England Legends: The World Cup Winning XI
Since the announcement of the Legends World Cup that’s to be held in Mexico in 2017, little media hype or public excitement has been gathered. This special World Cup gives older players the chance to slip on their boots again while allowing football fans to watch their idols one last time.
Six teams from Europe, four from America and one from both Asia and Africa will participate in 60 minute games with unlimited substitutions between the players that will age between 35 and 45.
The charitable World Cup is due to include England if rumours are to be believed, meaning players such as Lampard, Gerrard, Beckham and maybe eve Terry can play for their country again. But what would be England’s strongest lineup and what would each player have to offer?
Goalkeeper: Paul Robinson
With David James overage and Joe Hart underage, Paul Robinson seems the most viable option. The former Blackburn goalkeeper will be 38 by the time the World Cup come around, 10 years younger than David James who doesn’t qualify for the tournament.
Robinson, who has 41 caps for his country, is a nimble keeper who, even at the age of 38, will be able to pull off some stunning saves off the back of his acrobatic career. He’ll need to assure England a safe pair of hands if The White Lions are to go far in the tournament, especially with potential 1 on 1’s with the likes of Ronaldo and Henry.
Right-back: Gary Neville
The current England coach will swap the sidelines for his national strip come 2017 with Neville most likely to slot in at right-back in a 4-5-1 formation. The United man from the class of 92′ has 85 caps for England and his knowledge of the modern game from coaching will enable him to impress in his national sides strip.
Centre-backs: Rio Ferdinand and Ledley King
It may seem strange to include Ledley King over Sol Campbell, but King, if fit, is a younger player who’s been labelled by Thierry Henry as the greatest centre back the Frenchman striker ever came across, Henry is a potential opponent of King come the World Cup in Mexico.
The Spurs man suffered from injury during his career but having had a few years to rest the knee that plagued him, King should be able to compete in a semi-competitive tournament while keeping Campbell warming the bench.
As for Ferdinand, maybe by 2017 United will have found the player to fill the gap Rio left when he joined QPR. The former United man is a game reader and confident with a ball at his feet. Ferdinand is a candidate for captain along with his previously mentioned, former teammate Gary Neville.
Left-Back: Ashley Cole
The standout option at left-back is the man who’s apparently rifled someone, caused controversy throughout his career while had Cristiano Ronaldo in his back pocket numerous times. Ashley Cole is possibly England’s greatest ever left-back and luckily, he fits the age range to play in this tournament.
The Legends World Cup gives Cole the perfect chance to put another world class talent in the metaphorical pockets on his shorts.
Right Midfielder: David Beckham
The superstar who has as strong an image off a football field to that he has on it has already been named as one of the players people most want to see and will definitely be part of the Legends World Cup. Beckham is keen to help charity while is always speaking of missing the beautiful game.
The World Cup gives him the perfect opportunity to slip his, hopefully, Adidas Predators on again. He will certainly be eyeing up a stunning free kick to replicate his historic goal against Greece in 2002 while he will be a crowd-pleaser. Expect a lot of smiling and winking from one of the golden boys of English football.
Centre Midfielders: Paul Scholes, Franck Lampard and Steven Gerrard
A constant debate over England’s greatest ever midfielder will always include all 3 of these big time players. Scholes is arguably the best passer of a ball England has ever seen and he isn’t afraid of putting in a strong tackle either. The BT Sport pundit will certainly not adopt Beckham’s smiley approach as Scholes will be there to win.
Lampard and Gerrard, both playing in the MLS currently, will be the engines around Scholes as they are the younger of the trio. Gerrard will be utilised as a box to box player performing both defensive and attacking actions while Lampard will sit be the closest to the striker hoping to hit a few screamers from outside the box.
The trio have a stunning 286 caps between them.
Left Midfielder: Kevin Nolan
Truly grasping at straws, make shift left midfielder Kevin Nolan slots in to the legend team without being a legend. The man who’s been training with League 1 side Leyton Orient is England’s best hope of success down the left side with Ashley Young not making the age range. It’s an odd call but he is the best of what’s available.
Striker: Micheal Owen
With the option of small, Micheal Owen, or tall, Peter Crouch, Owen may fit the ‘legend’ tag a little better than the Stoke City giant. Another BT pundit along with Scholes and Ferdinand, Owen has scored one of the most famous goals in an England shirt with his stunning solo effort against Argentina.
The former Liverpool striker has competition from another former teammate in the form of Emile Heskey. Heskey is a ‘legend’ if you ask the FIFA community but hopefully the coach will see sense and play Owen as he is the best of the bunch.
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