Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
United Kingdom All-time Team
If United Kingdom went WC Finals 1970
North East England, NorthWest England.
Black English players
What if Ronaldo and Messi played for Australia in 2006
Brazil 1982 with Careca,etc
Ireland/Northern Ireland Combined Team 1986 World Cup
In 1982, three of United Kingdom's teams, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland qualified for World Cup Finals. Once in Spain, both England and Northern Ireland had a fantastic tournament. In the first group match, England beat France 3-1, a team that turned into one of the best teams in the tournament. They went home with an undefeated record after drawing both eventual finalist West Germany and the host Spain in the second round. Northern Ireland was the surprise team of the tournament. They beat the host Spain and advanced to the second round. Meanwhile, Scotland narrowly went out of group stage by goal difference. Their group included the mighty Brazil and the Soviet Union.
|Scotland vs Brazil, WC Finals 1982|
Earlier, I have created a blog team for an imaginary United Kingdom World Cup for the 1970 World Cup Finals. In my opinion, United Kingdom still has a better chance in 1970, but their 1982 team would still be a very good team. Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness, Kenny Dalglish, Pat Jennings, Kevin Keegan and Peter Shilton were at their peak. Ian Rush was a young star in 1982. They were among the greatest ever players to emerge from the United Kingdom.
This is my selection of a 22 member team for the United Kingdom at the WC Finals in 1982. In 1982, only 22 players were allowed in the official squad.
|Northern Ireland 1982|
GK: Peter Shilton (England/Southampton)
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.
GK: Pat Jennings (N.Ireland/Arsenal)
Pat Jennings is 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.
|Pat Jennings in Spain|
Ray Clemence was considered one of England's greatest keepers. He won 3 European Cups and 2 UEFA Cups in the 1970's with Liverpool and a UEFA Cup with Tottenham Hotspurs. He was voted as Liverpool's greatest keeper. For the national team, he was locked in a battle of number 1 with Peter Shilton. He made 61 appearances for England.
RB: Danny McGrain (Scotland/Celtic)
McGrain 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 them to win 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.
RB: Phil Neal (England/Liverpool)
Neal was the great right back from Liverpool between 1974 and 1985. He was one of England's most decorated player: 4 First Divisions, 4 League Cups, 5 FA Charity Shields, 4 European Cups, 1 UEFA Cup and 1 UEFA Super Cups. He also played for Northampton Town and Bolton Wanderers as a full back. Neal also had a long career with England winning 50 caps and playing in the 1982 World Cup and the 1980 European Championship.
CB: Terry Butcher (England/Ipswich)
Butcher was one of England's greatest defenders. He captained the England national team, winning 77 caps in a ten-year international career that featured three FIFA World Cups. Butcher also enjoyed success in his club career, particularly with Ipswich Town and Rangers. With Ipswich, he was a part of Bobby Robson's team that won the UEFA Cup in 1981. In 1986, he joined Rangers as one of the first wave of English players playing for Graeme Souness' Rangers in the 1980's.
|Terry Butcher tackling Platini|
Thompson made his professional debut in 1971 for Liverpool and never looked back. He was a part of the decorated team that won 3 European Cups and 7 league titles. He formed a partnership with Alan Hansen that was considered among the best ever in Europe. he was briefly the captain for Liverpool. He also earned 42 caps and went to Spain 1982.
CB: Willie Miller (Scotland/Aberdeen)
Except for a loan spell at the beginning of his career, Willie Miller played his entire career with Aberdeen. His central defensive partnership with Alex McLeish was integral to Aberdeen's success in the 1980s. They won all the major domestic honours and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1983. For Scotland, he was capped 65 times. He played in both 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals. He was an inaugural inductee to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
SW: Alan Hansen (Scotland/Liverpool)
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. Hansen only won 26 Scotland caps. Scotland coaches of the 1980s preferred Aberdeen's central defensive partnership of Willie Miller and Alex McLeish at Aberdeen. He played in the 1982 WC Finals, but he left off controversially the WC in 1986.
|Alan Hansen vs Brazil|
Sansom, throughout his career played for clubs such as Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, Everton and Watford. Sansom was known for his career with Arsenal between 1980 and 1988. He is the second most capped England national team full-back, having appeared 86 times for his country between 1979 and 1988.
LB: Francis Gray (Scotland/Leeds United)
Gray started his career at the end of Don Revie's career with the club. He played in the European Cup final in 1975. He left Leeds in 1979 for Nottingham Forest. Gray played in his second European Cup final in 1980, making him the first player to appear in the final for two different English clubs. He earned 32 caps and played all three matches at Spain 1982.
CM: Bryan Robson (England/Manchester United)
Bryan Robson was at one point the most expensive British player when he joined Manchester United. He is considered to be one of England's best ever box-to-box midfielders. He earned 90 caps for England. He went to three World Cup Finals, but he only played a major role in 1982. He was injured in both World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990. At the club level, he played for West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough. He spent 13 years with Manchester United.
|Bryan Robson scored the fastest goal in WC history. England beat France 3-1.|
Ray Wilkins enjoyed success at various clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United, Milan, Queens Park Rangers, and Rangers. He was remembered for winning the FA Cup in 1983 for Manchester United. From 1976 to 1986, he was an important player for England, earning 84 caps. He played in both 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals.
CM: Trevor Brooking (England/West Ham)
Trevor Brooking played most of his career for West Ham United making 647 appearances for the club. He won the 1975 FA Cup and the 1980 FA Cup in which he scored the only goal. West Ham also reached the Final of the 1976 Cup Winners' Cup. He was also the club's player of the season on four occasions. For England, Brooking was earned 47 caps, but only appeared twice in big tournament matches.
CM: Graeme Souness (Scotland/Liverpool)
Graeme Souness 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. He played in 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals.
|Graeme Souness vs Socrates|
Gordon Strachan played for Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City. He spent 7 seasons with Aberdeen, winning two league titles and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1983. He was capped 50 times, representing Scotland at both World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986.
LW: Graham Rix (England/Arsenal)
Graham Rix was known for his career with Arsenal between 1975 and 1988. His club reached the Final of the Cup Winners' Cup. He played in France and Scotland at the end of his career. He was capped 17 times for England. He went to Spain 1982, where he played 5 games.
AM: Glenn Hoddle (England/Tottenham Hotspurs)
Hoddle often considered one of the most talented players of his generation, but not always appreciated by his fans. He played mainly with Tottenham Hotspurs, where he won the UEFA Cup in 1984 and two FA Cups. He also played for AS Monaco, Swindon and Chelsea. He was a fixture for the national team throughout the 1980's.
FW: Steve Archibald (Scotland/Tottenham Hotspurs)
Steve Archibald played for a number of clubs in England and Spain. His best stint was with Tottenham Hotspurs, where he won two straight FA Cup between 1980 and 1982. He joined Barcelona in 1984, helping the club to reach the final of European Cup in 1986. For the national team, he was capped 27 times. He played in two World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986. He is a member of Scotland's Football Hall of Flame.
|Steve Archibad with Danny McGrain vs New Zealand|
ST: Kenny Dalglish (Scotland/Liverpool)
King Kenny 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 2006 he topped a Liverpool fans' poll of "100 Players Who Shook the Kop".
ST: Ian Rush (Wales/Liverpool)
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.
ST/SS: Kevin Keegan (England/Southampton)
Kevin Keegan was two-time European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979. He won the European Cup in 1977 with Liverpool. He also found successes in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV, where he played between 1977 and 1980. He later played for Southampton and Newcastle United. He had 63 caps for England. However, his World Cup appearance was limited to 20 minutes against Spain at the World Cup Finals in 1982.
|Kevin Keegan in Spain|
Mick Mills, Steve Coppell, Trevor Francis, Paul Mariner, Willie Miller, Martin O'Neil, Alan Brazil.
-- I chose to create an UK team for the 1982 World Cup Finals because Scotland had Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish. Liverpool was the best club team in Europe during the era and the three of them were among the best players in the world. I want to unite the trio with the English players and Pat Jennings. Basically, this was why I formed the team.
-- England easily beat Michel Platini's France in the first round. The French team would become one of the teams of the tournament. They narrowly lost the semifinal against West Germany. Then, in the second round, England managed draws against West Germany and Spain.
-- Northern Ireland had a fantastic tournament, but I only selected Pat Jennings for my team. Team selections were based upon performance before the actual World Cup Finals. So I was looking at players with reputations established before the tournament. With due respect, most of their players were lesser known than the English and the Scots. Gerry Armstrong was playing in the 2nd division with Watford. Norman Whiteside only made his professional debut in April, 1982. His career was too young in June, 1982. Realistically, the United Kingdom would have overlooked them before the tournament.
-- I did Northern Ireland/Ireland combined team for the 1986 World Cup Finals. If I do a combined 1982 team for them, it would be similar to the 1986 team.
-- Scotland never progressed through the group stage at any World Cup Finals. On paper, they had a strong team, but they were eliminated by Brazil and the Soviet Union. Brazil was known as one of the greatest ever sides that never won a World Cup. I also did an imaginary alternative 1982 team for Brazil.
-- In 1982, each World Cup team only has 22 players. The team included 12 English players, 8 Scottish players and one each from Wales and Northern Ireland.
-- Liverpool won 4 European Cups from 1977 to 1984. I selected 6 players from them. They are Phil Neal, Phil Thompson, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Alan Hansen and Ian Rush. Terry McDermott was on the real England 1982 team, but I did not have a space for him.
-- Mick Mills was England's captain and the starting rightback at the World Cup, but Phil Neal and Danny McGrain were bigger names. I was a fan of Ipswich in 1982, Dropping Mills is something hard for me.
-- I selected Willie Miller over his club teammate Alex McLeish. McLeish was a bench player at the actual World Cup Finals. Miller played in two of the three matches in Spain while Allan Evans started against New Zealand in the first match. Evans was a member of Aston Villa's European Cup winning team in 1982. The other three centerbacks are Terry Butcher, Alan Hansen and Phil Thompson. They were well-established backs in 1982.
-- In Spain, Steve Coppell played every matches for England, but he was suffering an injury. The injury would eventually end his career. If England had an alternative, Coppell would not be travelling to Spain. So I decided not to take him. Instead, I took Scotland's Gordon Strachan. He also played as a right midfielder would be the side midfield on the team.
-- In the actual WC Finals, Trevor Francis and Paul Mariner played major roles due to Kevin Keegan's injury during the Finals. However, Francis was frequently injured during the 1981-1982 season. Mariner had one of his worst output that season. So I dropped both of them.
-- Meanwhile, Ian Rush was the only player from Wales. I wanted to select at least a single Welsh players. Moreover, he just had his breakout season. He scored 30 goals in 49 matches as Liverpool won the League title and the League Cup. He earned his spot.
-- Kevin Keegan was injured throughout the World Cup Finals. He was a two-time European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979.
-- Steve Archibald (Scotland) was also a big name. So I included him. Tottenham Hotspurs was one of the top teams in Europe, winning the FA Cup in 1982.
-- In the early 1980's, Alan Brazil was one of my favourite players. Sorry, I only put him on honourable mention.
In real life, Kevin Keegan was injured and only played in the very last match against Spain. In my imaginary world, I will start him.