Team England during the penalty shootout against Colombia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Author Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro). Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 Best England National Team Football (Soccer) Players


 

As the joint oldest national team in football, England’s national football team has represented England in international football since the first international match in 1872. Considered a football nation with a crazy fan base, It competes in the three major international tournaments contested by European nations: the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA European Championship, and the UEFA Nations League.

England is one of eight nations to have won the World Cup. A frequent visitor to the World Cup, England has qualified for the World Cup 16 times including the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar, winning it for the last time in 1966 as hosts.

The Three Lions as they are famously known have already lived to their name as one of the favorites to win the trophy. They are currently on top of Group B after winning one match and drawing the other accumulating a total of six goals. They face Wales in their last Group match hoping to cement their position at the top of the group.
Ranked among the top-five teams in the world, England reached the semi-finals in Russia in 2018 and the Euro 2020 final last year. They will be hoping to lift the trophy after 56 years.

1. Harry Kane

Harry Kane. Author Anton Zaitsev. Wikimedia Commons

Harry Edward Kane is an English professional footballer who currently plays as a striker for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and captains the England national team. Known to have an appetite for scoring goals and very good at providing assists, Kane is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world and stands as Totten ham’s second-highest all-time top goal scorer, England’s second-highest all-time top goal scorer, and the third-highest Premier League all-time top goalscorer.

A product of Tottenham youth academy, he was promoted to the senior team in 2009, at age 16. He has also played for other clubs across the English football pyramid, including Leyton Orient, Millwall, Leicester City, and Norwich City. He was a revelation of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign from 2014. To reciprocate the coach’s gesture he scored 31 goals across all competitions, was the Premier League’s second-highest goalscorer, and was named PFA Young Player of the Year.

His fine form continued in the 2015–16 and 2016–17 seasons, where Kane finished as the league’s top goalscorer. In the latter campaign, he helped Totten ham finish as the competition’s runners-up and was named PFA Fans’ Player of the Year. Kane registered his best campaign statistically to date in the 2017–18 season, with 41 goals scored in 48 games across all competitions, and in the following season, he finished as a runner-up in the UEFA Champions League. He ended the 2020–21 season as the top goalscorer and top assist provider in the league.

He was named England captain just before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he finished as the competition’s top goalscorer, winning the Golden-Boot, leading England to fourth place, their highest finish since 1990. He also led England to the runner-up position at UEFA Euro 2020, marking their first appearance in a final at the tournament and their first major final since 1966. Playing in his second World Cup at the Qatar World Cup 2022 and still the substantive captain of the English team, all eyes will be on this player to ensure that England who are considered one of the favorites to lift the trophy does not disappoint.

2. Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford playing for Manchester United against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, London on 5 November 2017. Author https://www.flickr.com/photos/cfcunofficial/. Wikimedia Commons

Marcus Rashford is an English professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team. He is known to be a pacey and direct player, often moving to central positions to create chances and get into goal-scoring positions.

A Manchester United player from the age of seven, Rashford’s goal- scoring mania started when he scored two goals on both his first-team debut against Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League in February 2016 and his Premier League debut against Arsenal three days later. He also scored in his first Manchester derby, as well as on his EFL Cup and UEFA Champions League debuts. Still in his 20’s and one of the youngest players in the England World Cup team, Rashford has won the FA Cup, EFL Cup, FA Community Shield and UEFA Europa League, hoping to add the World title in his shelf.

Internationally, Rashford scored on his England debut in May 2016, becoming the youngest English player to score in his first senior international match. He played at the UEFA Euro 2016 as the tournament’s youngest player, and represented England at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2020. What can he do this year?

Apart from his accolades on the pitch, He is an aggressive campaigner against racism, homelessness and child hunger in the United Kingdom, and has received a lot of praise for using his platform to be a political activist and philanthropist to drive societal change.

3. Bukayo Saka

Despite playing in his first World Cup, Saka is already a talking point of the Tournament. Bukayo Ayoyinka Saka, born 5 September 2001, is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger, left-back, or midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the England national team. As one of the youngest players of the tournament at only 21, Saka is known for his attacking incisiveness and creativity, and is often considered one of the best young football players in the world.

He does not know any other club as he has spent his entire first-team club career with Arsenal, where he has won an FA Cup and an FA Community Shield, progressively becoming one of Arsenal’s most prolific and influential players. A backbone of the team in the 2020–21 and 2021–22 seasons, he was named as Arsenal’s player of the season.

At senior level, Saka represented England at various youth levels before making his debut for the senior team in October 2020. He was also part of England’s squads at UEFA Euro 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. On 23 September 2022, Saka was named England player of the year for the 2021–22 season ahead of Declan Rice and Harry Kane, becoming the first Arsenal player to win the honor. He scored twice including one of the calmest finishes in a 6–2 victory over Iran on 21 November in England’s opening match of the FIFA 2022 World Cup and is poised to score more goals, particularly with a wonderful combination with Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford et al. at the tournament.

4. Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling. Author Anton Zaitsev. Wikimedia Commons

Raheem Shaquille Sterling is a winger who is currently playing for Premier League club Chelsea and the England national team. He can also switch positions to an attacking midfielder.

He owes his career start to Queens Park Rangers where he horned his skills before signing for Liverpool in 2010. At liverpool he won the Golden Boy award in 2014. He was quickly signed by Manchester City the following year for a record transfer fee of £49 million. This was considered the highest transfer fee ever paid for an English player at the time. He did not disappoint as he went on to help Manchester City win back-to-back Premier League titles in the 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons.

His accolades continued In the 2018–19 season where he was named to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and was decorated as the PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. Chelsea were dying to have the player in their stable,and on 13 July 2022, they managed to get his signature to play for the club on a five-year contract for a fee of £47.5 million. On 6 August 2022, he made his club debut in a 1–0 away win against Everton and two weeks later he scored his first goal for the club, a brace, in a 2–1 win over Leicester City.

He was called to the senior team in November 2012 after previously being capped by England youth teams at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels. He played for England in the the FIFA World Cups of 2014, 2018 and 2022. A midfield maestro, he has already shown signs of scoring more goals at the FIFA 2022 World Cup, currently in Qatar.

5. Jordan Pickford

 

Jordan Pickford. Author Kirill Venediktov. Wikimedia Commons

Coming from the Chelsea Stable, Jordan Lee Pickford is an English professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper. He is also currently the first choice between the posts for the England national team.

Initially he played for Sunderland’s academy, reserve, and senior teams and has also ben to Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston North End. His dream of playing in the English Premier League was actualized in June 2017 when he signed for Everton for a fee of £25 million.

With a long outstanding career, Pickford has played for England at all levels of under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19, and under-20 and under-21 before joining the senior team. He made his debut for the senior team in November 2017 in a friendly against Germany and was the first choice goalkeeper in England’s 2018 FIFA World Cup fourth-place finish, in which the squad reached its first semi-final appearance since 1990. Fans are eager to see if he can replicate the same in this year’s World Cup.

6. Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire. Author Ardfern. Wikimedia Commons

Jacob Harry Maguire is among the most popular players in England today. He was born on 5 March 1993 and plays as a center-back for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team.

After coming through the youth system at Sheffield United, the ever hot and stylish Maguire was their Player of the Year three consecutive times and also featured in the PFA Team of the Year. He later made a move to Hull City in 2014, before playing again on loan at Wigan Athletic in 2015. It did not take him long before he again joined Leicester City in 2017 for an initial fee of £12 million. Two years later, Manchester United came knocking at his door, signing him for a record fee believed to be £80 million, a defender. Lady luck was still with him as he showed great leadership skills both on and off the field and within six months was appointed the club captain.

Maguire played one match for England under-21 in 2012. In October 2017, before making his senior debut at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

One of his memorable moments came on 15 November 2021, when he scored the opening goal in a 10–0 victory over San Marino on the final day of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, making him England’s highest- scoring defender with seven goals, He was in the first eleven line-up in the England Team that beat Iran in FIFA World Cup2022. In this game he showed great defensive prowess and is likely to maintain his position in the coming matches.

7. Jude Bellingham

He enjoysPlaying soccer and is known to overshadow other senior players. The young Jude Victor William Bellingham was born on 29 June 2003. He currently plays as a midfielder for the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the England national team.

He started his soccer career at Birmingham City as an under-8, becoming the club’s youngest ever first-team player when he made his senior debut in August 2019, at the age of 16 years, and was a regular during the 2019–20 season. His impressive performance saw him join Borussia Dortmund in July 2020, and in his first competitive match became their youngest-ever goalscorer. He has already shown signs of excelling in the midfield position with a bright future ahead.

Like most other English players, his journey internationally, takes us through under-15, under-16, under-17 and under-21 levels. He made his first appearance for the senior team in November 2020, and represented the country at UEFA Euro 2020. A player who is rarely intimidated by seniority, Bellingham scored his first senior international goal on 21 November 2022, opening the scoring with a headed flick from a cross in a 6–2 win over Iran in England’s opening game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In doing so, he has already made a name for himself by becoming the second youngest player to score for England in a major tournament and only the second teenager ever to score for England in a World Cup. Definitely, he is one of the youngsters to watch in the World Cup.

8. Jack Grealish

Jack Peter Grealish is a winger or attacking midfielder who plays his soccer for the Premier League club Manchester City and the England national team.

Initially, Grealish joined Aston Villa at the age of six, going through the ranks before making his debut for the club in May 2014, following a loan at Notts County. In 2021, he received an invite to play at Manchester City in a transfer deal worth £100 million, making him the most expensive English player ever. He had also featured for the Aston Villa Under-19 team.

For his contribution, Grealish was again named in the squad for England under-21 at the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.  From 2016 to 2017, he made seven appearances for the under-21s, scoring two goals.

On 9 October 2021, the technically gifted player scored his first international goal after being introduced as a substitute in the 73rd minute during England’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Andorra. Recently, at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on 21 November 2022 against Iran, Grealish scored his second international goal and England’s sixth of the match in a very clinical style..

9. Phil Foden

A staunch supporter of Manchester City from childhood, Philip Walter Foden was born on 28 May 2000. He plays his football as a midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City and the England national team. He is also considered one of the best young players in the world. As a left-footed player, Foden has the capacity to play in multiple positions including wing-back, or a winger on the right, though his coach at Manchester City has described him as “more of a midfielder”.

His breakthrough into professional football came in 2017 when he won the FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Ball award following England’s successful Under-17 World Cup campaign. He made his debut for City during the same year and in December was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

A spectacular player to watch, Foden has since made over 100 appearances for his club, winning nine honors including becoming the youngest recipient of a Premier League winners’ medal. A perennial winner, in 2019, he won a second Premier League and became the club’s youngest-ever goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League, and is the youngest English player to both start a match and score in the knockout stages of the competition. In 2021, he was named as the Premier League Young Player of the Season and the PFA Young Player of the Year.

Internationally, Foden has represented England at many youth levels, scoring 19 goals in 51 youth caps. He was first called up to the senior team on 25 August 2020 and made his debut against Iceland on 5 September 2020, in a 1–0 victory in the UEFA Nations League. Boasting tight, adhesive control and blessed with the knack of drifting past opponents, he will be showcasing his talent at the FIFA2022 World Cup, though competition at the midfield is very tight.

10. Aaron Ramsdale

Enjoying top form at the moment with his team at the top of EPL is Aaron Christopher Ramsdale. He was born on 14 May 1998 and plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Arsenal and the England national team.

He began his senior club career playing for Sheffield United before going to AFC Bournemouth in 2017. Following successive loans to Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon, Ramsdale played a season with Bournemouth and re-joined Sheffield United in a transfer worth an initial £18 million. In 2021, Ramsdale signed for Arsenal in a club-record transfer worth up to £30 million, becoming their most expensive goalkeeper.

He has also represented England at all levels from under-18 to the senior team, winning the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in 2017, and was in the squad that finished as runners-up at UEFA Euro 2020, He was introduced to international football when he made his debut for the senior squad starting in a 10–0 away victory against San Marino during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers on 15 November 2021.