The best football pundits in the world

  • There are dozens of former footballers currently on the punditry circuit
  • Their influence has grown massively in recent years
  • The likes of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher are among the UK's regular pundits
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville are an entertaining double act
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville are an entertaining double act / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Football punditry is an unforgiving gig.

No matter what you say, no matter how seemingly inoffensive your opinion, someone out there will vehemently disagree with you, and you can be damn sure they will let you know with great ferocity on social media.

However, just like any other profession, some pundits stand out among their colleagues. Whether it be their tactical insight, their eloquence on the mic or their larger than life personality, there are plenty of former pros that excel on screen.

Here are the ten best pundits around right now.

10. Peter Crouch

There were signs that Peter Crouch would make a humorous and much-loved pundit. When asked during his playing days what he would have been had he not become a footballer, the lanky former Liverpool and Tottenham forward wittily replied: "A virgin!"

From that moment onwards, and with a little help from his hugely successful podcast, Crouch has become a universally adored addition to the United Kingdom's punditry cohort, making regular appearances on TNT Sports.

While his insight is generally spot on, it's his upbeat and infectious personality that sets him apart from his peers.

9. Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer is a constant on the BBC / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

If you need a grumbling Geordie to pick apart an underwhelming centre-forward or a disorganised midfield, then Alan Shearer is your man. The long-time chum of Gary Lineker on the BBC - and Micah Richards on The Rest is Football podcast - the Premier League's record goalscorer certainly has authority when it comes to his opinions.

One of the finest strikers England has ever produced, Shearer can be an insightful watch on Match of the Day every Saturday night, while his verbal sparring matches with Lineker are always a joy. Whether it be about his baldness or lack of pace in the latter stages of his career, Shearer is always up for a laugh on duty.

8. Alex Scott

Alex Scott
Alex Scott has been a trailblazer for women in football / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

In one sense, it's a shame that Alex Scott is now more regularly seen as a presenter for the BBC than a pundit. Her insight is always a breath of fresh air, often breaking up the monotony of the old boy's club.

Regardless of what a very dark and depressing corner of the internet feel, Scott is exceptional at what she does and provides excellent, in-depth analysis. Given the struggles she has faced as a woman in the industry, she has shown incredible resilience to drown out the mindless keyboard clickers.

She has inspired a generation of impressive female pundits and established herself as one of the best in the business on merit.

7. Micah Richards

With a laugh that travels from the Shetland Islands to Land's End, Micah Richards always brightens up TV screens with his bubbly personality. A natural in front of the camera, the former Manchester City defender is a delightful presence and a perfect partner for any pundit.

Found bursting out of his incredibly tight suits on Sky Sports, the BBC, CBS and anywhere else that will have him, Richards is a superb pundit - and an even better wind-up merchant.

But let's be honest, it's all about that incredible laugh of his.

6. Roy Keane

Roy Keane
Roy Keane is known for his gruff persona / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

A meme factory all by himself, Roy Keane is everyone's favourite grumpy uncle. The gruff former Manchester United midfielder is never afraid to speak his mind - sometimes to his detriment - and is as fierce with a microphone in his hands as he was with a ball at his feet.

The Irishman's perplexed glances at his fellow pundits are worth the subscription fee alone, while he's seldom shy in taking a dig at his peers - most frequently Gary Neville.

Offering more emotional than tactical analysis, Keane's pessimistic punditry has its own charm. But he wouldn't expect any praise for the work he does. After all, that's his job.

5. Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry oozes charm / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Sometimes it's easy to forget what Thierry Henry is actually saying. That's no fault of his own though, with his smooth and suave French accent enough to send any football fan into a trance.

Unfortunately for those in the United Kingdom, the former Arsenal star has taken his analysis over to the United States. But we did get a good taste of his punditry style during his time with Sky Sports and he was always a great addition to any fixture.

Luckily, there are plenty charming clips out there of him and his CBS teammates on big Champions League nights.

4. Ally McCoist

A man that makes a simple five-yard pass feel like you've just witnessed the birth of Christ, Ally McCoist's enthusiasm for football - no matter the game, league or venue - is truly astonishing.

Many of his peers treat their job as a chore, making the World Cup final feel like stacking the dishwasher. However, the former Rangers forward is unapologetically positive, lifting the spirits of fans on their sofas up and down the country.

Even Celtic fans probably have a wee soft spot for McCoist. Well, maybe not actually.

3. Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher has become an important figure at Sky Sports / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

A blend of seriousness and silliness, Jamie Carragher has proven to be a slightly marmite figure in the past. However, there is no denying that he is one of the few pundits that puts real effort into mastering his craft, with his analysis on Monday Night Football particularly intriguing.

He has a natural charisma in front of camera and has also become renowned for his lively personality during his Champions League appearances over on CBS.
Even if he sometimes takes the joke a bit too far...

2. Gary Neville

Gary Neville
Gary Neville is one of the game's best pundits / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Gary Neville and Carragher more or less come as a double act these days, like brothers who are caught somewhere in between loving and loathing each other. Their arguments have gone viral on plenty of occasions, with both providing genuinely great analysis in between their spats.

Having become renowned for his 'goalgasms' on co-comms for Sky Sports, offering an array of 'oooooohs' and 'aaaaaahs' as the ball enters the final third, Neville tends to be an entertaining presence no matter the occasion.

For the biggest games, he always finds himself on duty. That says enough about the former Manchester United defender's credentials.

1. Ian Wright

Ian Wright
Ian Wright is loved by all / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Everyone loves Ian Wright. With his joyous smile, quick wit and brilliant wardrobe, how could you not enjoy the company of one of football's good guys?

The former Arsenal striker has sadly called time on his Match of the Day career, which will undoubtedly disappoint the bulk of the show's audience, and his tremendous analysis - especially of forwards - is often underappreciated.

Engaging and eloquent, there aren't any better than Wrighty.