Football: Not good enough

Football: Not good enough

Becoming a full-fledged international has always been regarded as the ultimate achievement for a footballer.

However, some fabulous players have never graced the biggest stage. Here are our columnist's top 10 non-internationals.


The controversial Italian may be a managerial charlatan according to Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, but there's no denying his credentials as a player. Ask fans of Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday or West Ham to name their finest player from the past two decades and a massive percentage are likely to plump for the troubled genius.

However, his career was always tainted by controversy, whether it was flooring referees or making Fascist salutes.

Maybe this and the fact that he spent the majority of his career outside of Italy, hindered his chances of representing the Azzurri.


Former England boss Sir Bobby Robson once admitted to Steve Bruce that he should have handed him a call-up to the national team during his tenure from 1982 to 1990.

However, belated praise was of little consolation to the former Manchester United skipper.

Bruce's top-flight career with Norwich began in ignominious fashion when he scored an own goal in the first minute of his debut against Liverpool in 1984.

However, he went on to become one of the finest defenders in the Premier League over the next decade, winning a raft of domestic and European honours for Manchester United.

In 1987, Bruce did captain the England B team against Malta, but it remained his only appearance in international colours.

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