“[David] Beckham was a brilliant footballer for England but he was not world class, he is not in England’s best XI ever, not for me.”
This bold statement was made by talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy, as he discussed the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man’s international career.
He went on to say: “David Beckham’s England career went on too long, I felt his career went on too long.
“Pomp David Beckham, he’s in the squad and he probably finds a way in the team, but if you’re playing a three, where do you play Beckham?”
So, after plenty of debate and discussion, talkSPORT.com decided to answer that question and pick out the best England XI since 2000. Look away now, Jason…
Goalkeeper – Jordan Pickford
England haven’t had much luck with goalkeepers since the turn of the century, with David Seaman getting embarrassingly lobbed by Ronaldinho at the 2002 World Cup and the ball bobbling past Rob Green against the USA eight years later.
The keeper who has had the most success whilst donning the Three Lions jersey is Pickford.
Not popular in the eyes of some, but it’s easy to forget the crucial saves he made during England’s routes to the 2018 World Cup semi-final and Euro 2020 final – including his match-winning performance against Colombia where he brilliantly denied Carlos Bacca as England won on penalties at a World Cup for the first time.
Defence – Ashley Cole, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville
It’s hard to imagine England conceding a single goal with these four in defence.
A blend of pace, strength, and leadership, this foursome are some of the Three Lions’ greatest ever players, let alone defenders.
Featuring at numerous World Cups and European Championships, whilst they never managed to lead England to a trophy, it’s hard to argue that these four don’t deserve a place in an England XI.
Midfield – Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, David Beckham
Whilst Cundy wouldn’t have Beckham in his team, we would. ‘Golden Balls’ would be out on the right-hand side, delivering delightful cross after delightful cross into the forwards.
Alongside his other controversial Beckham opinions, Cundy also claimed that he’d prefer to have Sterling over Beckham due to his goalscoring record.
“[Beckham]’s not [one of the very best],” Cundy claimed.
“He’s the best crosser I’ve ever seen, but I’d rather have Sterling. Sterling has scored more goals than Beckham.”
Well, Jason, we’ve included both of them. Happy?
Attack – Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane
Soon to be No.1 and No.2 at the top of England’s all-time leading goalscorer charts, Rooney and Kane have scored a phenomenal 101 between them for their country.
Despite Cundy’s scepticism about having Beckham in his team, he did hypothesise what might happen if he was.
“I’m thinking of Kane now,” he said. “If you’re Kane now, his movement is good and you see the telepathy he has with [Heung-min] Son.
“You can imagine in an England shirt if him and Becks what that might look like.”
Yep – goals, goals, goals.
talkSPORT’s best England XI since 2000
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