Can you guess this team of England stars by their TERRIBLE videogame appearances?
- England stars have been depicted in many videogames over the years
- But developers have not always got appearances correct across all consoles
- Sportsmail looks at a team of England stars who have perhaps suffered most
Once you become a multi-capped England star you should have a face anyone in the country could recognise.
Well, almost anyone. At the very least though you would expect companies behind some of the biggest video games that have covered the national side to at least get the basics of a player’s resemblance correct.
Over the years though that has not been the case with even the greatest and most famous of England stars leaving supporters scratching their heads when trying to replicate their heroes once they pick up a controller.
Having beaten Italy 2-1 on Thursday, England will be taking on Ukraine on Sunday at 5pm on Channel 4 in their continued bid to qualify for the European Championship to be held in Germany in 2024.
But in the mean time can you guess these England stars who have played a major role for their international side over the years based on their past appearance in video games?
This England keeper appeared in the 2010 World Cup game and was part of the real life squad
Like many of England’s players in real life, this experience of playing at the South Africa World Cup doesn’t seem like an enjoyable one for this goalkeeper.
Yet, this video game version appeared in more minutes at the tournament than the stopper did in real life where England tumbled out of the last-16 with a whimper following a 4-1 hammering by Germany.
Joe Hart was at no fault for defeat that day as he spent the World Cup as an unused sub and was never expected to feature after being named as the third-choice keeper with just three caps to his name.
However after Rob Green’s fumble to concede an equaliser in the opening match, his chances of featuring slightly increased when David James was bumped up the order to replace the former No 1 for the remainder of the tournament.
It was only after veteran James retired that he emerged as England’s new goalkeeper, and hopefully a tad more recognisable to EA Sports who published his poor looking image from the 2010 World Cup game. The now 35-year-old is currently at Scottish side Celtic with his nine-year England career coming to an end in 2017 following 75 caps.
Joe Hart never made it on to the pitch in South Africa but did go on to win 75 caps in total
During his playing days, this defender was a highly reliable member of the England team
Reliable, dependable and was a slick cog on the right-hand side for England throughout his career.
By the time Pro Evolution Soccer 2 came out in late 2002 this full back was a long established international whose place in the team was under no severe threat.
Yet there is little resemblance to identify him in the videogame to the real life counterpart that went on to win 85 caps between 1995 and 2007.
Gary Neville is of course much more recognisable as a lead pundit these days for Sky Sports. But his career is often underrated as he rarely put in a bad performance and you could always count on him for 100 per cent effort.
That’s not to mention he had an excellent on-pitch understanding with Manchester United team-mate David Beckham at international as well as domestic level.
Gary Neville was rarely outside of the picture as England’s No 1 right-back during his playing days and today is a household name as one of Sky Sports’ lead pundits
This defender was part of England’s 1998 World Cup squad and went on to become a star
It’s probably time to say that the graphics of the first PlayStation console were never kind to recreating real life images – especially in football games where many profiles had been created.
The ‘Three Lions’ video game though was the official game of the England team when it was released ahead of the 1998 World Cup. It was tricky to play with its precision aiming to shoot on goal, but highly enjoyable once you got the hang of it.
Speaking of precise, the developers get 10/10 for effort in trying to create unique looks to each member of the expected England squad but it’s fair to say not many of them have aged well.
Take Rio Ferdinand for instance, you’ve not got much to go on judging by his facial expressions here but he would become familiar enough to England fans with 81 caps over a 14-year international career that ended in 2011.
Rio Ferdinand was an emerging star when he was picked for 1998 World Cup squad in France
This star has helped lead an England revival but his playing career is haunted by a penalty miss
If you thought Ferdinand’s likeness was bad then another one of his England team-mates from the Three Lions game also seemed to get the rough treatment.
Even for the PS1 this appears to be a little harsh though although the player was already a high-profile England star by this point for perhaps unfortunate reasons.
Today he leads out the Three Lions as manager but back in 1998 Gareth Southgate was still the defender whose saved penalty kicked led to England being dumped out of the Euro 96 semi-finals against Germany via a penalty shootout at Wembley only two years previously.
But after Glenn Hoddle came in as manager he was still heavily used in the first-team given his versatility in possessing skills to play as a defender and a midfielder as part of a 3-5-2 system.
He continued to pick up caps up until 2004 when his nine-year international career came to an end with his 57th appearance in a March 2004 friendly defeat in Sweden.
Gareth Southgate though excelled in midfield and defence during his international career
Southgate is now England manager, helping banish memories of his penalty miss (right)
This defender picked up 38 caps across 11 years and was a Champions League winner
Perhaps we can forgive the makers behind PES 2 for their attempt of creating a likeness for this England defender in 2002, given for large chunks of his international career he was used mainly as a back-up.
In fairness to this Champions League-winning star though, England were not short of defenders during his time of wearing the Three Lions shirt and in today’s climate his ability could see him as one of the most crucial names at the back.
That’s not to write off the whole of Jamie Carragher’s international career though who went on to pick up a highly respectable 38 caps over 11 years before his last appearance in 2010.
The former Liverpool defender even made three squads for Euro 2004 and the World Cups of 2006 and 2010 but it was his penalty miss the first of the global tournaments that led to England being dumped out of the quarter-finals on spot-kicks by Portugal.
These days he can be found on TV as another of Sky Sports’ pundits where he duels regularly with Neville in a friendly rivalry.
Jamie Carragher went on to win 38 caps for England before becoming a popular TV pundit
This midfielder had to win over England fans with a star performance at the World Cup finals
It took a while for this talented midfielder to be appreciated at international level having previously been a victim of the boo boys.
Yet it was his performances at the 2006 World Cup that saw him widely regarded as the Three Lions’ best player in Germany despite being unable to help his side go out in a penalty shootout.
It remains a mystery as to why Owen Hargreaves though was made such a scapegoat by supporters following his debut in 2001 right up until five years later.
Admittedly he was not well known as a Canadian-born star playing in Germany with Bayern Munich – and even it seems PES 2 developers had a guess at what he looked like given his trademark curly hair makes way for a more slicked back look in the game.
Following from his impressive 2006 displays, it would have been highly likely he would have kicked on at international level but injuries heavily disrupted his career and in 2008 he played his last Three Lions game with his 42nd cap.
Owen Hargreaves managed to pick up 48 England caps despite suffering with injuries
This midfielder’s England career didn’t get going until he hit his early 20s but he became a star
As a teenager and a developing talent many unfairly wrote off this midfielder whose club manager at the time stuck his neck out by saying he ‘would go to the very top’.
It’s fair to say 106 England caps later that’s exactly what he would do between 1999 and 2014.
However, he would only appear at one European Championship during that run, although he did go on to feature in three World Cups.
But it wasn’t just international football where Frank Lampard was essential to his side as after the early backing from boss Harry Redknapp at West Ham he would move on to Chelsea and vacuum up every major club trophy available during his time at Stamford Bridge between 2001 and 2014.
Yet even on the brink of turning 22 he still wasn’t a regular at international level and he failed to make Sven Goran Eriksson’s final 23 for the plane to the Korea/Japan World Cup. He did though make the cut for the 2002 video game, at least his name did anyway.
Frank Lampard featured sparingly for England around the time of the 2002 World Cup
Given the many looks this England star had in his career it’s probably important that his depiction from the video game Pro Evolution Soccer on the PS2 came from 2001.
With that in mind, the look is not too far away – at least hairstyle wise – but perhaps a captain’s armband might also have been a clear giveaway for a player who by this point was already famous worldwide.
Who else could it be then other than David Beckham, with the UK release of the game coming just months after he had completed his England redemption after firing them to the World Cup with a last-gasp free-kick against Greece. Three years earlier he had been public enemy No 1 after being sent off against Argentina at France ’98.
This game was the last where any game developer dared to make a mess of his appearance with EA Sports’ FIFA Series and Konami making sure his likeness was one of the priorities in future releases right up until the Three Lions legend picked up the last of his 115 caps in 2009, when a cruel injury prevented him from extending his international career to a likely final World Cup and a 14th year at the top.
Could Beckham have saved England’s doomed campaign in South Africa? His experience would have been vital but we will never know.
David Beckham’s last gasp free-kick versus Greece helped fire England to the 2002 World Cup
This star’s international career has spawned over a decade and has been key under Southgate
At least with some of the previous players in this list a weird or even unrecognisable look could be put down to poor graphical abilities of a games console.
But for this poor England star, his depiction in the video game PES 2014 bares hardly any resemblance at all to his real life counterpart who by its 2013 release was a well established Premier League star and knocking on the door of being an England regular.
In fact the Liverpool midfielder is still a trusted lieutenant to Southgate now 13 years after he picked up the first of his 74 caps.
Yet although Jordan Henderson would have had at least a handful of caps – and part of the Euro 2012 squad – by the time this game was produced he still got the casual treatment from game developers.
At least the England kit looks clean in this release – ironic considering it was never used at a major tournament due to its short shelf life.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson though had to wait for his chance to become an England regular
Based on looks this modern day star was barely an afterthought in the videogame PES 2013
This star has had a rollercoaster international career but over time has gradually emerged as key player under Southgate having come a long way since his 2012 debut.
It was around this time he also appeared on the videogame PES 2013 – or at least his name did, because there is very little about his likeness here that indicates he was at the forefront of developers’ minds when it came to appearance.
However, Konami can perhaps be forgiven for cutting a few corners here as by the time the game was released in 2012 Raheem Sterling was only just starting his rapid rise in his breakthrough season at Anfield which saw him pick up his first cap before the year was out.
The now Chelsea forward has since gone on to pick up another 81 caps and while he only has 20 goals has always been key for England having played in three World Cups and two European Championship – with more set to come for the 28-year-old.
Raheem Sterling made his international debut 11 years ago yet is still just 28 years old
Despite winning 33 caps in the 1990s this star never played in a major tournament for England
One of the unluckiest strikers to have worn a Three Lions shirt and would have likely won dozens more caps had he played in another era.
And that wasn’t all that was holding him back. This current media pundit also had his chances of playing a major tournament ruined by injury when he did have a march on rivals in the pecking order.
He at least makes it to the 1998 World Cup on the Three Lions videogame but perhaps the only way of telling it’s Ian Wright from the game’s appearance of him is with that trademark cheeky smile.
Wright played 33 games for the Three Lions between 1991 and 1998 and was criminally overlooked by Graham Taylor and Terry Venables before finally Glenn Hoddle put his faith in the Arsenal legend whom he scored four of his nine goals under – keeping in mind four of his others came against minnows San Marino in one game under Graham Taylor.
Having been crucial in helping guide England to the World Cup in France by playing a key role in securing a vital 0-0 draw in Italy, he was all set to form part of Hoddle’s squad for what have been a belated major tournament showing, only to pick up an injury on the eve of the competition.
Ian Wright’s best period in an England shirt came in his mid-30s playing under Glenn Hoddle
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