My favourite England XI: Jordan Pickford
In the first of a new series, Three Lions goalkeeper Jordan Pickford sat down with us pre-World Cup to discuss his favourite England men's team XI
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It is a talking point which is as old as the game itself; one which has dominated pub and sitting-room conversations for decades.
So we sat down with members of the England squad to discuss who would make their favourite England men's team XI.
This is not their perceived ‘best England XI’. It is about their ‘favourite England line-up’, so those players they grew up idolising or their mates in the squad. There can be no wrong answer because it is all about personal opinion.
The players get to choose their own formation and there is room at the end for some ‘honourable mentions’ if needed, for those players who maybe didn’t quite make the XI but still warrant a shout-out.
And first up, fittingly, is England’s number one: Jordan Pickford.
I looked up to Joe growing up, with his career pathway and going on to get 70-odd caps for England.
Right-back: Kyle Walker
Kyle is one of my close mates when away with England and he has been incredible for England and is a great right-back.
Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand
Watching Rio growing up and the career he had, he would have been an unbelievable centre-half to play behind.
Centre-back: Harry Maguire
Harry is one of my best mates in football and I have played with him throughout my England career so far.
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Obviously, he is at Everton now with the coaching staff but looking back on his career and how good he was and the number of caps he got for England, he was incredible.
Centre midfield: Paul Scholes
It is a toss-up between those three midfielders from the Sven era. Is it going to be Lampard, Gerrard or Scholes? I definitely have to have Paul Scholes because his range of passing and his ability with the football is second to none. I think a lot of people will agree with that selection.
Centre midfield: Frank Lampard
It would be between Lampard or Gerrard and I would have to go with Frank Lampard considering he is my current manager at Everton! But with the goals he scored throughout his career, I would go Lampard.
Right wing: David Beckham
He was an iconic figure for the nation and I would love to be on the pitch watching him whip those balls in. When I was growing up, I would watch him and his deliveries and free-kicks were unbelievable. I always remember the free-kick against Greece to send us to the World Cup. It is a moment which always stands out to me growing up and is always shown on repeat.
He is the [joint] record goalscorer for England and had an unbelievable career. The years he had for England were amazing and I was lucky enough to play with him at Everton for a year as well.
Left wing: Paul Gascoigne
Not sure how much Gazza would have played on the left wing but I have to get him in the team. Every time he played football, he looked like he was enjoying it and was playing because of the love of the game. The ability he had and with him being from the North East as well, he was a must.
Striker: Harry Kane
Like Harry Maguire and Walks, he’s a good mate and it looks like he is on course to break Wazza’s all-time goalscoring record. He is one of the best strikers in the world and when you are in training with him, you rarely save a shot because of the quality he has. If he has one chance, he is going to take it.
Honourable mentions: Kieran Trippier and Raheem Sterling
I have been to three major tournaments with Trippier now and he is one of my good mates away from football as well. And with Raheem, I shared a room with him at Under-16 level so have known him a long time and love to have him on the wing.