England vs Germany: Classic combined XI

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England – the ‘home’ of football – and Germany – the most successful European nation – lock horns once again in the round of 16 of Euro 2020.

The two countries both have fervently proud footballing heritage and, as you might already know, have produced some of the most iconic players to have ever play the game.

Picking an all-time XI between the two countries isn’t a simple task but, hey, someone’s gotta do it. So here you go…

Gordon BanksGordon Banks

Gordon Banks: A legend of the game / Chris Morphet/Getty Images

England caps: 73

When you have Gordon Banks to choose from, not many other goalkeepers are going to get a look in.

The England legend is one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time – widely considered to have made the best save in history (you can hear the commentary now, I’m sure) – and was in goal as the Three Lions beat Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.

Philipp LahmPhilipp Lahm

Philipp Lahm lifts the World Cup trophy / Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images

Germany caps: 113

Over a decade long international career, Philipp Lahm achieved what every player dreams of: he captained his country to World Cup success in 2014.

The final against Argentina, in which the Bayern Munich legend lasted the full 120 minutes, was his last cap for Die Mannschaft as he wrote his name in German folklore.

Bobby MooreBobby Moore

Bobby Moore / Keystone/Getty Images

England caps: 108

Bobby Moore didn’t have the most lucrative club career, only winning one FA Cup title in England. But he was one of the most iconic figures of the country’s 1966 World Cup-winning side.

He even bagged a lyric in the 1996 hit Three Lions – how much more iconic can you get?

Franz BeckenbauerFranz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer in action for Bayern Munich / Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Germany caps: 103

There aren’t many better footballers ever.

A European and world champion (as captain) with West Germany in 1972 and 1974 respectively, there was little he didn’t win during his astounding career.

Innovative, dazzlingly talented and a true leader, he is one of the all-time greats in our sport and obviously makes any classic combined XI.

Ashley ColeAshley Cole

Ashley Cole in action for England in 2014 / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

England caps: 107

Over his 13-year long England career, Ashley Cole became a centurion for the national side (still the only full-back to do so) and was firmly one of the best left-backs on the planet for the duration.

A glittering domestic trophy cabinet courtesy of exceptional spells at Arsenal and Chelsea was unfortunately not matched on the international scene but, however disappointing the failed ‘golden generation’ were, Cole was undeniably fantastic.

Lothar MatthausLothar Matthaus

Lothar Matthaus is another icon / Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Germany caps: 150

150 caps for Germany? That is just mental.

Lothar Matthaus is yet another legendary figure in this XI and was a frighteningly complete footballer in the centre of midfield. His quite ridiculous stamina and quality saw him feature at five World Cups and four European Championships, winning one of each.

Matthaus’ individual honours list is simply staggering too, including the Ballon d’Or award in 1990 – what a footballer.

David Beckham of England celebrates to the crowdDavid Beckham of England celebrates to the crowd

David Beckham was the classic number 7 / Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

England caps: 115

David Beckham is England’s third most capped player and, given the longevity of his international career, you can probably guess that there were some unforgettable moments during it.

From that free kick against Greece to his overall attitude to playing for his country, he’s a true sensation and belongs in any England all-time midfield.

Bobby CharltonBobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton, another World Cup winner / Michael Webb/Getty Images

England caps: 106

Another World Cup winner in 1966, Bobby Charlton lifted the trophy having not missed a single second of the competition, as well as notching three vital goals in the process – a haul that contributed to his Ballon d’Or win in the same year.

Gerd Mueller, Gerd Mnller, Konrad Weise, Martin HoffmannGerd Mueller, Gerd Mnller, Konrad Weise, Martin Hoffmann

Gerd Muller in action at the 1974 World Cup / STAFF/Getty Images

Germany caps: 62

Despite a comparatively modest 62 caps for his country, Gerd Muller still managed to hit an unbelievable 68 international goals – including six hat-tricks.

The prolific striker won the Ballon d’0r in 1970 and scored four times to help his nation lift the World Cup four years later.

Miroslav KloseMiroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose with the World Cup in 2014 / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Germany caps: 137

The big forward may not have been the most thrilling player to watch, but he was certainly one of the most brilliant servants to his country.

Over his 137 caps (second for Germany) he scored a whopping 71 goals, putting him top of the all-time scoring list. After coming second in the 2002 World Cup and 2008 European Championships, the striker finally found glory in 2014, helping his country win the World Cup in 2014.

Wayne RooneyWayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney captaining England / Michael Regan/Getty Images

England caps: 120

Second on the list for England appearances and topping the Three Lions scoring charts, you don’t get much more legendary than Wayne Rooney.

Although he never managed to will the nation on to tournament glory, Rooney was an undroppable for England over the 13 years after his debut in 2003.

His hair may have gone missing over that time, but his quality never faded.

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