England, Scotland, Wales,
Ireland/Northern Ireland combined team,
Ireland, Northern Ireland,
North East England, NorthWest England.
Black English players
United Kingdom 1970
United Kingdom 1982
The British invented associated football. However, winning the World Cup in 1966 is the only major international success for the English national team. After 1966, England's international record is relatively poor for a former World Cup winner. They only managed to reach the semi-final of the European Championship in 1968 and 1994, while their only success at the WC Finals was a single semi-final appearance in 1990. However, England is probably the unluckiest team in the history of the sport. They eliminated by penalty shootout in the World Cup Finals of 1990, 1998 and 2006, and the European Championship in 1996, 2004 and 2012. They were undefeated in the World Cup Finals of 1982 and 2006, and in the European Championship of 1996, 2004 and 2012.
|2002 World Cup|
GK: Peter Shilton
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 1990 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.
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.
GK: David Seaman
The peak of Seaman's career was during his period as Arsenal and England goalkeeper in the 1990s and early 2000s. At Arsenal, he won three league championships, four FA Cups, the League Cup in 1993 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1994. He also played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, and Euro 96 and Euro 2000, and is England's second-most capped goalkeeper with 75 caps.
RB: Phil Neal
Neal was the great right back from Liverpool between 1974 and 1985. He was one of England's most decorated club player: 4 First Divisions, 4 League Cups, 5 FA Charity Shields, 4 European Cups, a UEFA Cup and a UEFA Super Cup. 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.
RB: Gary Neville
Along with his brother Philip, David Beckham, Paul Scoles, Ryan Giggs, and Nicky Butt, Gary Neville captained the Manchester United academy team that won the FA Youth Cup in 1991. They all became fixtures for the senior team throughout the 1990's. Gary Neville remained the team until 2011 and was the second, longest serving player. For England, he was the most capped rightback in history.
CB: Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand became the youngest defender to play for the Three Lions at the time in 1997. He played 81 times for England between 1997 and 2011, and was a member of three World Cup squads. At one point, he was the most expensive British footballer and also broke the world's record transfer fees for a defender twice. He won the Champions' League with Manchester United in 2008. He also played for Leeds United and West Ham.
Sol Campbell was a member of Arsenal's "Invincibles" that went undefeated in 2003-2004 season. He spent 9 seasons for Tottenham Hotspurs and served as its captain before moving to its rival Arsenal on a free transfer that sparked a controversy. He later played for Portsmouth. For England, he earned 73 caps in 11 years. He went to three World Cup Finals: 1998, 2002 and 2006.
CB: Terry Butcher
Butcher won 77 caps in a ten-year international career that featured three 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.
CB: John Terry
Terry is a top centre-back of his generation and was the captain for Chelsea during most of his Chelsea's rise to the top of English football starting in the season 2004-2005. He won 4 Premiership titles and the Champions League in 2012. For England, he earned 78 caps for England. However, his career was overshadowed by several controversies.
LB: Ashley Cole
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 World Cup Finals. He played 107 caps between 2001 and 2014. He is also England's most-capped full-back in history. He played with Arsenal, but moved to its rival Chelsea in 2006. In 2014, he moved to AS Roma. He won the Champions' League in 2012 with Chelsea. He is playing in the MLS since 2016.
Stuart Pearce was a club legend with Nottingham Forrest. He was the club's most capped international player with 78 caps between 1987 and 1999. He played at the World Cup Finals in 1990 and the European championship in 1996 at home, where England had the best two results since the World Cup win in 1966. He also played for Wealdstone, Coventry City, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Manchester City.
CB/DM/LB: Emlyn Hughes
Emlyn Hughes was at one point the captain of England and Liverpool. He was considered to be one of Liverpool's most important defenders. He played under Bill Shankly in the 1970's where he won two European Cups, four League titles and a single FA Cup. He was FWA Football of the Year in 1977. He earned 62 English caps.
DM: Paul Ince
From 1992 to 2000, Paul Ince was capped 53 times. He was a key player for England at Euro 1996, WC 1998 and Euro 2000. For his club career, he started with West Ham, but his best known stints were with Liverpool, Inter Milan and Manchester United. He is one of the few players who played and starred for both Liverpool and Manchester United.
CM: Bryan Robson
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 1986 and 1990. He spent 13 years with Manchester United.
CM: Steve Gerrard
Steve Gerrard represented his country at the 2000, 2004 and 2012 UEFA European Football Championships, as well as the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups – captaining the team at the latter two tournaments. He led Liverpool in winning the Champions' League in 2005. He is the third highest cap holder for the Three Lions. He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2006 and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009.
RW: David Beckham
Beckham is the greatest ever pop icon to play the game. He started his career with Manchester United where he was a part of the famous team that won the 1992 FA Youth Cup. For the senior side, he won 6 Premiership titles and the 1999 Champions' League. In 2003, he joined Real Madrid for the well-publicized "Galacticos" signing. In 2007, he moved to LA Galaxy, where he kickstarted a soccer fever in the United States. For England, he earned 115 caps and was a key part of the national team throughout his career.
John Barnes was widely considered to be one of the greatest Liverpool players, where he formed one of their greatest team playing alongside Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton. Before joining Liverpool, he played for Watford. At Watford, he also helped them to the Final of the FA Cup in 1984. He was voted PFA Player of the Year in 1988 and FWA Player of the Year in both 1988 and 1990.
Gazza was the most gifted player of his generation, but his career was marked controversy and injuries. He made his debut with Newcastle United before moving to Tottenham Hotspur. After impressing at Italia 1990, he moved to Lazio. In 1995, he joined Rangers with a club record fee. He had a successful career at Rangers. He had 57 caps. He was remembered for the tears in his eyes as he received his yellow card against West Germany in the semi-final of Italian 1990.
FW: Wayne Rooney
In 2002, Rooney made his professional debut as a 16 years old with Everton. Less than a year later, he became England's youngest international when he played against Australia. He is England's key player for every major tournament in his prime. As for Manchester United, he has won 5 Preimer League titles. In 2008, he formed a partnership with Cristano Ronaldo and won the Champions' League.
Kevin Keegan was a 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. 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. He was injured most of that tournament.
Shearer is the all-time leading top-scorer for the Premiership. In 1992, he joined Blackburn Rovers from Southampton in a record transfer. He won the Premiership for 1994-1995 season. In 1996, he joined his home town club, Newcastle United for a world record transfer fees. He was FWA Player of the Year in 1994, and PFA Player of the Year in 1995 and 1997. For England, he earned 63 caps. In 1996, he led England to the semi-final of Euro 1996 at home, himself winning the Golden boot award.
Gary Lineker was one of England's best goal poachers. He scored 48 goals for England(second overall) and won the Golden Boot with 6 goals at Mexico 1986. He also played in the 1990 World Cup Finals. He was the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1985–86 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1985–86 and 1991–92. In England, he played with Leicester Town, Everton and Tottenham Hotspurs. He also played for Barcelona FC in Spain.
Tony Adams, Glen Hoddle, Chris Waddle, Colin Bell, Alan Shearer, David Platt, Trevor Brooking, Steve Coppell, Viv Anderson, Michael Owen, Terry Sheringham, Harry Kane, Dele Alli.
-- Peter Shilton, Ray Clemence, Phil Neal, Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Steve Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Bryan Robson, Kevin Keegan and Gary Lineker were on my England All-Time Team.
-- David Seaman got the third keeper position. Peter Bonetti should be the 4th. The position gets weaker after this four.
-- Gary Neville has a number of critics, but he locked down England's starting rightback position for a long time. He deserved some credit for his long time service.
-- The centerbacks considered after Ferdinand and Campbell were Tony Adams, Terry Butcher, John Terry and Emlyn Hughes. I took Butcher as he was my personal favourite. John Terry was probably as good as Rio Ferdinand. Then, I took Hughes as a defensive midfielder.
-- At his peak, Paul Gascoigne could easily become the greatest of all-time, but his injuries and other things destroyed his career. He did not make my all-time team, but made this team (England after 1966 team).
-- Wayne Rooney is the most underrated striker in England's history. His hype as a youngster while playing for Everton might create a false expectation. He is still the all-time leading scorer for England and Manchester United. At times, he carried the national team, but the media has not always been kind to him. They did not appreciate his contribution. At the same time, he made some critical mistakes while playing for England. I am referring to the red card vs Portugal in 2006 and his reaction to the fans in 2010. That led to a lot of unfair criticisms. He narrowly missed out on my original my England All-Time Team.
-- Up until 2001, Michael Owens appeared to be an all-time great, but he did not live up expectation.
-- Harry Kane and Dele Alli were added to the honourable mention after the 2018 World Cup Finals. The team reached the semi-final fo a World Cup Finals and England has not done so since 1986. At the time of writing, Kane has the potential to become bigger. He has not done enough to unseat Rooney, Keegan, Shearer and Lineker for a spot on the team.