Here is the best England XI of all-time:

Goalkeeper: Gordon Banks: Many people would argue, while Banks is a great keeper, Peter Shilton, David Seaman or even Joe Hart are a better pick.

Sheffield born Banks has represented England 73 times during that time, he won the World Cup in 1966 with England, made arguably the best ever save vs Pelé, won the FIFA Goalkeeper of the year award six times in a row from 1966-1971 and won eight British Home Championships (twice shared) as well as being named in the Fifa 100 (Pelé's list of the best 100 living players and former players) awarded in 2004. With all of this, Banks is easily the pick for this spot.

Right Back: Gary Neville: Neville (like many players in this team) have never won anything with England, and yes shares an own goal with Paul Robinson vs Croatia, but Neville is easily the best English right back the Premier League has ever seen.

While some would argue Lee Dixon or George Cohen were better, for Mm, they didn't play enough, Dixon has 22 caps while Cohen has 37, Neville was capped 85 times.

Centre Back: (C) Bobby Moore: This one is simply unarguable, 108 caps, two goals, Moore is simply England's greatest defender, captain and arguably player ever. Moore was also part of the 1966 World Cup triumph and captained England to the greatest footballing glory.

Bobby Moore has won so many individual awards, but maybe, most notable of all, the FIFA All Time Team, where he lays beside Franz Beckenbauer. The one honour Moore was not awarded was knighthood, Harry Redknapp described that as "unbelievable". Moore was not a big man, but he had a football brain twice the size of the likes of Xavi. Rest in peace.

Centre Back: Terry Butcher: Maybe slightly controversial with the likes of John Terry, Tony Adams, Jack Charlton and Rio Ferdinand, but with Moore's size, it would be a big help to have a six foot four giant who wasn't scared of anything.

Butcher was always known as a 'hardman' especially after England's match vs Sweden in which Butcher played on with impromptu stitches and bandages on his head. Butcher walked off the pitch with a red shirt, and no, Sweden weren't playing in red, Butcher proved that you can't leave the pitch having left blood, sweat and tears, as Butcher didn't complain or cry and walked off the pitch laughing. Since then, every football fan has respected him.

Left Back: Stuart Pearce: Another arguable decision with Ashley Cole or Ray Wilson a more popular pick, however you can't just use the argument that Wilson was a World Cup winner for every player.

Pearce earned 78 caps and scored five goals. But he is most well known in an England shirt as 'Psycho'. Always filled with passion on the pitch, Pearce was another fearless 'Psycho'. Loved by fans (after redemption vs Spain), Pearce went on to a relatively successful spell in charge of the Under 21's, leading them to Euro runners up, and third place.

Central Midfield: Bryan Robson: With 90 caps and 26 goals from midfield it's hard to find a reason not to put Robson in the team. A Man who was on the bench for England vs Argentina 1986. A man who I believe would have had us beating Argentina.

Out of the 90 caps, Robson captained England 65 times, Robson always seems forgotten by many England fans, who believe Hoddle, Lampard, Gerrard or Beardsley to be a more fitting player, I believe Robson had the talent to out play any player on his day.

Central Midfield: Bobby Charlton: At 106 caps and 49 goals Charlton is England all time England leading scorer, and another certain pick for this team, any sane person would have him in their squad of all time players, Bobby was a genius. His two goals against Portugal got England to the World Cup Final, and what great goals they were too.

Charlton also survived the terrible Munich disaster, having swapped places with Tommy Taylor, who unfortunately died. However, without Charlton, I can't see England having won the World Cup. Since that terrible day in 1958, Charlton's life has been a blessing on football, as he is truly a gift to English football. 

Right Wing: David Beckham: Beckham is the biggest 'celebrity' footballer of all time without a doubt, and is arguably the most famous man alive. So leaving out of this team would be a joke just because of popularity, it would cause a war.

But Beckham wasn't bad on the pitch either, often described by many as the most dangerous dead ball player of all time. Beckham's had two moments that have highlighted him as an England legend. Obviously the free kick vs Greece to qualify England for World Cup 2002, and at that competition scored a penalty, that gave himself redemption on the screw jobs in 1998, and 1986, for both England and himself.

Beckham was without a doubt the most down to Earth and nicest 'big' player off the pitch, but his greatest glory lies in being ever faithful to his wife, who seems to annoy everyone by simply speaking, when others have cheated, Beckham has stayed true. Although Beckham had his fair share of controversy, like jumping out of a tackle vs Brazil in 2002, Brazil went on to score and win the game by one.

Left Wing: Paul Gascoigne: Despite all of his drinking problems, and many arrests. Gascoigne was a simply amazing player who could take a joke better than anyone one minute, then snap the next, then cry like a baby the next.

He had major mood and attitude changes on and off the pitch, but it was his unpredictability that made him so incredible. Gascoigne is one of a kind, and if not for drink, who knows if England could have won another cup?

Striker: Nat Lofthouse: Very forgotten behind Sheringham, Shearer, Owen and of course Geoff Hurst. But Nat Lofthouse managed 30 goals in 33 caps, while he may have played in a time when football was less competitive, he still has the record of best goals per game for England.

Lofthouse was also ever loyal to Bolton Wanderers, something you don't get much these days. Lofthouse scored more goals than, Hurst, Sheringham and Shearer (on games played) from the players I mentioned previously, and should he have played 89 games like probably would be resting in peace with 80 odd goals. Legend.

Striker: Gary Lineker: 80 Caps, 48 Goals. Lineker was one goal away from equalling Charlton's all time England goalscoring record when Graham Taylor decided to substitute Lineker for a player described by fans as an "average" striker and described by me as "annoying commentator on Fifa" but ultimately a decent player, Alan Smith.

Lineker was upset at Taylor and himself as he'd already missed a penalty in that match. If he had scored one goal he would have become England's all time leading scorer one games played. Based on ability, Lineker was England's best striker undoubtedly, twice scoring four goals in a game.

He is still a fan favourite and presents football show Match of the Day on BBC. He was also top scorer at World Cup 1986 with six goals, despite being knocked out controversially by Argentine legend Diego Maradona.

So to conclude, England's best to date are behind us, but let's hope Hart, Sterling, Jones, Smalling, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge and Walcott live up to their early career hype.

 

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Topics:
#Stuart Pearce
#Gary Neville
#Nat Lofthouse
#Terry Butcher
#Paul Gascoigne
#Bobby Charlton
#Charlton Athletic
#Gary Lineker
#England Football
#Bobby Moore
#Football
#Gordon Banks
#David Beckham
#Peter Beardsley