That David Beckham free-kick, Chris Powell nutmegs Pep Guardiola – talkSPORT writers recall their favourite England moments ahead of 1,000th international

14 Nov

England’s will book their place at Euro 2020 if they can manage at least a draw in their qualifier against Montenegro on Thursday night.

You can listen to full commentary of the huge match LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 7:45pm.

Southgate’s men only need a point from their final two qualifiers to book their place at Euro 2020
Getty Images – Getty

However, it’s significant for another reason as the clash at Wembley is actually England’s 1,000th international game.

In the previous 999 matches there have been some wonderful moments for England fans over the years including winning the World Cup in 1966 but there have been many more truly painful memories such as defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.

And talkSPORT.com‘s young-ish team has been in reminiscent mood this week so below are six standout moments we can recall when following England.


Nuts!

As a Charlton fan, there’s only one moment that truly stands out for me from watching England over the years – Chris Powell nutmegging Pep Guardiola!

Ok, it’s not exactly a moment that will go down in the annals of football history but there have not been too many Charlton players to wear the Three Lions shirt in my time as a supporter of the club so to see our Chrissy mixing it with the best on the international stage was pretty cool for a young Addick like myself.

Powell was making his England debut at the age of 31 in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first match as manager and was up against a pretty darn good Spain side, but he acquitted himself brilliantly with the highlight coming when he surged down the left hand side and poked the ball through now-Manchester City manager Guardiola’s legs.

Will any England player ever top that moment? Absolutely no chance. – Alex Varney, Digital Editor

See you later, Pep!
Laurence Griffiths/Allsport

‘5-1 and even Heskey scored’

That incredible 5-1 win during a 2002 World Cup qualifier in Munich was actually the first England match I ever watched, so it’s all been downhill from there…

I didn’t really understand the significance of the result at the time but I’ll always remember John Motson’s ‘better and better and better’ line when Michael Owen stuck away his hat-trick goal past the helpless Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

I’ve seen highlights since and have concluded it was the perfect away performance by England. Even my Northern Irish mum was cheering for the Three Lions…

But the final goal was the cherry on top of an already delicious result as Emile Heskey showed great composure by rolling the ball into the net.

‘5-1 and even Heskey scored’ chanted the England fans that night and I’m pretty sure they still do now – Jackson Cole, Staff Writer

‘Give that man a knighthood’

What’s good about David Beckham’s free-kick against Greece is you can see there aren’t any fans filming it on their mobiles. The celebrations when the ball flies in are real – they didn’t need a few seconds of grainy footage to never look at again.

Even now, that free-kick still gives you goosebumps.

It was coming up to the third minute of stoppage-time and was an amazing way to seal a place in the World Cup by one of the country’s best players.

And so what if Germany ended up reaching the final! – Damian Mannion, Editor

Becks’ redemption against Argentina

My favourite and most nerve-wracking moment has to be Beckham’s penalty against Argentina at the 2002 World Cup. I remember being glued to the television for that match, it was such a close game and was always going to be decided by the finest of margins and luckily, it went our way.

There seemed to be an age between the penalty being awarded and converted, Diego Simeone trying to put Beckham off, 12-year-old me getting caught up in the moment and telling him where to go, but I won’t repeat that on here for obvious reasons.

Was hardly a great penalty, straight down the middle and the keeper could very easily have saved, but it went in and that was all that mattered, crucially turning out to be the winner.

That World Cup remains the best for me and that was one of the moments of the tournament. Daniel Sandford, Staff Writer

The World Cup's most iconic players: England free-kick master David Beckham
Beckham was sent off against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup but made up for it four years later
getty

Captain Kane saves the day

When Harry Kane nodded home a late winner against Tunisia in June 2018, England erupted in scenes of jubilation not seen on these shores for many a year.

Forget Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal or Ben Stokes’ imperious innings against New Zealand, nothing compares to the celebrations of English football fans.

The opening World Cup group game in Russia appeared to be heading towards a draw until Kane stooped to head home his second of the game and send the country wild.

In fact, reports back home suggested pubs across the country feared a shortage of lager.

If anyone ever tries to tell you football is not the superior sport in this country, remind them of that fact.

The Three Lions scraped past Tunisia and nearly drained the country of beer. Sensational. – Joe Coleman, Sports Writer

Heartbreak in Saint-Etienne

It may have been a defeat – a devastating one too – but the exit at World Cup 1998 taught me a lot of lessons about football which I’ve been thankful of ever since.

I was 10 years old at the time and very much in love with the beautiful game and, despite being a Tottenham fan, hadn’t quite realised the highs and lows associated with being a fan.

Going into the game I remember butterflies, a flag in the window, and being surrounded by family.

Gabriel Batistuta’s penalty almost saved by David Seaman barely registered once Alan Shearer had netted a spot-kick of his own.

Michael Owen’s stunning solo effort was joy in its purest form, while Javier Zanetti’s equaliser taught me about cunning and sleight of hand.

David Beckham’s red card, meanwhile, showed the importance of keeping your head at the most important points.

The game will always be remembered for David Beckham’s red card for his kick out at Diego Simeone
getty

Sol Campbell’s disallowed goal laid bare how quickly happiness can sour and how unjust decisions can occur.

We lost on penalties, of course we did. But Paul Ince and David Batty were leaders who showed guts and lacked fear, despite the consequences of their impending actions.

It was agonising. But I was proud of the ’10 Heroic Lions and one stupid boy’. It an experience which shaped me as a fan and person. I think Beckham will feel the same too.

Sometimes the only way to grow is to experience defeat – Anton Stanley, Features Editor

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