With Frank Lampard’s decision to retire from international #Football announced earlier this week, coming hot on the heels of similar decisions by Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard, yet another member of England’s 100 club (those with 100 or more international appearances) leaves the stage clear for a new generation to pit their wits against the best that world football has to offer. Let’s take a look at the eight members of that elite club and how they may be remembered in terms of their international careers. Here we consider the top three, with the other five men being covered in follow up articles.

Goalkeeping great Peter Shilton tops the list of the centurions with 125 caps. Across a mammoth career of over one thousand domestic appearances for such as Leicester City, Notts Forest and Southampton, he might have had even more international caps but for the competition he shared with another top keeper of the time, Liverpool’s Ray Clemence, who played 61 times for the national side himself. Internationally, Shilton will be best remembered as being part of the 1990 team that went so close to winning the World Cup, eventually succumbing to the Germans (including the free kick that agonisingly looped up off a deflection from Paul Parker and over his head in normal time) on penalties in the semi final. However, he was also in the England team at the 1982 and 1986 finals, the latter being memorable for Maradona’s infamous ‘hand of God’ goal against him as Argentina beat England at the quarter finals stage.

David Robert Joseph Beckham’s international career was a mixture of scapegoat and saviour. He holds the record for most appearances by an outfield player at 115 and appeared (and scored) in three World Cup finals. Beckham was one of the players alluded to in Alan Hansen’s famous “never win anything with kids” quote during his time with Manchester United and his goal from the half way line against Wimbledon for them is commonly replayed. He was roundly criticised (and was said to have received death threats) after being sent off in the 1998 World Cup in France against Argentina, but it is testament to his resilience that he not only won the public over but went on to captain the national side for six years (in more than 50 matches),famously scoring a penalty to beat Argentina in the 2002 finals. He has gone on to be a global megastar with high profile moves to Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and PSG. Perhaps his greatest England display was against Greece in theirfinal World Cup qualifier for the 2002 finals, where he almost single handedly pulled the team back from the brink and scored a dramatic trademark free kick to ensure qualification. Whilst in the national side, England were defeated quarter finalists at the 2002 and 2006 World Cup finals, and the 2004 Euros.

Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard retired from the international scene after captaining England through a disappointing 2014 World Cup finals. He continues to play for his one and only club side though and will lead them back into the Champions League this season after a number of years in the wilderness. In terms of England caps, he stands one behind Beckham on 114 with 21 goals to his name for his country (compared to Beckham’s 17). Perhaps more famous for his club heroics and the inspiration behind the amazing Champions League final comeback against AC Milan in 2005, where the Reds recovered from a 3 nil deficit to win on penalties, he is the only player to have scored goals in FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League finals. His role in the 2006 FA Cup final victory over West Ham will also go down in club folklore. He has had his moments for England though, including his first goal being in the 5-1 away rout in Germany in 2001 in a World Cup qualifier.

He scored at the Euro 2004 finals and twice at the 2006 World Cup finals , both tournaments where they reached the quarter finals only to lose on penalties to Portugal each time. They again bowed out at the quarter final stage on penalties in Euro 2012 to Italy, a tournament where Gerrard played well to provide three goal assists and earn two man of the match performances. His impact on the recent 2014 World Cup finals was less positive though, as England failed to get out of the group stage and probably hastened his decision to quit international football. In the next article, the international careers of Bobby Moore, Ashley Cole and Bobby Charlton will come under the microscope.

With Frank Lampard’s decision to retire from international football announced earlier this week, coming hot on the heels of similar decisions by Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard, yet another member of England’s 100 club (those with 100 or more international appearances) leaves the stage clear for a new generation to pit their wits against the best that world football has to offer. Let’s take a look at the eight members of that elite club and how they may be remembered in terms of their international careers. Here we consider the top three, with the other five men being covered in follow up articles.

Goalkeeping great Peter Shilton tops the list of the centurions with 125 caps. Across a mammoth career of over one thousand domestic appearances for such as Leicester City, Notts Forest and Southampton, he might have had even more international caps but for the competition he shared with another top keeper of the time, Liverpool’s Ray Clemence, who played 61 times for the national side himself. Internationally, Shilton will be best remembered as being part of the 1990 team that went so close to winning the World Cup, eventually succumbing to the Germans (including the free kick that agonisingly looped up off a deflection from Paul Parker and over his head in normal time) on penalties in the semi final. However, he was also in the England team at the 1982 and 1986 finals, the latter being memorable for Maradona’s infamous ‘hand of God’ goal against him as Argentina beat England at the quarter finals stage.

David Robert Joseph Beckham’s international career was a mixture of scapegoat and saviour. He holds the record for most appearances by an outfield player at 115 and appeared (and scored) in three World Cup finals. Beckham was one of the players alluded to in Alan Hansen’s famous “never win anything with kids” quote during his time with Manchester United and his goal from the half way line against Wimbledon for them is commonly replayed. He was roundly criticised (and was said to have received death threats) after being sent off in the 1998 World Cup in France against Argentina, but it is testament to his resilience that he not only won the public over but went on to captain the national side for six years (in more than 50 matches), famously scoring a penalty to beat Argentina in the 2002 finals. He has gone on to be a global megastar with high profile moves to Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and PSG. Perhaps his greatest England display was against Greece in theirfinal World Cup qualifier for the 2002 finals, where he almost single handedly pulled the team back from the brink and scored a dramatic trademark free kick to ensure qualification. Whilst in the national side, England were defeated quarter finalists at the 2002 and 2006 World Cup finals, and the 2004 Euros.

Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard retired from the international scene after captaining England through a disappointing 2014 World Cup finals. He continues to play for his one and only club side though and will lead them back into the Champions League this season after a number of years in the wilderness. In terms of England caps, he stands one behind Beckham on 114 with 21 goals to his name for his country (compared to Beckham’s 17). Perhaps more famous for his club heroics and the inspiration behind the amazing Champions League final comeback against AC Milan in 2005, where the Reds recovered from a 3 nil deficit to win on penalties, he is the only player to have scored goals in FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League finals. His role in the 2006 FA Cup final victory over West Ham will also go down in club folklore. He has had his moments for England though, including his first goal being in the 5-1 away rout in Germany in 2001 in a World Cup qualifier.

He scored at the Euro 2004 finals and twice at the 2006 World Cup finals, both tournaments where they reached the quarter finals only to lose on penalties to Portugal each time. They again bowed out at the quarter final stage on penalties in Euro 2012 to Italy, a tournament where Gerrard played well to provide three goal assists and earn two man of the match performances. His impact on the recent 2014 World Cup finals was less positive though, as England failed to get out of the group stage and probably hastened his decision to quit international football. In the next article, the international careers of Bobby Charlton will come under the microscope. #Celebrities