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Top 5 England players of all time

Rooney broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s long-standing record of highest goalscorer for England
Modified 10 Sep 2015, 20:33 IST
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A list of best-ever players for any side is always subjective. Ask 100 people to name their best five England players of all time and the likelihood is you’ll get almost 100 different lists.Should the members of the list be there by virtue of goals scored, general play, importance in the big games, importance in the changing room? There are so many variables, but there are a handful of exponents that have stuck out over and above the rest.Honourable mentions should be given to Messrs. Lofthouse, Matthews, Shearer, Scholes, Keegan, Greaves and Hoddle, all of whom miss out here, along with many others.Let’s see if you agree with this list of top five England players of all time.

#5 Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney has been a player that has always divided opinions, right from his debut for Everton against Arsenal as a 16-year-old.

His inclusion here is purely as a result of becoming England’s leading goalscorer. 50 goals scored internationally is a monumental achievement and whatever people think of Rooney the man, they cannot deny that Rooney the footballer is a goal getter of the highest order.

It’s also certainly worth dwelling on just how many times the Manchester United man has been asked to play out of position for the good of the team too. 

Jimmy Greaves has just about the best goals to games ratio of any player worldwide at international level, but for England he was always played as centre-forward. Ditto Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo who are always played in their favoured position for their countries.

Rooney has played out wide, as an attacking midfielder and even as a deeper-lying midfielder if required. Arguably he would have at least 10 more goals to his name if he was stationed centrally at all times.

A true warrior, his final goals tally for England may never be beaten.

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Published 10 Sep 2015, 19:08 IST
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