United's greatest XI of England internationals
England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday will be the Three Lions’ 1,000th international.
Sixty-seven Manchester United players have featured for the national team over the years, with the combined 1,309 caps won by England's Reds the most of any club.
To mark the occasion, we’ve drawn up an all-time select XI of United's England internationals...
ALEX STEPNEY (1 cap)
Only five United goalkeepers have ever been selected to represent the Three Lions and, while Ben Foster (three) and Gary Bailey (two) may have been selected more often while at Old Trafford, 1968 European Cup-winning keeper Stepney gets the nod in our line-up. Due largely to the presence of Gordon Banks, the United stalwart, who was a non-playing squad member at Mexico 1970, was a one-cap wonder, appearing in a 3-1 win over Sweden a week before our own Wembley success, over Benfica.
ROGER BYRNE (33 caps)
Busby Babe Byrne made his England debut against Scotland in April 1954 and went on to appear in a further 32 consecutive internationals from the beginning of his career, which remains a national record. Although he never captained his country, the full-back was widely believed to have been in manager Walter Winterbottom’s thoughts as a successor to skipper Billy Wright, when he tragically died in the Munich Air Disaster.
GARY NEVILLE (85 caps)
England’s most capped right-back of all time, but also used in central defence on several occasions, the elder of the Neville brothers made his international bow under Terry Venables in June 1995. He would go on to represent the nation at five major tournaments, including Euro 96, when he missed out on the heartbreaking semi-final penalty shoot-out defeat to Germany through suspension.
RIO FERDINAND (54 caps, two goals)
A member of England tournament squads while at West Ham and Leeds, Rio became a mainstay of his country's defence while at United. After missing Euro 2004 through suspension, he partnered Chelsea’s John Terry at Germany 2006 as England once again experienced penalty agony, this time to Portugal in the quarter-finals.
PHIL NEVILLE (52 caps)
Phil appeared in three European Championship squads but was never taken to a World Cup, although a half-century of appearances is a superb achievement for a player who had to compete with the likes of Stuart Pearce (78 caps), Graeme Le Saux (36 caps) and Ashley Cole (107 caps) in his usual position of left-back.
DAVID BECKHAM (60 caps, 11 goals)
One of eight Reds to wear the armband for England, Becks won a further 55 caps after leaving for Real Madrid in 2003, although some of his most memorable moments in the white shirt came while he was a United player. From being sent off against Argentina at France ‘98 to curling home an injury-time free-kick at Old Trafford to send the Three Lions to the 2002 World Cup, Beckham’s England career was rarely without incident.
BRYAN ROBSON (77 caps, 25 goals)
Skipper at the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, Robbo would have reached a century of caps – he made 90 appearances in total for the national team – had he not been injured for the majority of those tournaments, in Mexico and Italy respectively. The central midfielder still managed to score England’s fastest-ever World Cup goal, when he fired past France’s Jean-Luc Ettori after just 27 seconds of Ron Greenwood’s side’s opener in 1982.
PAUL SCHOLES (66 caps, 14 goals)
One of 61 players to have scored a hat-trick for England, his coming in a Euro 2000 qualifier against Poland, Scholes was perhaps unfortunate that his career coincided with those of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, both of whom claimed a century of caps. He also scored both goals in a European Championship play-off against Scotland, not long after his Treble success with United. The midfielder retired from international duty in 2004, aged just 29, to focus on club football – and United fans were certainly grateful for that decision!
DUNCAN EDWARDS (18 caps, five goals)
Edwards was his country's youngest player since the 1880s, when he made his debut aged 18 years and 183 days old against Scotland in 1955. In the next two-and-a-half-years, the Dudley-born left-half would go on to make a further 17 appearances, scoring five goals, before his life was tragically cut short at Munich. Had he lived, many believe it could have been he, not Bobby Moore, who lifted the Jules Rimet trophy as captain at Wembley in 1966.
BOBBY CHARLTON (106 caps, 49 goals)
United’s most capped England player while with the club, Sir Bobby surely has a claim to be one of the greatest-ever to pull on the white shirt. A key member of the side which won the 1966 World Cup on home soil, the attacking midfielder scored a brace in the semi-final to see off Portugal before successfully shackling the marauding instincts of Franz Beckenbauer in the final. Of course, he would go on to become England’s all-time leading goalscorer, a record which stood for 45 years...
WAYNE ROONEY (102 caps, 44 goals)
At Everton, when he became England’s youngest-ever player – a milestone since passed by Theo Walcott – in 2003, Rooney signed for the Reds the following year and won a century of caps while at Old Trafford, racking up an additional 44 goals on the way to becoming the only man to pass 50 for the Three Lions.
“I obviously cannot deny that I am disappointed that I now don’t hold this record,” said Sir Bobby, when Rooney passed his mark, with a penalty against Switzerland, in 2015. “However, I am absolutely delighted that it is Wayne, as captain of my beloved club and country, who now holds this record.”
Sixteen months later, Rooney would claim Charlton’s United landmark too.
All caps and goals while a Manchester United player
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