Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney.

Carrick's five favourite England internationals

Back in his playing days, midfield legend Michael Carrick picked his five favourite England legends, and it’s a quintet packed with creativity and goals.

To mark St George's Day, we thought we would revisit the first-team coach's selection, which first appeared in Inside United, our official magazine.

As he admitted, there is more than a nod to his roots in the North-East, where he first fell in love with the game.

Paul Gascoigne.
Paul Gascoigne was greatly admired by a young Michael Carrick.

Paul Gascoigne

“The top one has to be 'Gazza'. Back when I was a kid, I used to idolise him. He's just Gascoigne, isn't he? You used to get everything with him – he was a phenomenal talent, a great footballer, and such a massive personality too. He was a sensational player... he excited anyone who watched him play.

Paul Scholes

“There haven't been many better English players in the modern game than Scholes. He's just got something that you can't teach. He's so clever, so quick in his head, that he's untouchable on the pitch. Ask any of the top, top European players, and they'll say that Scholes is one of the best players they've played against. I think Zinedine Zidane said that Scholesy was one of the best players he'd ever come up against - that doesn't surprise me, he’s just so good.”

Paul Scholes.
Paul Scholes was respected by all of his peers.

Wayne Rooney

“I’d have to include 'Wazza' in there. The way he burst on to the scene and took the game by storm surprised everyone – he was such a young kid making a big impact against men. Then you have to consider everything he has gone on to achieve with United since then.”

Peter Beardsley.
Former Red Peter Beardsley celebrates scoring for England at the 1986 World Cup.
Peter Beardsley

“Peter Beardsley was another player who I really looked up to when I was a kid. That was partly because he was from my town, and from the same boys’ club – Wallsend Boys Club – where I grew up playing football. I just really enjoyed watching him play because he was a very clever footballer and really creative.”
Alan Shearer in Euro 96 action.
Alan Shearer led the line superbly for England at Euro 96.
Alan Shearer

“The last one is a tough one, but I'll go for Alan Shearer. I'm favouring the Geordies here! I was around 14 or 15 at the time of Euro 96, and it was an exciting period for the England team because the country hosted the European Championship and we got to the semi-finals against Germany. He was just a brilliant goalscorer.”

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