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Top 20 England players of all time - #7

Sports Mole's countdown of the top 20 England players of all time continues with number seven - Gary Lineker.

Gary Lineker (80 caps, 48 goals)

English forward Gary Lineker celebrates after scoring a goal during the World Cup first round soccer match between England and Poland 11 June 1986 in Monterrey. Lineker scored three goals as England defeated Poland 3-0. © Getty Images

If anyone can challenge Jimmy Greaves for the title of England's greatest goalscorer, it could well be Gary Lineker.

A penalty box predator of the highest calibre, Lineker scored 48 goals in just 80 appearances for the national team and could well have matched Sir Bobby Charlton's then-record of 49 had he not been substituted early during the Euro 92 clash with Sweden - a match which proved to be his last in an England shirt.

Having made his international bow in 1984, Lineker enjoyed the best spell of his England career two years later at the 1986 World Cup when he scored six goals in just five appearances - including one in the quarter-final defeat to a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina.

Despite England's relatively early exit, Lineker's tally was enough to earn him the Golden Boot - the only English player to have won the award at the World Cup - and he remains his country's highest scorer at major tournaments.

Lineker took that tournament tally to 10 with four goals at the 1990 World Cup, where England were eliminated in the semi-finals by West Germany after Lineker had scored an equaliser in normal time.

Silverware was few and far between for him at club level - particularly in England were his only major trophy was the 1991 FA Cup despite prolific spells at Leicester City, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.

A three-year stint with Barcelona saw him add the Copa del Rey and Cup Winners' Cup to his collection, though, while on an individual level he was a two-time FWA Footballer of the Year, a one-time PFA Player of the Year and finished as runner-up in the 1986 Ballon d'Or.

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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

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