England Football Teams Top Four All Time Goalscorers

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As England prepare to take on Montenegro in their Group G European Championship Qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on 12 October, whilst many strikers have appeared for England, not all have been successful. Listed below are four men who have scored the most international goals for their country since England played their first international match against Scotland back in March 1870.

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  1. Bobby Charlton (Manchester United) 49 goals 106 games

Sir Bobby is the only player in our list to have won both a World Cup and European Cup Winners medal.

 Bobby became a household name all over the world and was famed for his graceful style of play coupled with a thunderbolt of a shot, equally deadly with either foot. He was also one of the game’s gentlemen, respected by fellow players, officials and fans alike. Charlton made the first of his 106 international appearances (a record at that time) against Scotland in 1958. He was instrumental in England winning the World Cup on home soil against West Germany in 1966, having scored both goals in the semi-finals against Mexico. Bobby played nearly all of his career with Manchester United, scoring 249 goals in 758 appearances. He was knighted in 1994 and remains an Ambassador for both his former club and the game in general.

  1. Gary Lineker (Leicester City, Everton, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur) 48 goals 80 games

Known as the BBC TV ‘Match of the Day’ presenter to a generation, in his playing days Lineker was one of the most prolific strikers of his time. He started his career with his hometown club Leicester City, scoring 95 goals in 194 games before moving to Everton for £800,000 in 1985. He tried his luck in Spain, playing under Terry Venables at Barcelona before returning to England with Tottenham Hotspur. Lineker was top scorer at the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico, scoring 6 goals despite England being knocked out at the Quarter-Final stage by the infamous Maradona ‘Hand of God’. He remained one short of Charlton’s scoring record and his disgust was plain to see when he was substituted in the 1992 European Championship Group match against Sweden by Graham Taylor in what turned out to be his final international appearance.His disciplinary record was exemplary, having never received a caution in his senior career.

  1. Jimmy Greaves (Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur) 44 goals 57 games

Considered by many as one of the finest goalscorers of his generation, Jimmy Greaves’ senior career started at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea in 1957 where he scored 124 goals in 157 games before being transferred to Italian giants A.C.Milan in 1961. Greaves found it hard to settle in Italy and was brought back to London later that year by Spurs boss Bill Nicholson for £99,999 (the intention was to relieve pressure on him becoming the first £100,000 player). Greaves achieved legendary status at Tottenham, scoring 266 goals in 379 games in all competitions. His international career began in 1959 against Peru but it was the 1966 World Cup Finals in England that would be heartbreaking for Greaves. He began the campaign as first choice until injury against France saw him replaced with a certain Geoff Hurst – who retained his place for the remainder of the competition and the rest as they say, is history. After the 1966 World Cup, Greaves only made three more appearances at international level. He finished his club career with West Ham United and Barnet before becoming a T.V. pundit, forming a double act with former Liverpool and Scotland player, Ian St.John.

  1. Michael Owen (Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United) 40 goals 89 games

Owen began his club career in 1987 with Liverpool, scoring 118 goals in 216 Premiership appearances before being transferred to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2004 for £8 million. Although used mainly as a substitute at the Bernabeu, he managed 13 goals in 35 appearances before returning to the Premiership in 2005, signed by Newcastle United boss Sir Bobby Robson for £16 million. Owen scored 26 goals in 71 games in his four seasons at St. James’Park before being surprisingly signed by Manchester United in 2009. Owen came to international prominence during the 1998 World Cup Finals in France with a series of impressive performances, particularly in the game against Argentina where he scored one of the goals of the tournament. He went on to represent England in two further World Cup Finals, although a series of long-term injuries have reduced the number of games he has played recently. Owen has the distinction of being the first player to have scored international goals at both the old and new Wembley.

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