England are one of the greatest international teams in football history.
While the Three Lions’ solitary World Cup triumph might not suggest that’s the case, there can be no escaping the fact that England have left an indelible impact upon the beautiful game.
Besides, there’s no denying that some of the greatest players in history have hailed from English shores, helping to maintain their native league as one of the most revered around the world.
England’s legendary alumni
And if there is any guarantee that comes with being a world-class English player then it’s the inevitability of hoovering up caps for the national team.
No matter who you support, there’s a special camaraderie that’s inspired by watching England and fans across the country are always keen for the nation’s finest players to take to the pitch.
Now, most England fans would easily be able to name the player who has amassed the most caps for the Three Lions – more on that later if you don’t – but how about the stars just behind them?
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Quality = caps
Well, we wanted to see how an all-time England XI would line up if we constructed it based on caps won, pedalling the aforementioned theory that top quality leads to a high number of appearances.
And there appears to be an impressive correlation because selecting the most-capped player in each position across England’s history leads to a truly world-beating starting XI.
With a Ballon d’Or winner in both midfield and attack, as well as Champions League and World Cup victors in the defence, it really is a glowing endorsement of England’s international alumni.
England’s most-capped XI
Intrigued, right? Well, we won’t keep you waiting any longer because the most-capped England XI of all time is here for you to enjoy down below:
GK: Peter Shilton – 125 caps
RB: Gary Neville – 85 caps
CB: Bobby Moore – 108 caps
CB: Billy Wright – 105 caps
LB: Ashley Cole – 107 caps
RM: David Beckham – 115 caps
CM: Steven Gerrard – 114 caps
CM: Sir Bobby Charlton – 106 caps
LM: John Barnes – 79 caps
ST: Wayne Rooney – 120 caps
ST: Michael Owen – 89 caps
A starting XI stacked with talent
Let’s not beat around the bush: this team would win the World Cup if they played together in their prime.
Just imagine the scenes as Moore and Neville commanded a watertight back four with Beckham whipping in world-class crosses to Rooney and Owen in their Ballon d’Or-contending pomp.
And could there possibly be a midfield duo more heroic than Charlton and Gerrard? The two icons of English football would bring Herculean energy and monstrous long shots to the centre of the park.
It truly is an astonishing XI and perhaps one in which Wright, who became the first England player in history to win 100 caps, stands out as the only starter unfamiliar to a modern-day audience.
However, rest assured that the Wolverhampton Wanderers legend is by no means letting the side down having captained England a record-equalling 90 times without a single booking or red card.
So, it’s fair to say that the Three Lions would tear through Euro 2020 if they could magically call upon their most-capped XI because it goes to show that sometimes quantity really can be quality.