 5 years that was the case for Les Bleus.

He also lifted Euro 2000, 2 Prems, 3 FA Cups, The Champions League, La Liga and stole our hearts.


7- Cech – Czech Republic – 124

It’s largely accepted that we didn’t get the Chelsea version of Cech in North London.

Age seemed to be catching up with him as he was slow to get down to stop shots, and in his late thirties, he was too old to learn what Emery wanted to teach him.

By the time he moved across the Capital had been to a World Cup and three European Championships.

Went to Euro 2016 as a Gunner.


6- Ospina – Colombia 127

Currently the captain of Colombia.

4 years as essentially our ‘cup keeper’ gave him enough game time to remain his nation’s first choice, playing at two World Cups which included facing England in a penalty shootout.


5- Giroud – France – 128

Continues to make a living out of proving people wrong.

It’s been 5 years since he left us with little fanfare, most Gooners content that his exit facilitated room for Aubameyang.

Yet the Frenchman would get the last laugh, adding a World Cup, Champions League, Europa League and Serie A to his CV.

In Qatar he became his nation’s highest ever goal scorer.

I know the same readers who would mock the striker for winning three FA Cups with us yet will praise Eddie Nketiah.

At 37 I would still have him at the Emirates, a plan B we simply do not have.


4 – Podolski – Germany – 130

One of those rare examples of a player who was more consistent on the international stage then at club level.

By the time we bought him, he had been named best young player at the 2006 World Cup, in the Euro 2008 best 11 while scoring and assisting at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

In that time transitioned out onto the left, timing when to step into the middle.

His record shows not a great goal scorer, but scorer of great goals, with his left foot one of the most powerful in the business.

In a short stay in the Capital of England immersed himself with Arsenal’s culture and history becoming popular with Gooners as a result.

Had a personality where I think if he stayed, could have carried on helping our young dressing room if he had stayed longer.

After 2014 our squad famously contained three World Cup Winners


3 – Joel Campbell – Costa Rica – 133 caps

Unique situation of scoring in the World Cup and Champions League while still yet to make his League debut for parent club.

We loaned him out an incredible 7 times although the first few were due to a failure to obtain a work permit.

He finally seemed to have Mr Wenger’s trust in the 2015-16 season featuring 19 times in the Prem.

When he again found himself on the sidelines his patience ran out and this time it was him asking for a move.

His tour of Europe included 5 different countries with 6 different clubs.

Never prolific at any.


2-Sebastian Larsson – Sweden – 133 caps

Maybe not the name many Gooners were expecting as only played three times in the League for us as a makeshift left back.

Yet Arsenal should be proud of developing a talent who would represent his nation 133 times The Swede moved to England at the age of 16, going from boy to man in North London.

We had an unofficial working relationship with Birmingham where we would loan them our youngsters as part of a player’s development.

Larsson didn’t have the patience though to wait for first team football so a move to Saint Andrews was made permanent.

This was the era we were paying off stadium debt, which meant Mr Wenger would give youth a chance and in hindsight if Flamini and Denilson got in our squad why not Larsson.

His only medal in the UK ironically came against us, getting an assist in the League Cup Final.

He would play 363 times In the Prem earning a reputation as a set piece specialist.

Ended his career back in his homeland winning his only League title.

He’s featured at one World Cup and 4 Euros, the latest as captain of Sweden.


1- Alexis Sanchez -Chile – 159 caps

You could make an argument he’s the best Chilean of all time.

No player has scored more times for his country while captaining his country to their only two trophies, consecutive Copa Americas.

Could have made a legacy for himself in North London but refused to extend his contract.

You could argue that his career never recovered from moving to Manchester United.


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    1. Are you referring to Giroud? If yes I’d hardly call Havertz his replacement or even mention them in the same sentence when it comes to winning headers (that actually go to team mates) or first touch, beautiful assists or scoring ability.

      1. Wait until Havertz starts to click with his new teammates

        Odegaard wasn’t as impressive as he is now in his loan period and Xhaka took six years before he became a very good midfielder for Arsenal

        1. With all due respect Giroud was always a number 9, Kai has never been that, they don’t even share much in the way of footballing attributes, just some physical ones – but even then Giroud had muscle density that Kai simply won’t develop without completely reinventing himself. This idea that Havertz will somehow magically turn into a Giroud-like striker by just understanding his team-mates is more fantasy than anything. Look at the German when he was at his height in the Bundesliga, he was a nippy AM who arrived late into the box and used his surprising pace and pressure to latch onto quick passes and confuse defenders, absolutely nothing like Giroud who was used to hold the ball up and bully defenders. If the hope is that Kai will adapt his game to be like that, then thats a huge ask, especially as he’s at an age now where redevelopment is a lot less likely, and he’ll know himself it’d be a massive career gamble. I know you’ve mentioned before about Havertz playing well in the Community Shield as a 9, where the opposition didn’t know what to expect, but it was hardly a world-class performance, and whenever he’s been pushed up front since he’s looked lost, timid and to be quite frank, utterly uninterested. I’d actually sooner take a leaf from Germany’s usage of him and play him as an inverted LB and let Zinchenko take the left AM role for the time being – at least that works towards his skillset more.

          Also (not you GAI, just Arsenal fans in general), can we all please stop acting like Giroud was done dirty by the club? Yes, he grew to be important to our team, and his country, but the guy had issues both on and off the pitch. When Giroud was our main man we desperately needed an alternative plan, as many teams knew his limitations and could phase him out of games. The first time the club hinted that it’d be wise to find another striker in a different mould for understandable tactical reasons, Giroud completely through his toys out of the pram, suggesting he may have to leave etc. So we put our faith in him (maybe even gave him a new contract – I think, can’t recall entirely), and let the Jan window close without bringing in reinforcements up front. Two weeks later it turns out he had an affair then couldn’t play because his ‘head wasn’t in it’ and then misfired for the rest of the season when he returned. He also wasted no time in disrespecting the club after he left. Honestly, though a player of his mould would be a great addition right now, Giroud’s personality/ego and footballing limitations should keep him well away from conversations of ‘the best players that got away’.

        2. “Wait….”? Until when? Til the cows come home? Til kingdom come? Till we are miles behind City in the title challenge?
          You wait if you like; realists among us know HAVERTZ is a massively expensive flop and should NEVER have been bought!

            1. Completely wasted on me NY, AS i cant stand silly, pointless impossible to understand emojois, which are for little kids even though “kids” of all ages and I HAVE NEVER EVER USED A SINGLE ONE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE AND DONT INTEND TO EITHER.
              Nor have I any intention of checking out what they are supposed to mean

              So if you want to either insult me or compliment me- as I HAVE NO IDEA WHICH YOU INTENDED – try words.

              After all, it would be shame to write “jus sayin”,( both words being incomplete, unsurprisingly as you are from USA) with your message still unknown.

        3. It seems at times we are the only ones who think this way. Havertz WILL be an Arsenal legend. A rare combination of size and elegance and has demonstrated a combative side, going into tackles and openly laughing in his opponents face when they berate him for it. Xhaka would be proud of him.

          I predict he will follow a similar path to that of RvP. He might not reach the scoring prowess of RvP but will be the focal point of our attack for the next 5+ years, probably as false 9.

      1. I think maybe he’s referring to Giroud which in my opinion is a completely stupid definition of him and I wish he still played for us and who is still knocking the goals in for Milan and also France, their all time top scorer. Lamp post? Get reall!

      2. DAVID Giroud was unkindly known to many Gooners as the lamp post, as he was tall , shone in the air and was also rather static and slow.

        A decent career here and huge many caps for France but in NO REALISTIC use of the word could he ever be said to be a “great”!

    2. 73 goals in 180 appearances isn’t too shabby and also his assists!
      That’s of course if you are talking about L’Oréal, as he was affectionately known?

      1. A world cup winner as well GB, but not good enough to play for England?!?!
        Having watched England struggle against North Macedonia last night, I would suggest he’s more than pleased he’s a French man!!

  1. To say I am gobsmacked at DANS list -and his dedicate research too, btw – would be a massive understatemwnrt . But what it shows so starkly and graphically is that COMPARED TO ENGLAND CAPS, A LOT OF EXTREMELY ORDINARY PLAYERS play alot of game for very moderate national teams . Henry, Cech, Sanchez and just possible Kolo too, I would exclude from that line.

    I wonder how many caps Giroud would have got had he been English? I reckon none at all!

    1. So he wouldn’t get into the England squad but was a starter in the French team that won the World Cup? Right…..

        1. Considering that players such as Boothroyd, Zamora and Carlton Cole managed to get capped by England during his career you don’t believe that world-Cup-winner Giroud would get a single cap ahead of any of them?

          1. I dont wish to be rude and you are, I believe, fairly new to JA.
            I have been on here for most of the decade or more it has been ruunning. On the rare occasions I change my view, I come out and say so and also why.

            I will NOT be saying so in this case, as Giroud is NOT ENGLAND CLASS.

            He is far too slow, too static and has not the mobility a top team needs. He would not be in against KANE ROONEY, or any other England striker of the time. So NO, I stand by what I said.

            1. I’m not new here, and it doesn’t have anything to do with it. You’ve seen the list of players who got England caps during Giroud’s career- are you seriously saying that he wouldn’t get a single cap before any of them? The question was not “is he elite level like Kane and Rooney”, rather “how many England caps would he win?”. I’d also like to point out that you asked and answered the question yourself by the way.
              I believe, that your original comment was a hyperbolic exaggeration, which is fine, except you regularly admonish others for doing the same.
              If you believe that the likes of Jay Boothroyd, Ricky Lambert, Emille Heskey, Frazier Campbell et al were better strikers than Giroud that’s fine, but I’d say you are in a miniscule minority and completely wrong.

        2. In fact, here’s a list of strikers to get an England cap in the last 15 or so years, you don’t believe Giroud would have got at least one cap in that time?:
          Carlton Cole
          Darren Bent
          Jay Rodriguez
          Frazier Campbell
          Kevin Davis
          Callum Wilson

  2. Am surprised only Henry from Arsenal big three of Sol Campbell and Vieira, made Dan top ten.

    Maybe the time is right for Arsenal to sign Dasun Vlohovic, we haven’t had a prolific goal machine since the legendary Frenchman left the club.

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