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My Legends XI: Steve Norman of BornOffside.net

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However the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish FA’s are worried that a joint team will be a risk to their individual status within FIFA and a GB side will be created for all FIFA tournaments and matches.

The likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have expressed their desire to be involved, while their FA want just the opposite but at the very least GB will be represented by an England side coached by Stuart Pearce.

So for my Legends XI I have decided to go with an all-time British XI consisting of at least two players in the starting line up from each of the four Home Nations and in a revolutionary 3-4-2-1 formation.

GK: Neville Southall – Wales

Football’s greatest former binman, Big Nev was an imposing figure between the sticks at Everton with a moustache that any Movember participant would be proud of.

Despite his large frame he was agile and was an excellent shot stopper. Southall won 92 Wales caps, won the First Division twice and two FA Cups.

Centre Back: Alan Hansen – Scotland

Not many people know that the world’s biggest hater of defending of the diabolical nature is infact half Danish. He also received his prominent forehead scar by running into a plate-glass window at a youth club aged 15. Pointless trivia aside he was an extremely accomplished defender in the all-conquering Liverpool side of the 1980’s. His mantel piece is adorned with eight League winners and three European Cup winners medals.

Centre Back: Bobby Moore – England

The Three Lions World Cup winning captain, Moore was referred to by Pele as the greatest ever defender. He made his West Ham debut deputising for the ill Malcolm Allison, on that day a fantastic career had begun and Allison never played for West Ham again.

Moore first captained England as a 22-year-old winning just his 12th cap in the same game versus Czechoslovakia in 1963. Despite winning the 1964 FA Cup with his beloved West Ham, his finest hour came in the summer of ’66 when he led England to their first and so far only World Cup win on home soil. (Some will tell you his finest hour came when a team of Allied WW2 POW’s managed a draw with the German National team in Escape to Victory, especially with the handicap of Sly Stallone as a goal-keeper.)

Centre Back: John Charles – Wales

A giant of a man who was as good upfront as he was in defence, Charles is a legend at virtually every club he turned out for. Including Italy’s Old Lady Juventus, an honour bestowed upon very few Brits.

A strong and formidable opponent he was capable of terrorising attackers at one end and defenders at the other and a testament to his footballing ability he was named Wales best ever player at UEFA’S jubilee in 2003.

Right Midfield: George Best – Northern Ireland

Possibly the greatest player to have never featured at the World Cup, The Fifth Beatle was majestic to watch on the pitch and has as much fun off it as he did on it. Best seemed to play for fun, and enjoyed making opponents look stupid.

Scoring in a 4-1 victory over Benfica in the European Cup Final was his finest hour although two league titles, every individual honour you could receive, being the first ‘celebrity footballer’ are certainly worth a mention. Unfortunately his colourful personal life and clashes with managers cut short his career at the very top.

Centre Midfield: Martin O’Neill – Northern Ireland

A fantastic midfielder who could also stake a claim to manage this side, O’Neill was an accomplished Gaelic football player but turned his attentions to football ending up at Nottingham Forest.

A European Cup winner with Forest under Brian Clough in 1980 he also captained Northern Ireland during the 1982 World Cup where they beat hosts Spain.

Centre Midfield: Paul Gascoigne – England

A true maverick of a player who should be remembered for his unbelievable ability on the pitch rather than his demons off it.

The amount of winners medals he’s won doesn’t befit a man of his talent. Gazza could pick out a pass from anywhere on the pitch and was capable of moments of absolute football genius (see his goal vs Scotland in Euro ’96) and will always be remembered for his tears at Italia ’90.

Left Midfield: Ryan Giggs – Wales

The only one in this team who is still playing, but considering how long he’s been around you wouldn’t be surprised if he’d called it a day years ago.

Two Champions Leagues and a whole host of domestic titles, Giggs has won it all with Manchester United and his exciting, all action displays have him positioned as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever players.

Centre Forward: Matt Le Tissier – The Channel Islands/England

Team GB should encapsulate all corners of the British Isles including the Channel Islands (and being a Southampton fan I am extremely biased towards this God of a man).

Le Tissier kept Saints in the top flight almost single-handed and could have taken the top three spots in Goal of the Season in virtually any season he played.

Only eight caps for his country shows a mind-set on these shores that he would have been seen as a luxury whereas other nations would have built their team around him.

Centre Forward: Kenny Dalglish – Scotland

Another would could put in a claim to manage this side, Dalglish was a fantastic striker for both Celtic and Liverpool as well as being Scotland’s most capped player and leading goal scorer.

A clever player who also created many a goal for team mates as well as netting himself who is now idolized on The Kop. King Kenny won seven league titles and three European Cups while playing for The Reds who he is now managing for a second period.

Striker: Jimmy Greaves – England

A goal machine by any standards, modern or otherwise, Greaves averaged over a goal every two games throughout his career and is one of the best strikers England has ever produced.

I could rattle on about his ability for ages, but his stats say it best; Chelsea – 124 goals in 157 games, Milan – 9 goals in 12 games, Tottenham – 220 goals in 321 games, England – 44 goals in 57 games.

Substitutes:

Gordon Banks – A fine keeper, among the best ever.
Bobby Charlton – England’s record goal scorer, a legend.
Ian Rush – Fantastic goal scorer, fantastic moustache.
Danny Blanchflower – One of Spurs’ and Northern Ireland’s best ever. May have made the starting xi if I knew the modern-day equivalent of right half.
Alan Ball – A brilliant little midfielder and liked by both Southampton and Portsmouth fans, a rarity.
Denis Law – Another brilliant Scottish goal scorer, something they’ve missed for years.
Tony Adams – Fantastic defender and captain, Arsenal could do with him now.

Written by Steve Norman

Steve is a writer and podcast host/editor for www.bornoffside.net as well as a budding sports journalist. Born Offside is a new football blog written by fans for fans, covering everything from non-league to International football. Find them, their articles and podcast at www.bornoffside.net.

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