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England is one of the two oldest national teams in football alongside Scotland. England national team won FIFA world Cup in 1966, hosting the finals and defeating the giant West Germany. Since then they didn’t achieve much success in international football, except the Semi final appearance in 1990 world cup. Nevertheless, the English football holds its glory by presenting some legends throughout the history. Sporty ghost today is going to discuss about top 10 English footballers of all time.
10. David Beckham (1996-2009, 17 goals in 115 caps)
There are very few more technically gifted player than the English forward David Beckham. He made his international debut in September 1996. Beckham’s international career is full of highs and lows. He made himself enemy of the state in 1998 world cup by getting sent off during the defeat on penalties to Argentina. But in next world cup his stoppage time goal against Greece smoothened the english agony. During that world cup , he laid the Argentina ghost to rest by scoring from a penalty in a 1-0 win. The 39 year old retired from football last year.
9. Gary Lineker (1984-1992, 48 goals in 80 caps)
Gary Lineker was the closest one to touch Sir Bobby Charlton’s record before his retired in 1992. In 1986 world cup, he was the tournaments leading goal scorer with six goals in his bag and still the only english footballer to have won the honourable Golden boot.
8. Bryan Robson (1980-1991, 26 goals in 90 caps)
Nicknamed ‘Captain Marvel’, Robson was a prolific and energetic midfielder in the English side. He was famed for his important goals. Many believe that if Robson didn’t suffer injury in 1986 and 1990 world cup, England could have gone even further. This English footballer gave everything to his national team and his club. He is the greatest ever Manchester United player of all time. This player carries much influences for Manchester United as he is acting their ambassador. He remained in our list of best 10 English footballers of all time. Currently Robson took the responsibility as coach of the Thailand National Team.
7. Geoff Hurst (1966-1972, 29 goals in 49 caps)
Geoff Hurst is remembered for his outstanding performance in 1966 world cup. In the quarter final he scored the only goal to victory over Argentina. During the final Geoff Hurst’s famous blessing hat-trick gave the chance to the English to touch the FIFA world cup Trophy for the first time.
6. Gordon Banks (1963-1972, no goals in 73 caps )
Gordon Banks is the second best goal keeper of the 20th century in International Federation of Football History and Statistics rating. Lev Yashin is the only above him. During the final against West Germany in 1966 world cup, Banks kept four clean sheets and made numerous stops. Four years later when playing against Brazil, there was a cross from Brazilian Carlos Alberto which met Pele’s powerful head. Everybody was waiting for the net to bulge, but it didn’t. Banks somehow managed to get his hand on the ball to flick it over the crossbar. It was regarded as one of the best saves ever made.
Gordon Banks elected FIFA‘s Goalkeeper of the Year six times.
5. Tom Finney (1946-1958, 30 goals in 76 caps)
One club man Tom Finney was England’s leading goalscorer along with Nat Lofthouse, before both were surpassed by Bobby Charlton in 1963. Former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly once said about Finney ,
“Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match, and in any age , even if he had been wearing an overcoat.”
4. Stanley Matthews (1934-1957, 11 goals in 54 caps)
His greatest achievement was wining FIFA Ballon D’or in 1956. His dedication for football was unmatched as he played until the age of 50 with Stoke City, while his last appearance in international match came against Denmark eight years earlier. There were some criticisms when he was chosen for the 1958 world cup at the age of 48 but the selectors refrained.
3. Duncan Edwards (1955-1958, 5 goals in 18 caps)
It is highly likely that Edwards would have topped the list, unless the tragedy happened in Munich runway February 6, 1958. Edwards at the age of 21 died along with its eight Manchester United teammates while a plane crashed in taking off. Bobby Charlton mentioned him as a great player like a bright light in the sky. His loss is the hardest thing to bear in English football even today.
2. Bobby Moore ( 1962-1973, 2 goals in 108 caps)
Bobby Moore was the counter stone of a well-organized defence in 1966 world cup. In the next competition, 1970 world cup he produced a memorable challenge to Brazilian Jairzinho in full flow. He is the member of world team the 20th century. Bobby Moore Captained West Ham United for more than 10 years.
Pele said after his death in 1993,
“He was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against. The world has lost one of its greatest football players and an honorable gentleman.”
1. Bobby Charlton (1958-1970, 49 goals in 106 caps)
Bobby Charlton is the leading goalscorer for England national football team as well as Manchester United. He was an integral part of the English team in 1966 World cup. At semi finals , Bobby scored both goals to win over Portugal. His performance throughout the tournament was firing as he won FIFA Ballon D’or that year. He is in the no 1 in our list of top 10 English footballers of all time..