There are some international footballers who, for whatever reason, only make a handful of appearances for their country.

Of course, appearing for your country is the ultimate honour for most footballers. Many go on to achieve fame and fortune, winning silverware with club and country while never looking back.

However, this is not always the case. 

On Tuesday night, Francis Jeffers, the ex-England striker with a solitary appearance and - believe it or not - one goal, scored a brace in his fourth league game of the season for Accrington Stanley, who gained a much-needed win over AFC Wimbledon to aid them in their battle to survive relegation from the Football League.

Jeffers, who shares Alan Shearer's record of 13 England Under-21 goals, was surprisingly called up to a friendly game against Australia in 2003 while playing for Arsenal.

It was then that he managed to score in 3-1 defeat, on his only England appearance ever. 

However, the once-promising youngster is not the only one who has failed to live up to expectation after appearing on the international stage.

Freddy Adu | USA (17 appearances, two goals)

There are not many stories in football that equal the disappearance of Adu. Making his first-team D.C. United appearance at 14 years old, and scoring later that month, many believed Adu to be the next superstar of not just the USA national team but of world football, too.

Sadly, this was not to be. Following a move to Benfica at 18 he failed to shine. And after many loan moves, he was transferred back to Philadelphia Union in MLS. 

Adu has now fallen into obscurity, being frozen out by Union and transfer listed.

Seth Johnson | England (One appearance, no goals)

Who? The former Crewe, Derby and Leeds man is another of England's one-cap wonders, making his only appearance in 2000 while playing for the Rams as a 21-year-old.

Admittedly, no-one ever thought he would really be that good. He was playing for the Premier League's bottom club, in relatively poor form. He even admitted himself that he was surprised when he was called up.

Johnson came on against Italy of all countries in the 73rd minute and almost scored. 

However, Seth made sure to prove to everyone afterwards just how rubbish he was. After failing to live up to the hype and with a succession of injuries and poor performances, he dropped out of the game altogether at 28.

Rubén de la Red | Spain (Three appearances, one goal)

The story of Ruben de la Red is a sad one. 

Showing promise as a young talent in the Real Madrid B Team, he managed to make 17 league appearances for the senior team over two spells.

In 2008, while playing for Real, he collapsed in a Spanish Cup game against Real Union. He was diagnosed with a heart condition that ended his career in 2010 at the age of 25.

De la Red is the classic story of a promising footballer who was held back by health problems. He now works at Real Madrid as a youth coach, allowing him to stay in the game at the club he loves.

Ugur Yildirim | Netherlands (One appearance, no goals)

Ugur Yildirim started his career with Go Ahead Eagles, a second-tier team in the Netherlands.

He rose to prominence after scoring six goals in one top division match against SC Cambuur, and managed to gain a lucrative transfer to Heerenveen. After an impressive debut season, he was handed his solitary Dutch international cap, a 26-minute cameo against England in 2005.

It was after this that Yildirim started to flounder. After moving to Gaziantepspor in Turkey, he failed to live up to his previous standards. Moving between clubs in Turkey, he was released by Kasimpasa in 2008.

Failed trials with Blackburn, Plymouth and Watford followed. At age 30, Yildirim now plays for CSV Apeldoorn in the Dutch Fourth Division.

David Nugent | England (One appearance, one goal)

David Nugent is another of the distinctly average players to have one appearance for England and, alas, one goal.

Although the goal is remembered for being a toe-poke into an open goal, on the end of an already-going-in Jermain Defoe shot, Nugent's England cap is the defining moment of his career.

To be honest, though, there is little to choose from. From an average youth player at Bury, Nugent became an average player at Preston, and then an average player at Portsmouth, before being loaned to Burnley and then transferring to current club Leicester where he is, low and behold, still an average player.

Oh, and in case you were wondering: his one England appearance was, true to form, average.

 

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Topics:
#Internationals
#Francis Jeffers
#David Nugent
#David Nugent
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