READER REPORT:

Beautiful game greatness eludes England

DAVID LIM
Last updated 14:30 13/11/2012
joe hart

TRUE CLASS: England's defenders look on as goalkeeper joe Hart makes a save during their Group D Euro 2012 football match against France at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.

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Football World Cup, not Rugby World Cup - let's just leave England at one crown while the All Blacks quietly romp to three at the next one.

Yes, I am an England football fan. I love the Premier League and I always love seeing the English - and Scottish - teams do well in European competitions.

Even though I like Barcelona (and Rangers), I was secretly happy when Celtic scored a monumental upset against Barcelona the other week in the Champions League.

So I was gutted when England missed out on hosting the 2018 Football World Cup. And, of course, I have been gutted every time England has gone out on penalties at every freakin major tournament.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy watching the Spanish pass teams into oblivion, the Germans with their enterprising yet efficient football and Lionel Messi dazzle with his footwork. But I think the world of football would be a better place if England won a World Cup - and, incredibly, only its second.

Forget Australia, the US or Russia. England is the most sports mad country in the world. After all they invented most of the sports we love including rugby and football.

So it is sad that England haven't really done well with their own national sport. Imagine the All Blacks not winning the World Cup for going on 50 years - we were almost halfway there!

As part of the agony, I've been dreaming up of my ideal England XI to win the World Cup from the last 10 years.

It evolved from having the SAS up front (Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham) to this current team: Joe Hart (GK), Leighton Baines, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Kieran Gibbs, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere, Tom Cleverley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Wayne Rooney.

Fact is, I have my doubts about this team like I have with the others - even if Paul Scholes and the 'dumb' David Beckham were included. In fact, I have my doubts whether I'll be alive to see England win a World Cup again.. and I'm only in my mid 20s.


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