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Top five players with most England caps before turning 21

Published at :April 2, 2024 at 12:23 AM
Modified at :April 2, 2024 at 12:23 AM
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Novojyoti Bhattacharjee


Among the players on this list are some of England’s best

Over the years, the England National Football team have been home to a lot of great young players. One of the main reasons has been the tough Premier League structure that prepares players for the big stage. One of the best examples of how English players begin to take on international stages at a young age are Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling who made their debut at a young age and became crucial members of the squad. 

The current England team is also a great example. Youthful players like Saka, Bellingham, and Foden are already integral parts of the starting eleven. In this article, we will focus on the top five players who have won the most England caps before the age of 21:

5. Raheem Sterling- 20 caps

It was on 10 September 2012 that Raheem Sterling earned his first England cap after a scintillating start to his Liverpool career. The performance reflected his immense potential at that time. He achieved his dream of playing for the England National Team in 2012 against Sweden, where he was named man of the match in his first-ever start for the Nation. To date, he has made 82 appearances. 

4. Michael Owen- 24 caps

As one of the country’s best strikers, Michael Owen performed at a high level whenever he was called upon to play. He made 89 appearances for the National team and scored 40 goals. Michael Owen, known for his impressive speed and composed finishing, played for Liverpool where he dominated the Premier League. 

After making his England debut in the 2-0 friendly loss to Chile in 1998, Michael Owen went on to have a wonderful career and would go on to become one of the best forwards of all time. 

3. Marcus Rashford- 29 caps

In 2016, Marcus Rashford was named in the 26 preliminary squad for the Euro 2016 for his first-ever call-up for England. In the warm-up match against Australia, he scored for the team, making him the youngest player in the history of the English national team to score a goal. 

Gareth Southgate, who was then his manager in the under-21 team, has trusted him ever since he made his debut and has made 60 appearances for the team since then. With the Euro 2024 just around the corner, he will aim to play a crucial role for the team in which he has scored 17 goals so far. 

2. Jude Bellingham- 29 caps

At present, Jude Bellingham is the best footballer in the world, and he has arrived in La Liga in some way. His teammates have been awed both on and off the field by his performance. Apart from his ease of assimilating into the team, the most impressive trait of his game is his attitude to become the best in the game. He has so far made 29 appearances for the England national team and scored three goals. 

His importance to the team has grown very much as he brings an aggressive style to his gameplay and is one of the first names on the team to partner in midfield. As well as solidifying the defence, he provides a smooth transition to attack with his positioning and ability to bring a balance in midfield. 

1. Wayne Rooney- 35 caps

Having made his debut at the age of 17, Wayne Rooney became the youngest player to play for the England National Team. He made his debut against Australia. When he scored for England against Macedonia in the Euro 2004 qualifying match, he made history for being the youngest goal scorer for the team. 

After that, he made 120 appearances for the team, scoring 53 goals. During his young age, Wayne Rooney was the first player to earn 35 caps for the National Team before he was 21 years old. As the record goalscorer for Manchester United, Rooney would go on to become one of the greatest players the country has ever had. 

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