Football

England's greatest ever XI

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In light of an infamous 2018 World Cup qualifying draw, the oldest rivalry in world football will finally go head to head in a competitive manner for the first time in 16 years.

England will come up against their fierce rivals Scotland in Group F, in what is surely the Three Lions' most difficult World Cup group in years.

To celebrate this exciting match up, I had to ask the question, what would a line up of England's best ever XI look like? Here is my opinion: 

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GK - Gordon Banks 

Choosing between Banks and Peter Shilton was no easy task, despite Peter Shilton making more appearances for the three lions, Banks' membership in the 1966 World Cup winning squad and his outrageous save from a Pele header meant Banks just had to be in this team. 

RB - Gary Neville

As well as skill, players' passion and effort in an England shirt has to be taken into account. Very few emulated that trait more than Neville. His crossing ability and pace down the right flank was definitely one of his best traits. He also made 85 appearances for the his country. 

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CB - Bobby Moore

Need I say more, widely considered as one of the best centre backs of all time, even Pele said he was the toughest defender he'd ever played against. Leading England to the World Cup in 1966, he was one of the classiest centre backs of his generation.

CB - Terry Butcher

The ideal partner for Moore, Terry Butcher always had a 'you shall not pass' mentality, always putting England first and doing everything humanly possibly to stop the ball from crossing England's goal line - a real fan favourite. 77 caps in an England jersey was met with ease by Butcher whilst Bobby Robson's praise for the defender was non-stop.

LB - Stuart Pearce

Nicknamed Psycho, because he was never afraid to make his emotion very visible to the England faithful, whether it was his screaming antics or tireless work on the pitch. Hard in the tackle and always willing to put his body on the line, he managed 78 caps and 5 goals in a white shirt. 

RM - David Beckham

Never far from controversy and for that matter the celebrity limelight in an England shirt, his famous right foot worked wonders for the Three Lions. Nobody could swing it into the area quite like Beckham. One of Becks' finest moments being a last minute free kick winner against Greece in the 2002 World Cup Qualifiers.

CM - Sir Bobby Charlton

Who could forget this man? A World Cup winner with England and the all time top scorer with 48 goals in 106 caps. Any sane person would include him in this team. Remembered for his quick feet and genius on the ball, is it any wonder he got a knighthood?

CM - Bryan Robson

Player turned coach and with 90 caps and 26 goals in an England shirt, it's hard to argue that Robson would be an example for any England player. Many people would argue that players like Gerrard and Beardsley would be more suited to partner Charlton, but Robson was always a talent for England and a solid choice for this position.

 

LM - Paul Gascoigne 

Despite Gazza's controversy and drug problems, he was always a marvel to behold. Not only his skill and pace, but evidently his raw passion in a three lions shirt. His talent was there for all to witness with one of his finest moments being a sensational strike against Scotland at Hampden Park.

ST - Sir Geoff Hurst  

This was a truly difficult choice, many names came to mind. Owen, Lofthouse, Rooney and Shearer being but a few. However, not only is he a member of the 1966 World Cup winning team but also a crucial component of that side. He's also the only man to date to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, practically winning it for the Three Lions, absolutely remarkable. 

ST - Gary Lineker  

Last but certainly not least, Lineker is a symbol of English football and it would be a sin to leave him out. A remarkable player for England, 80 caps and 48 goals screams the fact he was without doubt England's most clinical ever striker. Scoring the second quickest hat-trick ever at a World Cup against Poland, Lineker was also known not only for his sensational goal scoring records, but his tireless working attitude.

In conclusion, a superb team - rich in the two things England supporters value most, passion and talent. 

Would you make any changes to this side? Have your say below!

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Topics:
David Beckham
Geoff Hurst
Paul Gascoigne
Bobby Charlton
Terry Butcher
Gordon Banks
Stuart Pearce
Bryan Robson
Bobby Moore
Gary Neville
Football
England Football
Gary Lineker

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