10) Fabricio Coloccini – 2008
The core of many teams can be found in the defence, as leaders often emerge from positons at the back. Jamaal Lascelles is an excellent current example, and it was Fabricio Coloccini in that role at the start of this decade.
The Argentine centre-back made over 200 appearances for the Toon, and always placed the club in an extremely high regard. A no-nonsense player when it came to protecting his squad’s goal, Coloccini kept his team-mates moving forward.
He arrived after several strong years in La Liga, and immediately made his presence felt with United. Acclimating to English football is not the easiest of tasks, but Coloccini was able to accomplish that objective spectacularly.
A reported fee of £10.3 million may have appeared high, but considering the market around Newcastle at the time it was well worth the sum. After suffering relegation at the end of the 2008-09 campaign, Colocccini could have walked away.
Instead, the skipper helped guide the Magpies to an immediate return to the top flight. Playing alongside various others in central defence, Coloccini made those around him better (the ultimate sign of a leader). The present could be very different if that team did not bounce back quickly to the first division.
The most recent relegation saw many depart for other clubs, while Coloccini displayed a solid loyalty to the North East.
His final years on Tyneside were tumultuous, but Fabricio Coloccini will always be remembered fondly by the Toon Army.