Ok, so it’s not 1966. That year, England’s World Cup winning 11 included two Everton players — Ray Wilson and Alan Ball. A third, the late Brian Labone (admired by Pele), probably would have started but for an injury.
Forty years on, England is without an Evertonian in the 23-man squad, although Phillip Neville and our newest player Andrew Johnson were on standby. But that doesn’t mean we have no Cup presence. Midfielder Tim Cahill is a key player for Australia and left-back Nuno Valente may start for Portugal as he did in the 2004 Euro-Championship. Finally, Tim Howard, the backup goal-keeper for the U.S., will be with Everton next year, on loan from Manchester United.
And then there are the ex-Evertonians. First and foremost is Wayne Rooney, who (along with the rest of England) is awaiting the results of his bone scan. Starting U.S. former Brian McBride played briefly, and well, for Everton a few years back. And skilled but error-prone Italian center-back Marco Materazzi was a fixture during our awful 1998-99 campaign (memo to Italian coach Marcello Lippi, please start Marco against the U.S.).
If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know, although I’ll probably be unable to forgive myself.