He scored a legendary goal in the Maracana and was capped more time
John Barnes: He scored a legendary goal in the Maracana and was capped more times for England than any other black player. John Barnes picks his team as TheFA.com continues to search for the ultimate all-time England line-up...
John Barnes was a hero to a generation of young black players and his goal against Brazil in the Maracana Stadium is still talked about 20 years later.
Barnes started his career with Watford but it was at Liverpool that he developed into one of the game's biggest superstars.
He went to two World Cups and although it is often said he didn't live up to his potential in an England shirt, that is more to do with the expectations placed on him. After all, he couldn't have won 79 caps without some decent appearances!
Barnes admits he has tried to find the best blend for his ultimate England XI.
"I think Lofthouse and Lineker would be a great pairing up front, Lofthouse was excellent in the air and could lead the line. Lineker would love to have played off him."
Interestingly, Barnes would also use Bobby Charlton out wide so that Glenn Hoddle and Bryan Robson could mix skill and steel in central midfield.
"I always felt Glenn was a bit unfortunate. At his peak in the 1980's English football was interested in strength, which wasn't what Glenn was about.
"He was so technically gifted I believe he would have won a hundred caps if he had been born German or Italian.
"Bobby Charlton can play in a number of positions. But early in his career he was a flying winger and he was great in that role."
Goalkeeper - Gordon Banks (1963-72)
73 caps, 0 goals
Barnes' verdict: "I played with Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence but everyone tells me Gordon Banks was the best in the world. I was enthralled by his save against Pele like everyone else."
Right back - Phil Neal (1976-83)
50 caps, 5 goals
Barnes' verdict: "A goalscoring right-back, I played with Phil early in my England career and he always carried a threat."
Central defender - Bobby Moore (1962-73)
108 caps, 2 goal
Barnes' verdict: "He is Bobby Moore - as simple as that. A greatest England side without him is unthinkable."
Central defender - Duncan Edwards (1955-57)
18 caps, 5 goals
Barnes' verdict: "You had the feeling he was good enough to play for England in any position. A complete one-off."
Left back - Kenny Sansom (1979-88)
86 caps, 1 goal
Barnes' verdict: "A great left-back who served his country for a number of years. I was with him in the 1986 World Cup when I remember his Mum coming out to watch the games."
Winger - Bobby Charlton (1958-70)
106 caps, 49 goals
Barnes' verdict: "He could play in any attacking position. Although he won the world cup as a central player, he started out at Manchester United as a flying winger."
Midfield - Bryan Robson (1980-91)
90 caps, 26 goals
Barnes' verdict: "He sums up the term British Bulldog more than any player I know. A real leader."
Midfield - Glenn Hoddle (1979-88)
53 caps, 8 goals
Barnes' verdict: "The most technically gifted English player of all-time. He would have won 100 caps for Italy or Germany but was around in an era where English football placed a lot of emphasis on strength."
Winger - Stanley Matthews (1934-57)
54 caps, 11 goals
Barnes' verdict: "His record speaks for itself. The pace was slower in his time but he would have adapted at any era. Can you imagine how good he would have been with modern diet and training techniques. Awesome."
Striker - Gary Lineker (1984-92)
80 caps, 48 goals
Barnes' verdict: "A very single-minded player, only Bobby Charlton has scored more for England. When I saw him going in for my cross against Argentina in 1986, I thought it was a goal - but the defender Olarticochea was among the best in the world and got his body in the way."
Striker - Nat Lofthouse (1951-1959)
33 caps, 30 goals
Barnes' verdict: "The perfect foil for a penalty area poacher like Lineker. A big strong guy loved by wingers. His goal record wasn't bad either!"
TOTAL VOTES SO FAR (after 8 nominations)
8 votes - Bobby Moore
7 votes - Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson
6 votes - Duncan Edwards, Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews
5 votes - Gordon Banks
4 votes - Jimmy Greaves
3 votes - Gary Lineker, Kenny Sansom, Alan Shearer, Peter Shilton, Ray Wilson, Billy Wright
2 votes - Jimmy Armfield, George Cohen, Paul Gascoigne, Johnny Haynes
1 vote - Tony Adams, David Beckham, Roger Byrne, Neil Franklin, Glenn Hoddle, Geoff Hurst, Kevin Keegan, Nat Lofthouse, Phil Neal, Michael Owen, Stuart Pearce, Alf Ramsey, Des Walker
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