England are gearing up to play France in the quarter-finals of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. If Gareth Southgate’s side progress, it will be the third major tournament in a row where they have made at least the semi-final.
But, France are the current world champions and have a plethora of talent in their arsenal. Much of the talk in the buildup to the game has been centred around Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe.
The forward, who broke the record for a transfer fee paid for a teenager back in 2017 has been one of the standout players at the World Cup so far. He currently tops the goalscoring charts on five.
England has every right to go toe-to-toe with France. They finished top of their group on seven points and have not yet lost in the tournament. The Three Lions’ group was statistically the hardest in Qatar, but they emerged unbeaten.
France isn’t a nation England faces regularly. Since the turn of the century, the two nations have played each other seven times, with only two of those being competitive matches. The last competitive match came over 10 years ago in the Euros , with the sides drawing 1-1.
And, just days before the World Cup clash, we look at the England team that played that day.
GK: Joe Hart - Celtic
Hart was a mainstay in net for years, and after the 2012 Euros he was the first choice goalkeeper at the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Euros. He now plys his trade in Scotland and made his last appearance for England in 2017.
DEF: Glen Johnson - Retired
Glen Johnson was a fullback, playing for the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. He retired at Stoke in 2018 and racked up 54 caps for England, with his last coming in 2014.
DEF: John Terry - Retired
Terry won virtually all there was to win when he was a player, and was part of that infamous Jose Mourinho side that dominated the Premier League. In his final season at Chelsea in 2017, he became the first ever player to captain a team to the Premier League title on five occasions.
DEF: Joleon Lescott - Retired
Lescott retired in 2017 after a grand total of two appearances at his last club, Sunderland. He only made 26 appearances for England, the last of which came in 2013.
DEF: Ashley Cole - Retired
An invincible winner at Arsenal, followed by a glorious, trophy laden stint at Chelsea. He retired at Derby in 2019, and made 107 appearances for his country.
MID: James Milner - Liverpool
Only the second player so far to not be retired, Milner recently made his 600th appearance, a feat not achieved by many. He’s won wherever he’s gone, and his versatility has made him a great asset over the years.
MID: Steven Gerrard - Retired
Gerrard is without a doubt, one of the greatest midfielders to ever grace the pitch. He spent 17 years at Liverpool, making over 500 appearances before a brief stint at LA Galaxy. His management career has proven to be a mixed bag. He went invincible at Rangers before being sacked by Aston Villa.
MID: Scott Parker - Retired
Parker is the only player to be named the FWA Footballer of the Year for the 2010–11 season despite his club going down. He was most recently the manager of AFC Bournemouth, but was sacked just four games into the season.
MID: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - Liverpool
Has suffered with long-term injuries recently, but is still a Premier League and Champions League winner.
ATT: Ashley Young - Aston Villa
Young is now back at Aston Villa after leaving them for Manchester United in 2011, where he won the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League and more. He is 37 now, and was a big part of England’s 2018 World Cup run. Since 2012, he’s also won Serie A after a stint in Italy, with his versatility proving big.
ATT: Danny Welbeck
Much was expected of Welbeck during his early days, but he never lived up to the hype. His last of 42 England caps came in 2018, and he currently turns out for Brighton after leaving Watford in 2020.