Manchester United and Liverpool legends in England’s greatest XI

Three Lions Wembley

With the 2014 World Cup underway, we select the best England XI of all time, which includes former Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea players.

Manager: Sir Bobby Robson

With an eight-year tenure as England manager, Sir Bobby Robson guided his country to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1986 and then to the semi-finals of Italia '90 - where he saw his side beaten on penalties (of course). A popular man in the world of football, most England players and fans alike will say that Sir Bobby was one of the greatest England managers of all time. 

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Gordon Banks (Leicester City, Stoke City)

World Cup-winner Gordon Banks is considered one of England's greatest ever goalkeepers. Capped 73 times for his country, Banks pulled off arguably one of the best saves ever seen, after he clawed away a goal-bound header from Brazilian legend Pele.

Banks played an influential role in England's first and only World Cup win in 1966. A real pair of safe hands between the sticks.

Left-Back: Ashley Cole (Arsenal, Chelsea)

Fast, nimble and formidable at both attack and defence, Ashley Cole makes the greatest England XI. England's most capped full-back with 107 appearances, the former Chelsea man has lightening pace to go on the overlap and join attacks, all without forgetting his defensive duties.

His surprise omission from the England World Cup squad in 2014 resulted in Cole retiring from international duty.

Right-Back: Gary Neville (Manchester United)

Former Manchester United full-back Gary Neville made it in England's right-back position. Calm, steady and an assured player, Neville was not renown for his electrifying pace, yet his endeavour and work ethic was what every manager seeks. He provided hard work and consistency in every game. 

Centre-Back: Bobby Moore (West Ham United, Fulham)

England captain with 108 caps and gifted with a footballing brain, Moore wore the Three Lions on his shirt with pride. A collosus in the heart of the defence, Moore was the heart-beat of the entire team, leading by example on and off the field.

Moore gave his all for his country and duly delivered on home soil as he lifted the World Cup in 1966. Not afraid of a tackle, Moore never backed away if things got rough and was a true leader.

Centre-Back: Terry Butcher (Rangers, Coventry City, Sunderland)

Terry Butcher will be known for his performance against Sweden in 1989 where he sustained a head injury that required stitches. Unwilling to go off, Butcher showed no mercy in winning his areal battles, re-opening his wound which stained his England whites a bloody red. The man oozed desire and hunger to give his all. 

Right Midfield: Paul Gascoigne (Rangers, Middlesbrough, Everton)

'Gazza' - the lively, hilarious, brilliant talent that is Paul Gascoigne fills up the right-midfield space. The boy who entered the international stage with the world at his feet. His skill and poise on the ball was bettered by none as he eased his way through defences.

A presence both on and off the pitch, Gascoigne had such joy and love for the game. and it was tangible for fans as he played with a smile on his face.

Left Midfield: Sir Bobby Charlton (Manchester United)

Another contingent of the 1966 glory days, Sir Bobby Charlton makes the greatest England XI. The Manchester United legend has a record that speaks for itself.

Charlton possessed the ability to carry the ball, pass, shoot and play the beautiful game with ease. A classy footballer who had everything in his locker, Charlton's reputation in the game needs no introduction.

Centre-Midfield: Paul Scholes (Manchester United)

When asked who was the greatest midfielder he had played against, Zinedine Zidane had no hesitation in naming Paul Scholes.

Blessed with the best passing ability of any England player to date, Scholes was the mediator. Not worried about the glory of scoring (although he bagged a few scorchers) Scholes was all about ball retention and finding the pass. Under-rated when he played for England, Scholes may left the international stage before he peaked as a footballer.

Centre-Midfield: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

The current England captain is a quality act in the centre of the park. A real box-to-box midfielder who can create and score goals, Gerrard is a player who just wants the ball at his feet.

The Liverpool man is a real athlete, and excellent football role model. 

Striker: Gary Lineker (Everton, Tottenham Hotspur)

With 48 goals in 80 England appearances, Gary Lineker was a goal-machine leading the front line.

With a wonderful goalscoring record wherever he played, Lineker had the ability to feed on scraps and would always be dangerous in the box. A real poacher in front of goal, there was only one outcome if Lineker was given half-a-yard by a defender with the goal at his mercy. 

Striker: Michael Owen (Liverpool, Newcastle United, Manchester United)

The teenager stole the headlines after scoring his magical goal against Argentina. Goalscoring was a regular occurrence for Owen, who bagged 40 goals in 89 caps for England.

The striker loved playing on the shoulder of the defender, Owen dispatched every clear opportunity on goal he had, and was a thorn in every defence he faced. 

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