England news

Charlton: England silverware unlikely

April 10, 2013
By ESPN staff

Sir Bobby Charlton is concerned at England's chances of success on the international stage, claiming too many foreign players in the Premier League are hindering the national side's hopes.

Sir Bobby Charlton is the all-time record goalscorer for England's national side
GettyImagesSir Bobby Charlton is the all-time record goalscorer for England's national side

Charlton was a member of the World Cup winning team in 1966, the only England side to win significant silverware, but he holds doubts about the chance of that success being repeated.

"People wonder whether we will ever win it again. I worry about that as well," Charlton said at the Soccerex conference in Manchester on Wednesday. "When I am asked to give my opinion, I always say yes (we can win the World Cup) but it is a fool's errand.

"You need good players. But if all the spaces at English clubs are taken by foreign players, you have no chance." With the quality of the other nations competing in tournaments, Charlton does not make England among the favourites for honours at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"It is hard to think we could win a World Cup when you see the quality of the other teams," he added. "Spain would have to be my favourites for Brazil, plus Germany, because they have some good players emerging. I want to see some English players emerge."

Charlton is still England's record goalscorer with 49 goals, a tally that Gary Lineker, with 48, has come closest to breaking. Wayne Rooney has 35 goals and Charlton would happily concede the honour to him.

"I am really proud of my record and if someone takes it I would be sick," he said. "But I would be happy if it was Wayne."