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The Best England Players of the Century

September 08, 2015

- Grant Whittington

While England may not have won a major international honour since 1966, they certainly had their moments during the halcyon days of Italia ’90 and Euro ’96. They have also continued to develop a nucleus of talented players through the ages, from the flamboyant and individually skilled starts of the 1980’s to the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ of 2000. With this in mind, attempting to select your top three England players of all time is a difficult and thankless pastime.

We are a brave and courageous bunch at bethut.co.uk however, so we have thought long and hard to create a shortlist of our top three England players. So in no particular order, here we go: –

Bobby Charlton

The easiest selection on the list, Charlton recovered from the devastation of the Munich Air Disaster (in which many of his friends and colleagues were killed) to captain England and win the World Cup less than 10 years later (under Moore’s captainship). The joint-sixth highest capped England international of all time with 106 appearances, Charlton also remains the nations’ highest goal scorer with 49 international strikes. While he is likely to be overtaken by Wayne Rooney in the coming months, his power, passing range and sheer strength of character means that Charlton is England’s greatest ever player.

David Beckham

In close consideration with Wayne Rooney, Beckham was chosen on the basis of his match-saving heroics against Greece in a that 2002 World Cup qualifying game. After chasing a lost cause almost single-handedly, Beckham stepped up in the final minute curl home a stunning free-kick that earned a point and sent England to Japan. This capped a staggering career that was pure box office, including a lengthy stint as the man every supporter wanted to hate after a red-card against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup. Capped an impressive 59 times as captain and having scored 17 goals, he is certainly worth inclusion as one of England’s greatest players.

Bobby Moore

Certainly England’s greatest ever defender, Moore was a stylish and accomplished centre-half who relied on timing and pace rather than brute force. He was also a prominent member of the 1966 World Cup winning squad, while his total of 108 England appearances makes him the fourth most capped player in history. Renowned for a staggeringly well-timed tackle of the fleet-footed Brazilian forward Jairzinho at the 1970 World Cup, Moore has to stand as one the very best of all time.

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