For Sutton, two Welshmen feature and his former team-mate Paul Lambert also makes the cut for his Borussia Dortmund heroics.
Speaking on the latest edition of the podcast, Sutton talked through his list and explained his reasoning to Ian Ladyman.
He said: ‘So the best five British footballers to play abroad. In fifth place, Paul Lambert. My old team-mate at Celtic went from Motherwell to Borussia Dortmund and had a major part in winning the Champions League. So Paul Lambert at number five.
Chris Sutton rates Chris Waddle, pictured celebrating for Marseille in 1991, as the best British football export to Europe and calls him a ‘genius’
Paul Lambert was a major part of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League success in 1997
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‘At four, Steve McManaman. I think he was brilliant at Real Madrid. Excellent player he was at Liverpool, scored a goal in the Champions League final, won endless trophies at Real Madrid, he would be in at four.
‘At three, don’t like football outside the Premier League era, but John Charles, the gentle giant, could play up front and at the back. He has to be in because he was one of the pioneers, one of the first guys to go and play abroad, went to Juventus, I think 1950, well, not I think, I know 1957, won three Serie A titles for Juventus, wonderful football and my dad used to talk about John Charles a lot so he would be at three.
Sutton went on to reveal the two top talents he puts above the rest in this debate.
‘I don’t know whether he was always appreciated by the Madrid fans though but he would be in at two.
‘And at number one, Chris Waddle. He went to Marseille in the early nineties, won league titles there, got that Marseille team, brilliant team as it was in the early nineties, to a European Cup final and more importantly he can still go back to Marseille 30 years on from his time as a player and he doesn’t have to buy a drink in the place.
‘So that’s why Chris Waddle, he was a genius of a player, he used to love watching him, that’s why he would be at number one.’
Ladyman went on to remind Chris of some of the other top players he left out who may have warranted inclusion.
He said: ‘I think David Platt has got to be in the top five. Bari, Juventus, Sampdoria. Kevin Keegan, European player of the year while he was at Hamburg. John Aldridge, one of the first non-Basque players to play for Real Sociedad, 40 goals in 75 league appearances for Sociedad, he was a roaring success over there.
He added: ‘Gary Lineker at Barcelona, 42 goals in 103 La Liga games, hat-trick against Real Madrid, Copa del Rey winner, cup winner’s cup winner. David Beckham didn’t win an enormous amount at Madrid but also went on to play at LA Galaxy in LA, PSG, Milan, certainly an ambassador for English football at the time.’
John Charles could play at the back or up front and was a pioneer at Juventus
Gareth Bale scored an incredible Champions League final goal against Liverpool in 2018
David Beckham played at Real Madrid, AC Milan and PSG during his decorated career
And one big omission Sutton then mentioned was Glenn Hoddle, who spent four seasons at Monaco from 1987-91.
‘So you left out Glenn Hoddle and I’m really surprised,’ he said. ‘But you’re just mentioning names and you’re probably going to you’re probably’ going to regret not mentioning Graham Souness because you’re terrified of him.
‘Top five British players to play abroad. Let us know what you think.’