MX23RW : Saturday, June 12 11:05:53| >> :60:2943:2943:

Top 20 England players of all time - #12

Sports Mole's countdown of the top 20 English players of all time continues with number 12 - Paul Gascoigne.

Paul Gascoigne (57 caps, 10 goals)

Paul Gascoigne celebrates scoring against Scotland for England on June 15, 1996.© Getty Images

Rarely has any player captured the imagination of the English public like Paul Gascoigne, with his mercurial talent and boyish antics making him the darling of the nation.

Gazza has his own highlight reel of iconic moments in an England shirt, from the sublime to the surreal and the terrific to the tearful, and he can lay a very good claim to being the most popular player to ever don the Three Lions badge.

After making his international debut in 1988, Gascoigne had become a vital part of Bobby Robson's team by the time the 1990 World Cup came along and played a huge role in helping the team to the semi-finals in Italy.

In what would become a familiar story over the years, England were eliminated in the semis on penalties at the hands of West Germany, but perhaps the abiding memory of the match is Gazza's tears - and Gary Lineker's subsequent look to the bench - after picking up a second yellow card which would have seen him miss the final had England got there.

Gascoigne had to wait until 1996 for his next major international tournament, where he scored surely the best of his 10 England goals in a group game against Scotland, flicking the ball over the head of Colin Hendry before volleying it past the keeper. In typical Gazza fashion, the following "dentist's chair" celebration was almost as memorable too.

Once again, though, the tournament would end in agony as Gascoigne was inches short of connecting with a low ball across the face of goal which would have fired England into the final on home soil. In the end, another penalty shootout defeat to Germany was the hosts' fate.

The midfielder's international career ended when he was controversially left out of Glenn Hoddle's squad for the 1998 World Cup, by which point his club career was also winding down after injuries has stunted his prodigious talent.

After initially bursting onto the scene with Newcastle United, Gascoigne scored a stunning free kick to help Tottenham Hotspur to the 1991 FA Cup with victory over North London rivals Arsenal in the final, although his glory was once again mixed with despair as he later suffered a serious ligament injury in the same game.

A move to Lazio followed before Gazza returned to British soil with Rangers, where he won two league titles, the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup.

ID:300111: cacheID:300111:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:4048:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Paul Merson answers questions during Gillette Soccer Saturday Live in Bournemouth on March 19, 2012
Read Next:
Paul Merson pays tribute to Don Howe
>

rhs 2.0
Euro 2020 fixtures
Saturday, June 12, 2021
 
5pm
 
8pm
Sunday, June 13, 2021
 
2pm
Monday, June 14, 2021
 
5pm
 
8pm
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!