Rooney, Gerrard, Scholes: Who is the greatest English player ever?

Wayne Rooney

Who is England’s greatest ever player?

If you’re old enough – and lucky enough – to have witnessed the Three Lions win their only World Cup in 1966, your answer is likely a member of that heroic squad.

However, those of a slightly younger generation aren’t quite spoiled for choice as we’ve experienced heartbreak after heartbreak when it comes to major international tournaments.

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But that’s not to say there haven’t been world-class players representing England in recent years.

So, have you thought of an answer to the question yet?

Well, FourFourTwo had no interest in simply naming the greatest English player in history. Instead, they’ve attempted to name the 25 greatest in order.

The result? Well, let’s take a look:

25. Raheem Sterling

24. Michael Owen

23. John Terry

22. Glenn Hoddle

21. John Barnes

John Barnes

20. Frank Lampard

19. Billy Wright

18. Steven Gerrard

17. Tom Finney

16. Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes of England chases the ball

15. Peter Shilton

14. Rio Ferdinand

13. Kevin Keegan

12. Ashley Cole

11. Stanley Matthews

Two Stan's

10. Gary Lineker

9. Harry Kane

8. Alan Shearer

7. David Beckham

6. Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne

5. Gordon Banks

4. Jimmy Greaves

3. Wayne Rooney

2. Bobby Moore

1. Bobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton

25-1 ranking review

So, let’s break down FourFourTwo’s 25-1 ranking of England’s greatest ever players, shall we?

It was always going to be out of the legendary Charlton and Moore to get that No.1 spot. They were two of the most important players during the 1966 World Cup triumph as well as having incredible club careers for Man Utd and West Ham respectively. Charlton has been given the nod with Moore narrowly behind.

England and Manchester United record goalscorer, Rooney, completes the podium ahead of the brilliant Jimmy Greaves and Gordon Banks.

While he may only be the sixth greatest English player, Gascoigne is no doubt the greatest football entertainer this country has ever produced. He edges out David Beckham, who can perhaps consider himself fortunate to be seventh.

Group B  England v Trinidad v Tobago - World Cup 2006

Premier League’s record goalscorer, Shearer, is ahead of the man chasing down that 260 tally in Kane. Another legendary striker, Lineker, completes the top 10.

What other noteworthy rankings are there?

Well, it’s worth highlighting that Scholes (16th) beats Gerrard (18th) and Lampard (20th) in the eternal debate as to who was the better midfielder.

In a slightly less heated debate, Ferdinand (14th) is ranked higher than fellow centre back Terry (23rd).

To be fair to FourFourTwo, ranking the greatest 25 English players of all time is always going to upset plenty of fans. Fair play to them for giving it a go!

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