Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has included Alan Shearer and Steven Gerrard in his all-time England XI.
This despite Owen and Shearer engaging in a Twitter spat at the start of the month.
Owen admitted his regret at joining Newcastle in his new book, revealing his ‘heart was set’ on a return to Liverpool.
When Shearer responded by suggesting his performances hadn’t merited the £120,000-a-week salary, Owen made a stunning claim.
He declared that his fellow striker had been ‘inches away’ from signing for Liverpool and ‘tried everything to get out’.
But that has not clouded his judgement in selecting his best England team-mates.
“He was a big influence in me going to Newcastle United and we were big mates at that point,” Owen said.
“On the big stage, if you’re thinking, “I need someone to finish or take a penalty”, he had absolute nerves of steel.
“He had a huge amount of self-belief and confidence.
“In recent years, you can’t mention England centre-forwards in general without mentioning him.”
Reds skipper Steven Gerrard was chosen in midfield alongside Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes.
Owen was effusive in his praise, hailing all aspects of Gerrard’s game.
“I played with some great players – Zinedine Zidane was off the scale in terms of natural ability – but, if I was playing the biggest game of my life tomorrow, the first person I’d probably take into battle would be Stevie.
“He could do everything. He was massive, his stride was huge and he just used to devour ground.
“He was too big and too strong for his opponents, an amazing passer of the ball, he could dribble, score goals, defend, tackle and head. There wasn’t anything really that he couldn’t do. The only thing you could expose him with is if you ask him to sit in midfield because he’s just too good for it.
“I can’t give him any higher praise than that.
“I think he’s genuinely one of the best England players to have lived.”
You wonder if any of our current English stars can do what neither Gerrard nor Owen managed and land a major trophy in their international careers.
At 20 and 22 years old respectively, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have a decent chance.