England: All-time Top 5

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To celebrate St. George’s Day, GiveMeFootball decided to pull together its list of all-time greatest England players.

With only five places available, our selections are sure to be controversial, with several big names missing out on the final cut.

Don’t forget to have your say on our list, and have your say on who should and shouldn’t have been included.

Bobby Moore – 108 caps, 2 goals

The former West Ham United and Fulham centre back holds a special place in the heart of England football fans, and is still the only captain to lift major silverware with the Three Lions.

His place in the country’s folklore will forever be linked with success on home soil in 1966, but Moore is also the third most capped player in England’s history, earning his first in 1962 and last 11 years later in 1973.

Moore played in three World Cups, made what many regard as one of the greatest ever tackles on Pele in 1970, and has a cancer charity named after him following the legend’s sad passing on February 24th, 1993.

Peter Shilton – 125 caps, 0 goals

For two decades, Shilton produced his very best for England after a battle with Ray Clemence for the country’s No.1 spot.

Whilst the 70s were relatively unproductive for the national side, it was the late 80s when Shilton began to enjoy success for England under Sir Bobby Robson. He captained the country at stages during the 1986 World Cup, and was also the main man four years later as England reached the semi-final at Italia ’90.

Distinguished at club level, Shilton played competitively for over 30 years, enjoying his best years at Leicester City, Stoke City, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and Derby County.

However, as England’s most capped player in history, it’s with the Three Lions that he can be most proud of his achievements.

Bobby Charlton – 106 caps, 49 goals

England’s all-time leading goalscorer, Charlton played alongside Moore in the famous ’66 World Cup winning squad, and enjoyed his finest performance on the international stage in a 2-1 semi-final win over Portugal.

Charlton’s brace in that clash went towards his final total of 49, smashing home numerous winners from range as well as the odd close-range finish when it mattered over a 12-year career with his country.

After making his debut in 1958, Charlton was in the squad but never played in that year’s World Cup, missing out on a chance to join the select group who have played in four consecutive tournaments. He was still able to make his mark on the biggest stage though, and was also one of the top performers in 1970.

Gary Lineker – 80 caps, 48 goals

So often the man when it mattered for England, Lineker delivered the goods on the big occasion for Sir Bobby Robson at both the 1986 and 1990 World Cups.

Golden Boot winner in Argentina, the former Leicester City, Everton and Barcelona striker rescued his country in the ’86 group stages, and then against Cameroon in the ’90 quarter-finals.

The finest ‘fox in the box’ since Jimmy Greaves for the Three Lions, his career did end on a sour note when Graham Taylor substituted the striker against Sweden in a Euro ’92 qualifier. England needed a goal to reach the tournament, but failed.

Paul Gascoigne – 57 caps, 10 goals

It’s almost a case of ‘what if’ with Gazza, who could have earned so many more caps had injury not ruined the attacking midfielder’s career during his prime.

But, after bursting onto the scene in 1988, Gascoigne captured the nation’s imagination during the run to the semi-finals in 1990, and then did it again six years later when football came home at Euro ’96.

The off-field antics made the former Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio a tabloid newspapers dream, but also played its part in making Gazza a firm favourite throughout his career with the fans.

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