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5 most surprising players to have played for England since 2000

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Just how did Shaun Wright-Phillips make 36 appearances for England?

The English National team is always a subject of ridicule and jeer because of their repeated failure in delivering performances that live up to the hype in major international tournaments.

With most of the players being homegrown and plying their trade in the Premier League and with the Premier League being one of the most followed sporting leagues in the world, the pressure on the players is immense and so is the hype surrounding certain players.

We have observed, on various occasions, that the hype and build-up around certain players are bigger than what they display on the pitch and we have witnessed quite a lot of average if not below par footballers donning the Three Lions' kit.

Here, Let's take a look at some of these call-ups that sound absolutely ridiculous now, looking at how the careers of the players mentioned have panned out.

#5 Martin Kelly

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Average at best, Kelly is lucky to have won an appearance for the Three Lions

Position: Fullback

Appearances for England: 1

Current club: Crystal Palace

A Liverpool academy product and a former Liverpool player, Martin Kelly holds the dubious record for having the "Shortest ever English international career" with his stint for the English National Team lasting for a span of two minutes. Looking at how his career has panned out, it looks highly unlikely that Kelly will add to those 2 minutes of playing time either.


A useful player for a mid-table side at best, Kelly is a perfect example of an English player who received a lot of media attention and hype along his progression from a youth level player to a full-fledged Premier League player but failed to live up to the standards claimed off him.

Currently, in and out of Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace side, the fullback got his England call-up for an International friendly against Norway in 2012 and was even named in the squad for the 2012 Euros, replacing an injured Gary Cahill for the tournament.

Once a promising young defender at Liverpool, an injury layoff suffered after he ruptured his Anterior Cruciate Ligament can be cited as one reason for his failure to reach the heights expected of him, but whatever said and done, looking back at his call up now and looking at the number of elite fullbacks in the English National Team roster, this one certainly does come up as one of the weirder call-ups to the English national team.

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