UEFA Euro 2020

England vs Italy classic combined XI

Robbie Copeland
One of the greatest midfielders of all time watches Steven Gerrard squat
One of the greatest midfielders of all time watches Steven Gerrard squat / Christopher Lee/Getty Images
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If Euro 2020 has taught us anything, it's that England and Italy are going to shape the future of international football in Europe.

Gareth Southgate and Roberto Mancini - the pair of suave motherf******s that they are - have put together a pair of sides who could well dominate the scene in the years ahead.

But we can't go into the first ever major tournament final between these two sides without also taking a look back at the past.

Obviously, it's been Italy in control, winning five major tournaments and making four more finals, while England will be making only their second final appearance ever this weekend - last time they were this far in one of the big ones, they won the World Cup in '66.

But that's not to say they haven't had some brilliant players over the years. Here is your England vs Italy all-time combined XI.


Gianluigi Buffon (GK)

Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon kiss
The World Cup in the safest of hands / JOCHEN LUEBKE/Getty Images

International caps: 176

Dino Zoff and Gordon Banks may well have something to say about it, but Buffon is Italy's most capped players of all-time by a mile, and one of the most decorated players at any level of football ever.

He's now into his 40s, so won't be on the pitch when Italy go on the hunt for their second European Championship, but there can be no denying he's one of the great goalkeepers of all time.

Giuseppe Bergomi (RB)

FBL-WC-ITALY-GERMANY-BERGOMI
Bergomi celebrates winning the 1982 World Cup / ROBERT DELVAC/Getty Images

International caps: 81

Despite the two sides having produced a cavalcade of world class players in nearly every position, we're not exactly blessed with options at right-back here.

But that shouldn't detract from the credentials of Bergomi, who won six major trophies in his 20-year career with Inter, and enjoyed the peak of his career when Italy won the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

Bobby Moore (CB)

Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Ray Wilson, George Cohen, Bobby Charlton
Bobby Moore lifts the old World Cup trophy back when you only needed one hand to do that / Evening Standard/Getty Images

International caps: 108

The England captain who won the World Cup in '66 and described by Pele as "the best defender I ever played against".

What more do you need?


Franco Baresi (CB)

Baresi challenges the great Romario
Baresi challenges the great Romario / Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

International caps: 81

Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Nesta are both desperately unlucky to miss out here. Rio Ferdinand? Not so much.

But let's face it, Baresi is one of the best centre backs to have ever lived. Possibly even the best. He was in the squad that won the World Cup in 1982, and though that remains his only international trophy, it wasn't for the want of trying, as the Italy teams he commanded twice made it to the semi-finals.

Baresi came in at 16th on 90min's 50 Greatest Footballers of all time, and only two defenders rank above him. One of which being...

Paolo Maldini (LB)

Paolo Maldini
Maldini wins a header, because he's Maldini / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

International caps: 126

Being able to play with the ball at your feet is a prerequisite of a modern day defender, but even though they're trained for it from an early age nowadays, none of them can do it quite like Maldini did.

This guy was perhaps the perfect footballer. You could stick him anywhere across the back line, or at centre-mid, and if he only delivered a 9/10 performance, he'd be disappointed with himself.

He's also possibly the coolest man to ever lived, which is a nice accolade to add to the seven Serie A titles he picked up with AC Milan.

Frank Lampard (CM)

Frank Lampard
Lampard celebrates scoring against Wales / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

International caps: 106

Lampard's international career will probably be best remembered for the goal he didn't score against Germany at the 2010 World Cup, but his 15 years playing under Kevin Keegan, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson had plenty of highlights.

The Chelsea legend was voted England's player of the year in 2004 and 2005 and represented his country at five major tournaments. Not bad going, that.

Andrea Pirlo (CM)

International caps: 113

Every now and again, if you're feeling sad or anxious, you should take a minute to stop, take a breath, and look at a picture of Andrea Pirlo.

Then after his glorious hair and beard combo fills you with a few seconds of peace, you should start feeling sad again, because you will never be as cool as Andrea Pirlo.

Steven Gerrard (CM)

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard does Gerrard things against Paraguay / Simon M Bruty/Getty Images

International caps: 114

The Liverpool legend and current Rangers boss never had the subtlety and deftness of touch as some of the other great midfielders of his generation, but then again he didn't have to, did he?

He scored exactly two types of goals: 25 yard thunderbolts into the bottom corner, and penalties.

And he scored a lot of each of them.

Roberto Baggio (FW)

Italy's forward Roberto Baggio (2nd L) l
Baggio looking as suave as ever in his final game for Italy / PAOLO COCCO/Getty Images

International caps: 56

Forget Bend It Like Beckham, if the movie was historically accurate, it would have been called Bend It Like Baggio.

Italy's little magician was a master at curling the ball round the wall and into the back of the net, and scored five times in 1994 on Italy's way to the final.

With nine, he's Italy's joint top scorer in World Cup history, and he is also owner of one of the all-time great football nicknames: Il Divin Codino, or The Divine Ponytail.

Giuseppe Meazza (FW)

International caps: 53

We're going back a bit here, but this team would be a bit of a mockery without at least some representation from the great Italy side who won successive World Cups back in the 1930s.

Up until Pele happened, Il Genio was widely considered the greatest player of all time, and his 33 goals in 53 caps for his country don't argue with that.

He netted 346 goals in 564 appearances for club in country, and this was at a time long before Messi and Ronaldo, when a goal every three games was a genuinely world class return.

Bobby Charlton (FW)

Alan Ball, Bobby Moore, Jack Charlton, George Cohen, Martin Peters
Charlton after England's famous World Cup win / Fox Photos/Getty Images

International caps: 106

Manchester United's greatest ever player, England's greatest ever player, and one of the greatest players in World Cup history.

Charlton netted 49 times in 106 appearances for England, and while his meeting with Franz Beckenbauer in the 1966 final against West Germany is best remembered for Beckenbauer marking him out of the game, it was Charlton who famously lifted the trophy at the end of 120 minutes.

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