FIFA recognises England as the home of football. “The Three Lions” or the English national football team played its first international match against Scotland in 1872. Since then, England has given birth to a lot of legendary footballers who have enriched football with their exceptional performances.
England is also home to some very big clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea and most of their great players have played for those clubs.
The English are often criticized for their “kick and run” approach to the game and their players are said to be not as skilful as their French, Spanish or Dutch counterparts. England have won the World Cup once in 1966.
They have traditionally lacked the dour efficiency of the Germans, the defensive brilliance of the Italians or the natural flair of the Brazilians. Still, they have been home to some outstanding players over the decades and in this article, we would take a look at the 4 greatest English players in each of the playing positions.
#1 Goalkeeper- Gordon Banks
Banks has been immortalized by the otherworldly save he pulled off to keep off a header by Pele in the 1970 World Cup match against Brazil, but there was more to him than that. He was the custodian for the English national team from 1963 to 1972 and earned 73 caps for them.
He also played in 2 World Cups and 3 European Championships for England. Banks was an excellent shot-stopper and very athletic. He was not a very big man but made up for his lack of size with his athleticism and agility. He was also reasonably good in the air.
Banks also had a fairly successful club career with clubs like Chesterfield, Stoke City and Leicester City. He began his senior career for Chesterfield in 1958 and retired while playing for Stoke City in 1973. He made a total of 510 appearances in his club career and was selected in PFA team of the century.
He was also a part of the 1966 World Cup winning England team and remained one of the best goalkeepers in the world throughout the 1960s. Banks is most definitely the greatest goalkeeper England has ever produced and also one of its finest footballers.