Brits abroad XI

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Football News

When it comes to British footballers, most are content to play in the United Kingdom with the lure of the Premier League strong enough to resist the temptation to fly the nest and seek sunnier climates abroad. 

However, some cannot help themselves and when a career in Britain has reached its peak, they seek new challenges and goals elsewhere.

That is where these 11 men come in, and with a mixture of glorious successes and horrible failures, the squad is as varied as can be. 

The side lines up in a 3-5-2 formation and we start with a man whose stay in Turkey was cut short by the lure of Wigan just a couple of months ago.

Goalkeeper - Scott Carson

After finding his form dipping for West Brom back in 2011, former Liverpool man Carson sought out pastures new and found himself the subject of a £2m switch to Bursaspor of Turkey.

Carson actually enjoyed two reasonably successful seasons as the Turkish club's number one and helped his club finish fourth in his second season, qualifying them for the Europa League.

The former England international returned to England this summer with a £700,000 switch to Wigan, presumably because he was fed up of the weather?

Centre Back - Bobby Moore

England's greatest ever defender and the heroic World Cup-winning captain of 1966, Moore decided to move abroad at the age of 35 to wind his career down in the burgeoning football nation of America.

However, this was no retirement as the stalwart centre half stuck around for three years, playing for both San Antonio Thunder and the Seattle Sounders and educating the Americans in the school of England defending.

Centre Back - Des Walker

After eight impressive seasons with Nottingham Forest and a host of classy outings for the national side, Des Walker was snapped up by future England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson for Italian side Sampdoria for £1.5m in 1992.

However, Walker endured a tough time in Italy and although he made a creditable 30 appearances during his one season with the club, he soon returned to England with Sheffield Wednesday, where he would remain until 2001.

Centre Back - Jonathan Woodgate

One of the least successful entrants into our team, Woodgate's spell at Spanish giants Real Madrid will be remembered as disastrously by the player as it will by fans of Los Blancos.

His debut for the club set the tone as he scored an own goal and was eventually sent off for a second bookable offence. One of only 14 appearances in two years in Spain.

Woodgate eventually packed his bags and went off to sunny Middlesbrough but his time at the Spanish club brought to light the strange transfer dealings of the time as Thomas Gravesen also became a 'Galactico' around the same period.

Centre Midfield - Paul Lambert

A rare Briton success story in a foreign country, Paul Lambert's brief period at Borussia Dortmund brought with it the Champions League title, when the Germans beat Juventus 3-1 in the final in 1997.

Lambert was integral to this success, stifling the creative talents of one Zinedine Zidane and providing the cross for Karl-heinz Riedle's opener that night before leaving the club on a high and returning to his native Scotland with Celtic.

Centre Midfield - Paul Gascoigne

Arguably the most talented English player of his generation, Gascoigne joined Italian side Lazio in 1992 after four years with Tottenham.

However his move was doomed from the start as he wasn't the same player after a horror injury suffered in the 1991 FA Cup final in an attempt to maim Nottingham Forest's Gary Charles, rupturing his cruciate ligaments.

Ravaged by injury during his Italian adventure, Gascoigne remained for three largely unhappy years before a move to Scottish side Rangers came calling in 1995.

Centre Midfield - Kevin Keegan

The most advanced of our three midfielders, Keegan is remembered almost as findly in Hamburg as he is on Tyneside after he made a huge impression during his three years with the Germans.

Keegan helped his side win the Bundesliga in 1978/79 and won the European Footballer of the Year award while at the club and earned the nickname 'Mighty Mouse' from the Hamburg faithful before he cut short his career there after three seasons to sign for Southampton.

Right Midfield - David Beckham

Beckham's first foray abroad was one of the most talked about moves in football history when one of the sport's most famous sons made a £23m switch from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2003.

'Golden Balls' enjoyed a successful end to his time with the Spaniards, leaving to join LA Galaxy after helping the side win the La Liga title in 2007.

Beckham would go on to have two loan spells at AC Milan before a permanent move to PSG in 2013, making 14 appearances for the club before a tearful retirement at the end of the season.

Left Midfield - Gareth Bale

Although he is yet to don a Real Madrid shirt in a competitive match, Bale was an obvious inclusion in this side due to the world-record fee paid for him by the Spanish giants.

The £86m man signed from Tottenham in the last days of the transfer window and now must try and find success abroad where so many others have failed. Does the Welshman have a personality big enough to endear himself to the Madrid faithful?

Striker - Gary Lineker

Future England boss Terry Venables brought Lineker to Barcelona after his golden boot-winning displays in the 1986 World Cup.

The former Everton man didn't disappoint during his time in Spain, scoring 52 goals in 138 appearances with a series of crisp finishes at Camp Nou...

Striker - Ian Rush

In complete contrast to Lineker's success abroad, Ian Rush endured a horrible time at Italian side Juventus when he moved for a British record of £3.2m in 1987.

The Welshman remained in Turin for just a season, allegedly remarking that it was 'like living in a foreign country' before returning to Liverpool in 1988 to reacquaint himself with the Anfield faithful who consider him a hero to this day.

What Brits would you have liked to see in this squad? Leave a comment below.


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