Should Jermain Defoe feature against Lithuania this weekend, it will be the evergreen striker’s 56th England cap, almost 13 years to the day after his international debut.
The popular Sunderland striker has always been committed to the England cause, and his 19 goals is an excellent return.
And with a record of an England goal every 123 minutes, Defoe’s ratio even bests Wayne Rooney, Sir Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker.
At 34-years-old, Defoe is showing no signs of letting up his dynamic game, so we’ve felt it apt to pick out five of his best moments in an England shirt…
England 2-1 Poland, September 8, 2004
In the early stages of qualification for the 2006 World Cup, Defoe’s first England goal proved crucial.
The forward bagged his first international goal in superb style, firing home shortly before the break in what was a tricky trip to Poland.
It put England 1-0 up, and on their way to a first win of the qualifying campaign.
England 2-2 Netherlands, August 12, 2009
Defoe had already bagged braces against Andorra – twice – plus Trinidad and Tobago, but to do the double against the Dutch was very much a sign of his quality.
At 2-0 by half-time, Defoe rescued England. The Dutch defence couldn’t match his pace as he latched on to a ball over the top to make it 2-1, and with 15 minutes to go, his sharp movement allowed him to tap home James Milner’s cross to salvage a draw.
England 1-0 Slovenia, June 23, 2010
Every striker dreams of scoring in a World Cup, and back in 2010, Defoe did just that.
Having drawn against the USA and Algeria, England were under pressure heading into their final group game versus Slovenia.
Needing a win, Milner again supplied the assist as Defoe superbly volleyed home to see the Three Lions’ into the knockout stages.
England 4-0 Bulgaria, September 3, 2010
The summer of 2010 was a fine one for the then-27-year-old Defoe, who bagged his first international hat-trick against Bulgaria.
The fixture was the first qualifier for Euro 2012, and the striker wasted no time getting England up and running with the opening goal on three minutes.
He was made to wait for the other two strikes, but they eventually came. His and England’s second came just after the hour, before Defoe grabbed his hat-trick and the match ball four minutes from time.
England 2-1 Italy, August 15, 2012
The Defoe-Milner combination really did work wonders for a few years, and it proved successful again versus Italy in 2012.
The Italians had only just been defeated by Spain in the European Championship finals, but Defoe got the better of them 11 minutes from time to bag the winner in Bern.
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