5 Premier League stars who surprisingly don't have any International Caps

Queens Park Rangers v Dundee United - Pre Season Friendly
Austin in action for QPR
Keerthi Vasishta

While club football is the dominant form of the game with both fans and players, getting an international call-up is still the pinnacle of the game. Many greats cemented their status by excelling for their country- Luis Figo or Ronaldo for instance, while others have faced criticism, even if unfair for under-performing- Wayne Rooney

.Some brilliant players however failed to get a national cap in their careers. In this list, we look at some brilliant players who played in the Premier League but never represented their country.

5. Charlie Austin

The original non-League to Premier League story, Austin was signed by Swindon Town after he impressed for non-league side Poole Town. Austin then had a short spell at Swindon before moving to Burnley.

He excelled at Burnley once more before making his Premier League debut with QPR. In a miserable QPR side, which struggled to gain many points, Austin scored 18 goals, finishing fourth on the top scorers list.

Manager Harry Redknapp claimed that his side relied on Austin to fire them to safety and even though he failed to keep QPR up, he earned many plaudits from pundits.

Austin however didn't find any takers in the summer window and finally moved to Southampton in January 2016. He has proved himself to be a consistent player upfront, but found himself falling behind after an injury ruined his first call up in 2014-15.

Jamie Vardy excelled while Austin slugged it out at the Championship and subsequently battled injuries as Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford emerged further limiting his chances. He was named on the bench for a Euro 2016 qualifying match but did not make an appearance.

Roy Hodgson kept close watch on Austin while at the England job claiming he was ready to give every chance possible to Austin to prove himself on the international stage but failed to give Austin a cap in his time.

What makes Austin's no appearances sad is the fact that players like David Nugent and Jay Bothroyd, both of whom failed to establish themselves in the top-flight have England caps while he doesn't and looks no closer to getting one.

4. Paolo Di Canio

Paolo Di Canio
Di Canio spent four years at West Ham, the longest in his career at any club

The maverick Italian winger spent seven years in England playing for West Ham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic. Beginning his career at Lazio, the controversial Italian was a hero there and subsequently appeared for Milan, Napoli and Celtic before signing for Sheffield Wednesday in 1997.

Di Canio signed for West Ham one season later and fired 12 goals, playing a massive part in the East London club finishing 5th in the league and qualifying for the UEFA Cup. He provided the vital x-factor as the Hammers built on a solid base to become a consistent Upper Mid Table side for a few years.

The strong-headed player was excellent in terms of ability and had the grittiness that the Italians are so renowned for. He was known as a big-game player and it is really surprising that he never managed a single full cap for his country. He represented Italy at the U-21 level and also played once for Italy B.

During his spell in Italy, he played for giants like Milan, Juventus and Napoli and was successful in all his stints there.

Di Canio was praised as a West Ham hero by ex-boss Harry Redknapp and Jermain Defoe who claimed Di Canio's professionalism influenced younger squad members tremendously. His combustible personality might have influenced the decision to leave him out after having been released from an Italy youth squad game after several disagreements.

3. Carlo Cudicini

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League
Playing for Chelsea- Carlo Cudicini

Carlo Cudicini was Chelsea's number 1 until the arrival of Petr Cech. The Italian shot-stopper was rumoured to have been approached to represent England after his impressive performances for Chelsea. In fact, former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson admitted to have tried his best to find some way to field Cudicini in the England team because the Italian was far better than all of England's options at the time in goal.

Cudicini was a regular for the Italy U-18s and played once for the U-21 Italy side. He was named Goalkeeper of the Season in 2002-2003. However, he never made even the senior squad for the 2002 World Cup despite being at the peak of his powers. This was largely because of Buffon, who is still Italy No 1 and Francesco Toldo who was the No 2. Cudini has been ranked amongst the best Premier League keepers of all time

Cudicini saw his first team action limited after 2004, but stayed at Chelsea till 2009 when he moved to Tottenham as a second choice keeper. Despite his moving to the background, supporters and players remember him fondly. He was a part of Chelsea's cup victories and performed very impressively in a Champions League game vs Schalke 04, where he saved a penalty and a host of saves to help Chelsea secure a draw away from home.

Injuries hampered his progress and Cudicini, despite not playing to his full potential was a keeper who would ideally have at least a few International Caps.

2. Mikel Arteta

Arsenal v VfL Wolfsburg - Emirates Cup
Arteta in action for Arsenal

Mikel Arteta met a stone wall made of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets in an attempt to make it to the national side. Arteta was a superb player, considered by many to be among David Moyes' best ever signings at Everton.

He arrived in Merseyside back in 2005, joining the Toffees on loan. His impressive spell earned him a permanent move for just ÂŖ2 million. He grew in strength and stature since then and spent six years at the club. He made a total of 162 appearances for the club, scoring 27 goals and was known as a leader in the changing room. He made a move to Arsenal in 2011, where he stayed at until his retirement and captained the club in his last two seasons.

Arteta was also linked with an England call-up with serious efforts being made to have the player become an England player under a five year citizenship rule. His injury before Euro 2008 ruined the closest he had got to making the squad.

Arsene Wenger hailed his performances and influence on the game many times over the course of his career. Tim Cahill, speaking ahead of Everton's first game against Arsenal since Arteta left claimed the playmaker to being the most creative and influential player on the pitch.

Arteta was among a number of talented stars who failed to get a Spain call-up because of the Barcelona phenomenon in the late 2000s and the early part of this decade.

1.Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce of Manchester United
Steve Bruce of Manchester United

926 Appearances, 4 League Cups, 3 FA Cups, 1 European Cup Winners Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 3 Community Shields, 3 Premier League Titles and zero International caps. Steve Bruce was considered as one of the finest central defenders of the early Premier League era and is considered a Manchester United legend.

He retired in 1997, finishing his career at Sheffield United. Bruce was not given a call-up until he was nearly 35 when England were due to play Nigeria. He declined the opportunity because he believed that the call-up was made for sympathy reasons. He had no intention of playing for England when he knew that his career was winding up or so he claimed in an interview a few years ago.

Steve Bruce was named in the Best Premier League Team of the Decade between 1990-2000 by the PFA.

Regardless of the reason, Bruce is probably one of the finest Premier League stars never to win an International cap.

Edited by Nived Zenith


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