Thursday, August 13, 2015

United Kingdom Greatest All-time team

Great Britain in 2012

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Ireland/Northern Ireland combined team,
IrelandNorthern Ireland,
Greater London
North East EnglandNorthWest England.
Black English players
United Kingdom 1970
United Kingdom 1982

The United Kingdom completed as the Great Britain at the early Olympics.  Then, in 2012, the team was reborn again when the Olympics were hosted at home in London.

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. I have also created  Ireland/Northern Ireland combined team.  This all-time team from the United Kingdom consists of players from the Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Players from the Republic of Ireland are not considered to be from the United Kingdom.

Please look at my all-time teams for England, Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland.  I have also created an all-time Ireland/Northern Ireland combined team  
Great Britain 1908 Olympic

GK: Peter Shilton (England)
Peter Shilton is considered one of the greatest keepers ever.  He is England's all-time cap record-holder with 125.  He earned his first cap in 1970 and his last 20 years later in 1990.  He took England to 4th place in the 1986 World Cup.  He played for 11 different clubs in his career, all in England.  He won two straight European Cups in 1979 and 1980 with Nottingham Forrest. He was PFA Players' Player of the Year: 1977–78, an award rarely won by a goalkeeper.
Peter Shilton
GK: Gordon Banks (England)
Banks was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 1972, and was named FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year on six occasions. He won the WC in 1966.  He made one of the game's great saves to prevent a Pelé goal in the 1970 World Cup.  Along with Lev Yashin, he is considered the greatest keepers of his generation. The prime of his club career was spent with Leicester and Stoke City.

GK: Pat Jennings (N.Ireland)
Considered among the greatest goalkeeper of all-time.  The prime of his career was spent with both Tottenham Hotspurs and Arsenal.  In 1973 the Football Writers' Association named him as its footballer of the year. Three years later he won PFA's version of the award – he was the first goalkeeper to receive this accolade, and to this date remains only one of two, along with Peter Shilton. He earned 119 caps for Northern Ireland and went to two WC Finals. 

RB: Jimmy Armfield (England)
Blackpool's greatest player.  He captained England for 15 times.  He was voted "the best right-back in the world" after the 1962 WC in Chile.  He also represented the England national team 43 times between 1959 and 1966, and captained them in 15 games. He was a member of England's 1966 WC team, but an injury prevented him from playing any of the games at the Finals.

RB: Danny McGrain (Scotland)
McGrain was an All-time great for Celtics.  He was among the best ever rightback coming out of United Kingdom.  With Celtic, he won seven League Championships, five Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups. He spent his final season of his career with Hamilton Accies, where he helped win them promotion to the premier league. He played in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups for Scotland, captaining the side in their opening match against New Zealand at the 1982 World Cup.

CB/ST: John Charles (Wales)
He was the greatest Welsh player.  He was equally adept at centre-forward or centre-back.  His best part of career was with Juventus. He was Serie A's top scorer with 28 goals, and was voted player of the season as Juventus won the Scudetto. He played in Turin for five years, scoring 93 goals in 155 matches, winning the scudetto (Italian league championship) three times, and the Italian Cup twice. He was 3rd in the Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) in 1959. He was never booked in his entire career.
John Charles
SW: Alan Hansen (Scotland)
Among the greatest defender ever from United Kingdom.  He won three European Cups and 8 English league titles with the great Liverpool team of the 1970's and 1980's. Despite being one pf the greatest ever centerback from the UK, Hansen only won 26 Scotland caps. The reason given for his lack of caps by Scotland coaches of the 1980s was that a formidable central defensive partnership had formed between Willie Miller and Alex McLeish at Aberdeen.  he played in the 1982 WC Finals, but he left off controversially the WC in 1986. 

CB: Billy Wright (England)
Wright is the first football player in the world to earn 100 caps(105 total).  He also made a total of 105 appearances for England, captaining them a record 90 times, including during their campaigns at the 1950, 1954 and 1958 World Cup finals.  He was one of England's finest center-backs.  He spent his whole career at Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1939 to 1959. He was the winner of FWA Footballer of the Year in 1952.

CB: Bobby Moore  (England)
Captain of the 1966 WC winning team. Regarded one of the greatest defenders of all time.  He played mainly for West Ham, but also had a stint in the NASL.  He won a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with West Ham.  He won a total of 108 caps for the England team, which at the time of his international retirement in 1973 was a national record.
Bobby Moore

LB: Eddie Hapgood (England)
Hapgood captained both Arsenal and England during the 1930s. He was one of first star players in England.  His image was used for advertisement which was a pioneer at his time. He started his Arsenal career in 1927 and ended in 1944.  Internationally, he had 30 caps with 21 times as its captain.  He captained England during the famous "the Battle of Highbury" against World Cup winner Italy in 1934.

LB: Ashley Cole (England)
Ashley Cole was considered one of the finest leftbacks of his generation.  He was voted the England Player of the Year in 2010. He played in 3 WC Finals.  He is also England's most-capped full-back in history.  He played with Arsenal, but moved to its rival Chelsea.  He won the Champions' League in 2012 with Chelsea. 

CM/DM/LB: Dave MacKay (Scotland)
Known for his toughness and passing abilities. He won the Double with Tottenham Hotspurs in 1961 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1963.  He was selected as one of the Football Heros stamp series to celebrate the 150 years of English FA. He also represented Scotland 22 times, and was selected for their 1958 FIFA World Cup squad. Mackay tied with Tony Book of Manchester City for the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year award in 1969.

CM: Graeme Souness (Scotland)
Sounds played for Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough and Sampdoria, but his greatest achievement came while he played for Liverpool. He was one of the greatest ever Liverpool players.  He won three European Cups with them, captaining the team in the early 1980's.  He was also the Player-Manager for Rangers. He also earned 54 caps for Scotland.
Graeme Souness
CM/AM:  Danny Blanchflower (Northern Ireland)
Danny Blanchflower  won the Double in 1961 with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He won the FA Cup the following year, and then, a Cup Winners' Cup in 1963.  He was the PWA Player of the Year in 1958 and 1961. He also played for Aston Villa and Barnsley before joining Hotspurs. He went to the World Cup in 1958, where North Ireland reached the quarterfinal. 

CM: Duncan Edwards (England)
Edwards  was one of the Busby Babes of Manchester United.  He made his professional debut at the age of 16. He died in 1958 during the Munich Air Disaster.  Many people considered him to be  England's greatest player.  He was capped 18 times between 1955 and 1957, scoring 5 goals.

LW/RW: George Best (N.Ireland)
George Best was considered to be one of the greatest players ever played the game.  He was voted #19 as the greatest European player by the UEFA Jublilee Poll. He was known for his "pop star" lifestyle. He was one of the "United's Trinity" that helped Manchester United to their first (and also first ever for an English club) European Cup in 1968.  He won the PWA PLayer of the Year award and the Ballon d'Or that year.
George Best
RW: Stanley Matthews (England)
The only player to have been knighted while still playing, as well as being the first winner of both the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year awards. Sir Matthews is widely considered the greatest English player of all-time. Between 1937 and 1957 he won 54 caps for England, playing in the World Cup in 1950 and 1954, and winning nine British Home Championship titles.  He played with Stoke and Blackpool.

LW: Ryan Giggs (Wales)
Giggs was Sir Alex's longest serving player at Manchester United, where he played from 1990 to 2014.  He also holds the club record for competitive appearances. During his time at United, he won 13 Premier League winner's medals, four FA Cup winner's medals, three League Cup winner's medals and two Champions League winner's medals. He is widely considered one of the greatest British wingers in modern history. He played 64 times for Wales.  He led Great Britain at the London Olypmpics in 2012.
Ryan Giggs 
AM: Bobby Charlton (England)
Sir Bobby was considered one of the greatest midfielders of all-time.  He was capped 106 times by England and led England to World Cup victory in 1966.  He is also England's all-time leading scorer and all-time cap leader at the time of his retirement.  He was selected for four World Cups (1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970). For club career,  he almost played his entire career with Manchester United.  He was the hero of Manchester United's the first ever European Cup trophy in 1968. He won the Ballon D'Or in 1966.

AM: Alex James (Scotland)
James was one of the greatest player ever for Arsenal.  He is most noted as the play making lynch pin with Arsenal with whom he won six senior trophies in the first seven seasons of the 1930s. he also played for Preston Northend. For Scotland, he was known with his partnership with Hughie Gallacher. He was a member of "Wembley Wizards" that England 5-1 in 1928. However, he was only capped 8 times. 

ST: Kenny Dalglish (Scotland)
Known as "King Kenny", he was the greatest player for Liverppol in an era where Liverpool was considered to be among the greatest club sides in history.  He won three European Cups with them. He is the cap record holder and their top ever scorer for Scotland. Dalglish won the Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009 FourFourTwo named Dalglish as the greatest striker in post-war British football, and in 2006 he topped a Liverpool fans' poll of "100 Players Who Shook the Kop".
Kenny Dalglish
ST/SS: Jimmy Greaves (England)
Top scorer in the English league for 4 seasons. He won the FA Cup in 1962 and 1967, and the UEFA Cup in 1963. He spent 9 seasons with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was a member of the World Cup winning team in 1966.  However, he lost his starting position after suffering an injury against France.

ST: Ian Rush (Wales)
He was voted as the third greatest Liverpool player by fans in 2013. He is the Liverpool's all-time leading goalscorer, with 346 goals. He won both the PFA Player of the year and FWA Player of the Year in 1984.  he was European Golden Boot winner in the same year.  He also had short spells with Chester City, Juventus, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, Wrexham and Sydney Olympic. Rush made 73 appearances for Wales between 1980 and 1996.
Ian Rush
Honorable Mention
Ray Clemence(England), Frank Swift (England), Sol Campbell (England), Bryan Robson (England), Tom Finney(England), Denis Law (Scotland), Kevin Keegan (England), Dixie Dean (England), Neville Southall (Wales), Liam Brady (Northern Ireland).

Squad Explanation
-- The Republic of Ireland is not a part of United Kingdom while Northern Ireland is a part of this nation.
-- I tried to spread around the team.  The greatest footballers from each country were selected.
-- Bobby Charlton, Sir Stanley Matthews and Bobby Moore were greatest ever from England.  Duncan Edwards' career was short, but many people rated him very high. 
-- Ryan Giggs along with John Charles and Ian Rush were the greatest ever from Wales. 
-- -- George Best and Danny Blanchflower were the greatest from Northern Ireland.
-- The younger fans might not be familiar with Alex James.  He was the greatest footballer of his generation. Dalglish and Souness were the best of Scotland. Denis Law just missed out because of Ian Rush and Jimmy Greaves.
-- Then, I built the team spots available after the greatest ever were put into the squad   
-- The three goalkeepers are very straight forward. Banks, Shilton and Jennings were the greatest ever. Then, Ray Clemence, Frank Swift and Neville Southall followed by.
-- People might be shocked about Ashley Cole.  The left back position is very weak for the United Kingdom.
-- I rated Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand, but I went for the older players with more legendary status: Moore, Wright, Charles and Hansen. 

Starting Lineup
I use the British 4-4-2.  John Charles can also start as the centerback.  I would then start Greaves as the striker.

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