The seven best British players currently playing overseas

Gareth Bale, Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson are among the best British players currently playing abroad

Some of Britain's best players in history have played abroad.

Before the Premier League was created in 1992, it seemed almost the norm for Britain's best players to ply their trade overseas.

For example, after a successful start to his Manchester United career, Mark Hughes went on to play for Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Kevin Keegan, Glenn Hoddle and Gary Lineker are just a few other big names that decided to leave British shores to further their footballing career.

However, in the past two decades fewer British players are making the same decision.

More recently, David Beckham and Michael Owen both joined Real Madrid, while others, such as Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard both ended their careers in the United States.

While it is true in modern times that British players would rather ply their trade at home, there are a few talented players that have made the gutsy decision to move abroad.

And we've created a list of the top seven British players who have decided to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Lineker and Beckham...

David Beckham and Michael Owen both left England to play for Real Madrid

7: Ronaldo Vieira - Sampdoria

Vieira can also represent Portugal and Guinea Bissau if he chooses to but it seems he has decided to represent England.

Having come through the youth system at Leeds United, Vieira made his debut for the Yorkshire club as a 17-year-old in May 2016.

The midfielder then quickly became a regular at the club, featuring 67 times across the next two seasons.

His performances led to Italian outfit Sampdoria deciding to make a move for him in the summer, eventually signing him for £7 million.

Vieira also has three appearances at England U21 level and, at 20 years old, he is surely one to watch out for in the future.

Ronaldo Vieira in action for Leeds United

6: Sheyi Ojo - Reims (on loan from Liverpool)

Ojo is still highly rated at Liverpool but has been consistently sent out on loan in the past few years.

Liverpool paid £2 million to buy him when he was just 14 from MK Dons in 2011.

He made his debut for the club in 2015 and has featured 13 times in all, scoring once.

The exciting winger has played in nine of Reims' 11 games this season, notching his first goal for the club in a Coupe de la Ligue game against Orleans.

Now 21, time is running out for him to force his way into this Liverpool team, although he has proven he could feature for a Premier League side in the future.

Sheyi Ojo is on loan at Reims from Liverpool this season

5) Patrick Roberts - Girona (on loan from Manchester City)

Roberts made his Premier League debut as a 17-year-old for Fulham, leading to then manager Felix Magath to describe him as an 'extraordinary talent'.

Having endured relegation, the winger played a more prominent role the following year and he soon earned a £12 million move to Manchester City.

He was sent on loan on three occasions to Celtic, where he became a key member of a side that won the Scottish championship in every season he was there.

Roberts is now spending time at Girona, where he has featured eight times in La Liga.

Patrick Roberts proved his immense talent while at Celtic

4) Reiss Nelson - 1899 Hoffenheim (on loan from Arsenal)

Arsenal have a gem in Nelson.

The highly rated youngster played 16 times for the club last season and could have been given more game time under Unai Emery this campaign.

However, despite being just 18 years old, Nelson made the gutsy decision to move on loan to the Bundesliga for this season.

And what a decision that has been.

The winger has made seven appearances in Germany's top tier and already has six goals to his name.

He's already made his mark for Die Kraichgauer and improved his stock massively, so don't be surprised if he plays a prominent role for Arsenal after returning from loan.

Reiss Nelson has lit up the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim

3) Wayne Rooney - D.C. United

Despite leaving the Premier League for the MLS earlier this year, Rooney remains at the top of his game.

The American side were last in the Eastern Conference when Rooney joined in June but the club enjoyed an extraordinary change of fortune upon his arrival.

D.C. United rose to fourth in the league before being knocked out of the playoffs on penalties to Columbus Crew.

Rooney eventually ended the campaign with 12 goals in 21 games for the Black-and-Red.

Now 33, Rooney is well into the latter stages of his career.

But, he proved to all in England that he still possesses great quality during his cameo for his national side against U.S.A last week.

Wayne Rooney was impressive in his cameo for England last week

2) Jadon Sancho - Borussia Dortmund

Sancho has long been regarded one of England's brightest stars, but he's now showing it at Borussia Dortmund.

The 18-year-old has shone since joining the Bundesliga club in 2017, having scored six times in 29 games.
Despite turning 19 in five months, Gareth Southgate has already capped the youngster three times, most recently against Croatia on Sunday.

Blessed with speed and trickery, he's shown that he has all the tools to be an integral figure for both club and country for many years to come.

Jadon Sancho is fast becoming one of Borussia Dortmund's key players

1) Gareth Bale - Real Madrid

Who else?

Bale emerged into a superstar in his final few seasons at Tottenham Hotspur and has cemented that status while at Real Madrid.

Since making the move for £85.3 million in 2013, Bale has scored 93 times in 204 games for Los Blancos.

He has also won 11 major trophies during that spell, including four Champions League's.

Bale has struggled this season with Real Madrid languishing in sixth in La Liga.

But there's no doubt that he's the best player from Britain currently playing abroad.

In fact, given the success he's enjoyed at Los Blancos, he may well be Britain's best ever player to ply his trade overseas.

Gareth Bale has won four Champions League titles with Real Madrid

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