For many footballers, crossing the border from England to Scotland, and vice versa, is a common move. While there’s often arguments that the English Premier League is more competitive, for the names on this list, they’ve found success either side of the border. Winning titles at any level is always something to celebrate. With the 2020-21 season in full swing, let’s take a look back at some of these multi-title-winning champions!
1. Virgil Van Dijk
We start with the man who has most recently won a title. Van Dijk has been absolutely solid at the back for Liverpool, since signing from Southampton in January 2018, and is the reason why the Anfield club are often so highly thought of in Premier League odds. Van Dijk was instrumental to the Reds’ success last campaign, starting and playing every minute of domestic football. He spent two seasons at Celtic Park, in which he was a two-time Scottish Premiership winner, also winning the Scottish League Cup in 2014-15. And it was after the Bhoys got knocked out of the Champions League at the qualifying stage, that Van Dijk crossed the border, joining Southampton.
2. Kolo Touré
Next up, we have Touré – who won three titles with three different clubs. The Ivorian centre-back won his first ever silverware while at Arsenal, and in his second season, won the Premier League. He was, of course, famously part of the ‘Invincibles’ squad of 2003-04, in which the Gunners went 49-games unbeaten. He then joined Manchester City in 2009 and was instrumental in turning them into a top-six side – winning his second Premier League title in 2011-12. Touré crossed the border in 2016, reuniting with his former boss at Liverpool, Brendan Rogers, and joining Celtic on a one-year deal. During this time, he won the treble: SPL, Scottish Cup and League Cup.
3. Roy Keane
We couldn’t have this list and not include the Irish hardman. Keane won seven league titles at Manchester United, as well as three consecutively between 1998-99 and 2000-01. He is the joint-most successful Irish footballer of all time, having won 19 major trophies, 17 of which, he won at Old Trafford. The other two came when he crossed the border and joined Celtic. The 2005-06 season saw him complete the double of Scottish Premier League and League Cup – ending his career on a high, as he was forced to retire through injury. Keane is regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation.
4. Jiří Jarošík
Jarošík was no stranger to silverware, prior to joining Chelsea. The Czech defender/midfielder won six league titles in seven years with Sparta Prague, also winning the Russia League with CSKA Moscow. While he was only at Chelsea for two seasons, and one of those on loan at Birmingham City, he still racked up enough appearances (14) for a winners’ medal, as the west Londoners won the Premier League title in 2004-05. From there, he joined Celtic and won the Scottish Premier League title in his debut season. Sadly, competition for places meant that he didn’t see out his three-year deal – and it turned out to be the final silverware Jarošík would win.
5. Henrik Larsson
Now we end with a controversial one here, as some sources say that Larsson never received a Premier League medal, during his loan spelt at Manchester United. But the Swede was a fan favourite at Celtic Park, and it’s not surprising, when in his debut season, Larsson was pivotal in preventing Rangers winning a tenth league title in a row. During his time in the green side of Glasgow, he won four league titles, as well as an additional four domestic trophies – and on an individual level, was top goal scorer for five out of six seasons. He arrived at Old Trafford on loan from Helsingborg, and scored once in seven Premier League appearances. The Red Devils went on to win the league title two months after Larsson departed, and although he had not played the required quota of league games to qualify for a Premier League winners’ medal, he was granted dispensation. Although, like we say, he claims he never received a medal.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.