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David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.

United's England heroes

Of the 66 players who have represented England whilst being at Manchester United, four have certainly been real stalwarts for club and country - in terms of their longevity and contribution.

The United men who amassed the most caps during their careers are Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, who is featuring in the game against USA tonight (Thursday) at Wembley.

Each of them is an undisputed legend for the Reds and England and can be proud of their contribution at international level.

Yes, others warrant a mention in this regard - loyal one-club man Gary Neville won 85 caps, Nobby Stiles was a key part of the World Cup-winning side in 1966, while Rio Ferdinand, Ray Wilkins and Paul Scholes were all major players in the Three Lions jersey. Who know what the Busby Babes would have achieved but for the Munich Air Disaster? Duncan Edwards was already England's youngest player, Tommy Taylor had a record of 16 goals in 19 international games and Roger Byrne was a regular starter.

However, it is clear that the great servants Charlton, Robson, Beckham and Rooney merit real recognition.

Bobby Charlton in action against West Germany.
Bobby Charlton in control against West Germany during the 1966 World Cup final.

Sir Bobby Charlton - 106 caps / 49 goals

Debut: v Scotland, 19 April 1958
Final cap: v West Germany, 14 June 1970
Highlight: Winning the World Cup at Wembley in 1966

Formerly his country's leading scorer, he is an icon for England. An important player in the 1966 triumph after netting both goals in the semi-final success against Portugal, he was also selected in the 1958 World Cup squad and found the net against Argentina during the finals in Chile four years later. England surrendered a two-goal lead to West Germany in a classic quarter-final tie in 1970 as Charlton was substituted but his caps record stood until Bobby Moore overtook his haul in 1973. Of course, his goals record would last far longer.

Bryan Robson - 90 caps / 26 goals

Debut: v Republic of Ireland, 6 February 1980
Final cap: v Turkey, 16 October 1991
Highlight: Scoring the World Cup's fastest goal in 1982

An inspiration for club and country, 'Captain Marvel' was a natural born leader who would have achieved much more with England but for injury. Nonetheless, there were numerous highs - including scoring the quickest-ever goal of a World Cup finals in a fine win over France in 1982, earning a place in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 88, despite a relatively poor showing by Bobby Robson's team, and scoring a hat-trick against Turkey in a World Cup qualifier in 1984. He skippered the side 64 times and was a genuine world-class performer, with a real source of frustration being his dislocated shoulder during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. 

Bryan Robson celebrates scoring against the Netherlands in 1988.
Bryan Robson and Gary Lineker enjoy the skipper's goal against the Netherlands at Euro 88.

David Beckham - 115 caps / 17 goals

Debut: v Moldova, 1 September 1996
Final cap: v Belarus, 14 October 2009
Highlight: The free-kick equaliser against Greece in 2001

Another man who led England, captaining the team 59 times, as he played under seven different managers. The only man to score for the Three Lions at three different World Cup finals (1998, 2002 and 2006), it was his trademark free-kick that earned Sven-Goran Eriksson's men a place at the 2002 finals in the dying seconds of the qualifier at Old Trafford against Greece. That superb individual performance elevated Beckham to national-hero status, erasing any lingering bad feeling from the red card he suffered against Argentina at France 98. Supplier of countless chances for the likes of Michael Owen and Alan Shearer, and a permanent fixture in the line-up, he remains one of the most famous footballers of his generation.

David Beckham looks on while playing for England.
David Beckham scored at three separate World Cup finals for England.

Wayne Rooney - 120 caps / 53 goals

Debut: v Australia, 12 February 2003
Final cap: v USA, 15 November 2018
Highlight: Illuminating Euro 2004 with a brace against Croatia

The second-youngest player ever to represent England and the youngest scorer (at 17 years and 317 days) due to his maiden goal against Macedonia. He had one of the biggest impacts of an England footballer on a major tournament when sparkling at Euro 2004 as a teenager, scoring four times before an untimely injury in the quarter-final tie with Portugal. Always retaining a major influence, he grew in stature and experience and skippered his country for the first time against Brazil in 2009, at the relatively young age of 24. A penalty against Switzerland broke Sir Bobby Charlton's long-standing goal record and he's a deserving recipient of one final cap in the friendly with USA tonight (Thursday). 

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