Who are actually the most capped English footballers in football history? Is the number of their caps higher or lower than 100? And what is the difference of caps between each of them? Is that wide or narrow?
Well, the answer to all these questions you get in this post! We’re going to let you know about the most capped English soccer players of all time, and in fact how many times they got or have got capped.
We also let you know about the average number of goals each footballer has scored in each of his caps and how the list of the
most capped English football players ever
may change if it is sorted based on the average goals in each caps or in other words goals-to-caps ratio for each footballer.
The list we have prepared for you contains 16 footballers who have been capped the most in English football history. The number of caps starts with 80 and goes beyond 100, but we start the list descendingly with the one with highest caps down to the ones with lowest caps. Also we will let you know about some of the other English footballers with less than 80 caps through a bulleted-point list.
Number one on the list of most capped English players of all time, Peter Shilton is also the only English goalkeeper to this date with more than 100 caps. He’s by now 71 years old and the interesting fact about him is that he also made more than 1000 club appearances - actually 1249, during his footballing time, too, which puts him among the 30 footballers with more than 1000 appearances in football history.
And the interesting fact again is that Shilton also tops the list of footballers with more than 1000 appearances with a total of 1387 appearances which is a sum of all his appearances as a youth and senior footballer. Another fact to consider about Shilton is that he only served English clubs during his career - actually in different tiers - and also scored one goal during his long 31-year career - forLeicester City
and at the start of his career.
Shilton earned 66 clean sheets in his 125 national appearances which means he actually earned a clean sheet in every other national appearance he made. And despite the fact that Shilton served more than 10 English clubs during his career, he never made a Premier League appearance. No wonder if you consider that 26 years of his 31-year career was before even Premier League was founded and although he was with two Premier League clubs,Wimbeldon
and Bloton Wanderers, in 1995, he never made a Premier League appearance for them.
And finally, Shilton is among the footballers who have never received a yellow card during their careers. Unfortunately, he received a red card in a game against Hull City in August 1992 for the foul he committed against Graeme Atkinson in 26th minute - he was withPlymouth Argyle
at the time, so he cannot be on the list of footballers who have never been booked during their careers.
Only 5 caps behind Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney is actually the second footballer on the list of
most capped English players of all time
with 120 caps. Rooney scored 53 goals in all his international appearances which means he scored 0.4 goal in each appearance or actually two goals in every 5 appearances.
Rooney served the English national team between 2003 and 2018. He also served the under-aged English national teams (U15, U17, and U19) between 2000 and 2003. Although there might be other players on the list with better goals-to-caps ratio or actually average goals per appearance than Rooney - as it really is, Rooney, with his 53 international goals, is the England’s highest goalscorer ever. And just to tell you the truth, Rooney is also Manchester United’s top scorer ever, too - with 253 goals.
The great David Beckham is actually the third footballer and the first midfielder with the highest number of caps on the list of most capped English football players ever. The number of caps is 115, but Beckham actually scored 17 goals in all his international appearances which means he scored almost one goal in every 7 international appearances.
Beckham served theEnglish national team
for 13 years between 1996 and 2009; he also served English U18 and U21 teams for four years between 1992 and 1996. Although Beckham hasn’t got a very good goals-to-caps ratio, he’s the first English footballer to score at three World Cups with the English national team and also the fourth footballer with the highest number of games as England’s captain - actually 59 games.
Steven Gerrard comes fourth on the list of most capped English players of all time but only with one-cap difference from the third position occupied by David Beckham. Like Beckham, Gerrard was also a midfielder during his playtime and played in the same post for the English national team, however, he scored more goals for England than Beckham, though not again with a big difference: Only 21 goals.
Gerrard served the English national team for 14 years between 2000 and 2014 andEnglish U21 team
between 1999 and 2000 where he made only 4 appearances for them. From among all the appearances Gerrard made for the English national team 45 were in friendlies where he also scored 6 goals for his country’s national team.
The first passed footballer on the list of most capped English players of all time, Bobby Moore was a legendary English defender who served the English national team between for 11 years between 1962 and 1973 during which he made 108 appearances and scored two goals for them. The interesting fact about Bobby Moore is that he scored the same number of goals for the English U23 national team but only in 9 appearances.
Bobby Moore actually captained the English national team who won England’s only World Cup in 1966. He was also named on FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in the same year and FIFA World Cup All-Time Team in 1994 not to mention that he was also inducted into English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Another defender on the list of most capped English players of all time, Ashley Cole is a 40-year-old retired footballer who served the English national team for 13 years between 2001 and 2014. He never scored a goal for England but one for the English U21 national team.
Although not topping the list of
most capped English footballers in football history
, Ashley Cole is actually the most capped English full-back and also the most capped black English footballer ever with his 107 caps. Cole played for the English national team in three World Cups, actually the 2002, 2006, and 2010 editions of the same competition, and also UEFA Euro 2004 and 2012 where in the former he was named on the all-star team of the competition too.
Another legendary footballer on the list of most capped English players of all time, Sir Bobby Charlton played as an attacking midfielder and a forward unlike his fellow-legendary-man, Bobby Moore, who played as a defender. So no wonder that Bobby Charlton has scored more goals than Bobby Moore as it is really so.
Sir Bobby Charlton actually made 106 appearances for the English national team between 1958 and 1970 and scored 49 goals for them which translates to 0.46 goals in every appearances or almost one goal (exactly 0.96) in every two appearances. Not a bad record among the
most capped English soccer players of all time
Just like his fellowman, Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton was also part of the English national team who won the 1966 World Cup and finished third in 1968 UEFA Euro. He was also named on FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 1966 and 1970 and FIFA World Cup All-Time Team in 1994, and was inducted into English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
player in his prime, Frank Lampard is among the first ten most capped English soccer players of all time with 106 caps in total. Lampard actually served the English national for 15 years between 1999 and 2014 during which he made 106 appearances and scored 29 goals for them.
Lampard also made one appearance for the England B team in 1999 and 19 appearances for the England U21 national team between 1997 and 2000. What should be remembered from Lampard as an England national is that with 5 goals he was England’s top scorer in 2006 World Cup qualifying round plus that he held the record of most shots on goal without scoring - actually 37 - in 2010 World Cup.
Only one cap behind Frank Lampard and Sir Bobby Charlton on the list of most capped English players of all time, Billy Wright is another old-time passed footballer who was capped 105 times during his career. The interesting fact about Billy Wright is that he is actually the first footballer ever to have reached 100 caps in the history of football. He actually kept the record for more than a decade before his record was broken by Sir Bobby Charlton.
Wright also captained England in 90 games which is a yet-non-broken record he shares with Bobby Moore. Despite this record of his is not yet broken, Wright himself is a record breaker! He actually broke the record of Bob Crompton’s most appearances for the English national team which stood from 1914 with his 42nd cap in 1952.
And here comes the first footballer on the list of most capped English players of all time who has more caps than any other footballer on the list who has less than 100 caps: Bryan Robson. Robson was actually a midfielder during his playtime and other than the English senior national team he also served England B team and also England U21 team both for a year.
Just like Billy Wright, Bryan Robson was also a record holder with English national team for some time: He held the record of the fastest goal scored in World Cup history for 20 years by scoring a goal against France in 1982 World Cup just 27 seconds after the start of the game. His record was later broken by Hakan Sukur of Turkey who did the same thing in 10 seconds - actually in 2002 World Cup and in a game againstSouth Korea
Just one cap behind Bryan Robson on the list of
most capped English players of all time
, Michael Owen is one of those beloved sons of England and also a national prolific scorer! He actually scored 40 goals in his 89 international appearances which translates to 0.44 goals in every appearance or near one goal (exactly 0.88) in every two appearances.
Other than the English senior national team, Owen also served English U15, U16, U18, U20, and U21 national teams with a much better goal-to-appearance ratio than that of his with English senior national team: He actually scored 41 goals in the 40 appearances that he made for the English under-aged national teams which means he scored a little bit more than one goal in every appearance that he made for these teams.
Owen is the only English footballer to have scored in four consecutive major tournaments for England, namely World Cup 1998, Euro 2000, World Cup 2002, and Euro 2004. Just like Bryan Robson, Owen was also a record holder at national level for some time: His record of 26 competitive goals was not broken for some time before Wayne Rooney overtook it.
Yet another defender on the list of most capped English players of all time, Kenny Sansom is a 62-year-old retired footballer who played as a left-back for top Premier League clubs,Everton
and Arsenal, and also for the English national team in the 86 appearances that he made for them between 1979 and 1988.
Being a defender, Sansom only scored one goal in all his appearances for the English national team. He also served the English U21 national team making 8 appearances in total for them. Sansom was England’s regular full-back for almost a decade, and although not a record holder, his record of 37 consecutive appearances for the English national team between 1984 and 1987 has only been surpassed by Billy Wright and Ron Flowers.
Only one cap behind Kenny Sansom on the list of
most capped English players of all time
, Gary Neville was also a defender during his playtime and among the few footballers on the list who never scored a goal for their country’s national team.
A one-club man who only servedManchester United
during his playtime, Gary Neville also served the English national team between 1995 and 2002 and as you already know made 85 appearances for them. He also served English U16 and U18 national teams between 1992 and 1993 making 9 appearances for them in total.
Neville played as a right-back for his country’s national team. He is also the holder of the record of 11 appearances for the English national team in the finals of the three editions of UEFA European Championship. And if we just add up the appearances Gary Neville and his brother, Phil Neville, made for the English national team, then they will be the most capped English brothers ever!
Not a prolific goalscorer during his footballing time, Ray Wilkins is a 61-year-old retired English footballer - actually midfielder - who served more than 10 clubs including top Serie A and Premier League clubs, Manchester United, Chelsea, andAC Milan
, and also the English national team during his career with the latter getting a share of 10 years from Wilkins’ years of service which actually happened between 1976 and 1986.
Wilkins made 84 appearances for the English national team between the time mentioned above and scored 3 goals for them in total. He also made one appearance for the English U21 national team in 1976. Although not a prolific goalscorer, Wilkins scored a memorable goal against Belgium in 1980 UEFA European Championship by breaching the offside trap and getting the ball past the goalkeeper himself.
And finally, Wilkins is the first English footballer ever to be sent off at World Cup; actually in 1986 World Cup in a game against Morocco where he threw the ball at the Paraguayan referee, Gabriel Gonzalez, for calling his offside. The ball actually hit the referee and Wilkins not only was sent off but also was suspended for the next two games.
Another defender on the list of most capped English footballers in football history who is also on the list of footballers withmost own goals in the Premier League history
: Rio Ferdinand. He actually played as a center-back during his playtime not only for the top Premier League club, Manchester United - he’s actually best known as a former Man Utd player - but also for the English national team whom he served for 14 years between 1997 and 2011 making 81 appearances and scoring 3 goals for them in the process.
Ferdinand also served English U18 and U21 national teams between 1996 and 2000 and made 12 appearances for both in total. With his 81 appearances for the English national team, Rio Ferdinand is actually the second most capped black English footballer after Ashley Cole.
A real prolific goalscorer who is also on the list offootballers who were never booked during their careers
, Gary Lineker actually scored 48 goals for the English national team during his service to them. That actually gets him the best goals-to-caps ratio - average goals per international match: 0.6 which is even better than Wayne Rooney and Bobby Charlton’s ratios, although both these footballers scored more national goals than Lineker.
Well, that’s because Lineker scored his 48 goals for the English national team in less appearances than Rooney and Sir Bobby Charlton. Although England dropped out of 1986 World Cup in quarter finals, Gary Lineker became the competition’s top scorer with 6 goals and was awarded the same World Cup Golden Boot; what actually no English footballer had achieved before him.
Here are some of the other English footballers who have made the most number of appearances for the English national team:
John Barnes, Pos: Midfielder, Caps: 79, Goals: 11
Stuart Pearce, Pos: Defender, Caps: 78, Goals: 5
John Terry, Pos: Defender, Caps: 78, Goals: 6
Terry Butcher, Pos: Defender, Caps: 77, Goals: 3
Tom Finney, Pos: Forward, Caps: 76, Goals: 30
David Seaman, Pos: Goalkeeper, Caps: 75, Goals: 0
Joe Hart, Pos: Goalkeeper, Caps: 75, Goals: 0
Gordon Banks, Pos: Goalkeeper, Caps: 73, Goals: 0
Sol Campbell, Pos: Defender, Caps: 73, Goals: 1
Alan Ball, Pos: Forward, Caps: 72, Goals: 8
Martin Peters, Pos: Midfielder, Caps: 67, Goals: 20
As we promised you at the start of this post, we also provide you with a list of most capped English footballers based on the number of average goals they scored for the English national team in each match. Please consider that the list only includes the 16 footballers we have already mentioned in this post. Here is the list:
Gary Lineker, Caps: 80, Goals: 48, Average goals per match: 0.6
Bobby Charlton, Caps: 106, Goals: 49, Average goals per match: 0.46
Michael Owen, Caps: 89, Goals: 40, Average goals per match: almost 0.45 (0.449)
Wayne Rooney, Caps: 120, Goals: 53, Average goals per match: 0.44
Bryan Robson, Caps: 90, Goals: 26, Average goals per match: 0.28
Frank Lampard, Caps: 106, Goals: 29, Average goals per match: 0.27
Steven Gerrard, Caps: 114, Goals: 21, Average goals per match: 0.18
David Beckham, Caps: 115, Goals: 17, Average goals per match: 0.14
Rio Ferdinand, Caps: 81, Goals: 3, Average goals per match; 0.037
Ray Wilkins, Caps: 84, Goals: 3, Average goals per match: 0.0.35
Billy Wright, Caps: 105, Goals: 3, Average goals per match: 0.028
Bobby Moore, Caps: 108, Goals: 2, Average goals per match: 0.018
Kenny Sansom, Caps: 86, Goals: 1, Average goals per match: 0.011
Peter Shilton, Caps: 125, Goals: 0, Average goals per match: 0
Ashley Cole, Caps: 107, Goals: 0, Average goals per match: 0
Gary Neville, Caps: 85, Goals: 0, Average goals per match: 0