Football

England v Brazil: Dream XI

England host Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday evening in a glamour friendly organised as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary, with the likes of Neymar and Ronaldinho in town to entertain the London crowd.

Brazil's first-team have not played at the traditional Home of Football since the senior international curtain-raiser at Wembley MkII in 2007, and arrive surrounded by mild controversy.

Neymar, widely regarded as football's next global superstar, has caused some what of a furore by claiming Brazil do not consider England among the contenders to win the World Cup in 2014.

England, according to the 21-year-old, do not possess as many match winning stars as the likes of Spain and Argentina, and Roy Hodgson's side rely far too heavily on Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

The arrival of the five-time World Cup winners will surely be enough to summon the very best out of England's players, but Neymar's comments will provide them with an added incentive to prove how good they can be.

Neymar, though, may have a point with England's fabled Golden Generation either gone or very much in the twilight of their respective careers, leaving a pool of unproven talent to pick up the pieces under Hodgson.

Wednesday will certainly be a far cry from the most iconic meeting between the two nations, as champions England met Brazil in Guadalajara on the latter's path to claim a third World Cup in 1970.

That fixture featured legends of the game including Pele, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore and Carlos Alberto, and is still celebrated for memorable contributions from Moore and England's goalkeeper Gordon Banks.

It was a dream encounter between two dream teams but, if you could pick a combined fantasy XI from England and Brazil's illustrious past and present, who would be in it?

Here is our personal choice...

Goalkeeper

Gordon Banks - England

International appearances: 73

World Cup winner in 1966 and made THAT save in 1970 to keep out a header from Pele.

Defence

Cafu - Brazil

International appearances: 142 International goals: 5

Brazil's record appearance maker and the only player to appear in three World Cup finals, two of which he won.

Bobby Moore - England

International appearances: 108 International goals: 2

England's captain in 1966 and regarded as the country's finest player ever. Immortalised by a statue outside Wembley.

Lucio - Brazil

International appearances: 105 International goals: 4

More appearances than any centre-back in Brazil's international history, and a World Cup winner in 2002.

Roberto Carlos - Brazil

International appearances: 125 International goals: 11

Only Cafu has made more appearances than the former Real Madrid star, who was as handy going forward as he was in defence.

Midfield

David Beckham - England

One of England's most inspirational captains, most appearances by an outfield player in the Three Lions shirt and one of the finest dead-ball specialists ever seen.

International appearances: 115 International goals: 17

Zico - Brazil

International appearances: 72 International goals: 52

A phenomenal goalscoring record from midfield and, although he failed to win the World Cup, was voted third in a poll to find Brazil's best player of the 20th century.

Bobby Charlton - England

International appearances: 106 International goals: 49

England's most prolific goalscorer, a World Cup winner in 1966 and one of only two Englishman to be named in FIFA's World Team of the 20th century.

Forwards

Ronaldo - Brazil

International appearances: 98 International goals: 62

More goals than any other player in the history of the World Cup and the closest Brazil have come to finding another Pele.

Pele - Brazil

International appearances: 92 International goals: 77

Considered by many to be the best player in history, Pele scored over 1000 goals in a career spanning almost 20 years, and was instrumental in delivering two World Cups for Brazil.

Neymar - Brazil

International appearances: 27 International goals: 17

Although yet to reach his full potential on the international stage, Neymar is destined to become one of the greatest players Brazil has ever produced. Even Pele agrees.

Players who would have been worthy inclusions…Cláudio Taffarel, Ashley Cole, Paul Scholes, Carlos Alberto, Garrincha, Romario, Socrates, Kaka, Ronaldinho.

This XI clearly represents a personal choice, and is not intended to be the definitive greatest combined team of these two famous nations. We'll allow you to pick the best England-Brazil team - and you can do so in the comments section below...

Topics:
Internationals
Football
David Beckham

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