England is the country where football and many other sports were born. The country of the best league in the world.
There are many fans and football spirit is everywhere. England, the country that didn’t participate in the World Cup until 1950, although it’s considered one of the World Cup organizers. It makes sense as the country has always had the fame of football’s inventor. However, its history counts only one World Cup title that was won at home in 1966 and some other important semifinals in the World Cup and the Euros.
Thus it’s better not to underestimate it. Quite to the contrary, to pay a proper tribute, we review ten best English footballers in history to our mind:
1 — Bobby Charlton: the survivor of the Munich air disaster heads the list of the best English players in history. He was very fast, intuitive, with a good vision of the pitch. He was excellent at the positions of forward and inside forward. You can rarely see something similar to this phenomenon from Manchester United on the British Isles nowadays. His contribution to the recovery of a depressed club is enormous. He led MU to the Champions Cup win in 1968 and together they won three Division 1 titles. He was English team’s top scorer with his 49 goals made in 106 games until 2016 when Wayne Rooney surpassed him. He participated in four World Cups throughout his career and won one in 1966. Then he scored three goals.
2 — Gordon Banks: the 1966 World Cup goalkeeper. England doesn’t usually have good goalkeepers, but Banks is an exception. His agility, his rapid reflexes turned him into a cat at the goalposts. Above all, he had the honour of being the man who made the famous save of Pele’s header. 73 caps and 15 years of being a goalkeeper divided English football history into before and after.
3 — Bobby Moore: one of the best central defenders in history. Moore knew how to retrieve the ball, cut breakaways with fine elegance and be tough while playing. His statue near Wembley indicates his greatness. He perfectly represents the concept of a centre-back.
4 — Stanley Matthews: almost everyone knew what he was going to do, but almost nobody could stop it. There was Murphy's football law. If he could do it, he did and nobody could win. And indeed, this happened every time. A firm control, great dribbling ability and lightning speed. He was also a smart player, who knew how to pass the ball because it wasn’t made randomly. He was one of the best centre-forwards in the world. That was Matthews, the man who played until he turned 50 and who managed to win the first Ballon d'Or in history in 1956.
5 — David Beckham: many hated him, but he played an important role in world football. To begin with, he has been the player who has obtained the biggest amount of money thanks to this sport, partly because he knew how to turn his image into business. Beyond that, we live at the same time as one of the best midfielders in history, who had a sublime shot. He participated in three World Cups, he won everything he could and even more with Manchester United before going to Real Madrid where he also had a good spell. Only some smudges in the form of clamorous failures at important moments tarnish his dream career.
6 — Gary Lineker: “Football is a simple game: 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and, at the end, the Germans always win”. This world-famous phrase in the football history belongs to this Englishman, who wreaked havoc at the goalposts in England and Spain in the mid 80s. Lineker is one of the few players who never saw a yellow card. A genuine football gentleman.
7 — Wayne Rooney: strength, power, technique, vision of game, defense. Rooney is not an ordinary forward, he’s much more than that. He’s a perfect player, whom every coach would want to have. Five Premier Leagues titles, one Champions League win, one Club World Cup. We are talking about the striker with enormous career, which was promising from his first years in Everton. He is possibly one of the most outstanding strikers in the history of English football.
8 — Alan Shearer: 402 goals in 17 seasons. These numbers can give an idea of his excellence in scoring goals. He had a good skill of ball possession and could act a playmaker, even when there wasn’t space to score, he still did it. He was persistent at scoring. He wasn’t lucky to wear a shirt of a big club, but he still remains the top scorer in the history of the Premiership.
9 — Frank Lampard: besides being a symbol of Chelsea, his smashing beginning of the career, perfect physical shape and excellent sense of a game change, he is the fourth top scorer in the history of the Premiership (166 goals) and a player with the the third highest number of games in the Premier League (609 matches). there wasn´t anyone who played more back then.
10 — John Barnes: a Jamaican from Kingston, but in the whole world he’s remembered because of his feints that he did in the English national team during the 1986 World Cup. Fast like a bullet, this left winger went from being an ordinary team man to an imaginative midfielder as he was losing his speed over the years. It didn’t matter, he always stood out, especially in Liverpool, the club with which he won many titles and where he turned into a legend.
Other footballers that are worth to mention: Paul Scholes, David Seaman, Peter Shilton, Paul Ince, Bobby Robson, Michael Owen, Kevin Keegan, John Terry, Robbie Fowler, Steve Gerrard, Teddy Sheringham, Jamie Carragher…