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Sweden 4 England 2: What happened to the Englishmen humbled by Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

Remember when Zlatan Ibrahimovic led England on a merry dance?

On 14 November 2012 Roy Hodgson handed six players England debuts against Sweden.

But, in typical fashion, people were only talking about one man at the end of the game.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four goals, one of which was a quite ludicrous overhead kick from 30 yards out.

For some it would be the last time they pulled on an England shirt. Others would go on to captain their country.

Here’s what happened to the likely lads.

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Goalkeeper: Joe Hart

Like all good England keepers Hart’s defining moment in an England shirt came when he was lobbed.

For David Seaman it was Ronaldinho, for Hart read Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The more Jordan Pickford plays, the more it looks like Hart won’t be first choice at the 2018 World Cup.

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Defender: Glen Johnson

His England days were put to rest by Kyle Walker.

Barcelona were linked with a move for the full-back in a bid to reverse the trend of players leaving for Stoke.

From Charlie Adam and Peter Crouch to Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Unfortunately it never quite materialised.

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Defender: Gary Cahill

The Chelsea man is an England stalwart now, having racked up 58 caps since making his debut in 2010.

His place in the Chelsea team is looking increasingly precarious given Andreas Christensen’s form this season.

He should hang on until Russia though.

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Defender: Steven Caulker

Everyone laughed when Liverpool signed Caulker only to play him up front on his debut.

But people shouldn’t be so quick to mock.

With a 1:1 goal-to-game ratio he’s statistically better than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Defender: Leighton Baines

Something of a forgotten man at international level despite still only being 32.

Made 30 appearances for England before falling into the wilderness, although the door hasn’t been officially shut on an England return.

Injury troubles have played their part in stagnating his career while the toils of travelling around with the Arctic Monkeys have taken their toll.

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Midfielder: Leon Osman

Nailed on to be a niche pub quiz answer at some point in the future.

Sweden represented Osman’s first England appearances although it also represented half of his entire England career.

He bowed out in style, with a dominant performance against San Marino.

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Midfielder: Steven Gerrard

Arguably one of England’s greatest ever midfielders but still without any league titles thanks in no small part to Tim Howard.

Gerrard racked up his 100th cap against Sweden, adding another 14 before retiring from international duty in 2014.

We’re still holding out for a reunion with Brendan Rodgers at Celtic.

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Midfielder: Tom Cleverley

Once tipped as the future of England’s midfield, can now be found at Watford.

Cleverley does, however, hold the record for the most amount of touches in a game by an England player- 165 against San Marino.

Bound to end up at Sunderland some time in the not too distant future.

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Winger: Ashley Young

Played for England on 30 occasions, all of which were as a winger.

Under Jose Mourinho he’s been transformed into a willing left-back, leading to an unlikely return to international duty under Gareth Southgate.

Turn out getting shat on by a bird while playing is incredibly lucky.

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Winger: Raheem Sterling

Made his debut against Sweden as a 17-year-old while most kids his age were still dabbing.

Discovering more of a cutting edge under the guidance of Pep Guardiola although his performances can still be hit and miss.

But he’s only getting better, and should be a vital part of Southgate’s plans in Russia.

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Striker: Danny Welbeck

Dat Guy Welbz has an international goalscoring record to be proud of with 15 goals in 36 games.

It would arguably be even better if injury hadn’t robbed him of large parts of his career over the past two years.

Now looks a long way from being involved in the England squad, especially as he can’t get in Arsenal’s starting XI.

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Sub: Carl Jenkinson

Jenkinson scored an own-goal on his Arsenal debut and conceded four goals in his one and only England cap.

Despite that he’s still actually playing for Arsenal.

His presence must be good for morale though, given he’s the undisputed king of banter.

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Sub: Ryan Shawcross

Is he destined for a permanent spot in England one-cap wonder hall of fame?

If he fails to add to his solitary cap then his imprint on the international scene will be trying to ruin one of the best goals ever scored in football.

It was the Stoke defender who rushed back to clear Zlatan’s bicycle kick but, luckily for humanity, failed to do so.

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Sub: Tom Huddlestone

When we’re all old and wrinkly we’ll look back on Huddlestone’s lack of England caps (four) with a deep sadness.

How has a man who can pass through the eye of a hurricane and hit a ball with both feet in a way that defies gravity not done more in an England shirt?

Of course his lack of mobility is a major reason, but we made it work for Wayne Rooney.

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Sub: Wilfried Zaha

Never quite cut the mustard as a Man United or England player, making two international appearances but none since returning to Crystal Palace.

England didn’t seem to fussed when he committed to Ivory Coast, but his form with Palace has got everyone in a flap.

That being said, he won’t be heading to the World Cup after Ivory Coast failed to qualify.

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Sub: Daniel Sturridge

Should have kicked on by now.

Still only has 26 caps to his name despite being by far and away England’s most technically gifted striker.

If he can stay fit for the rest of the season he should be a useful impact player in Russia.

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Sub: Jack Wilshere

Ahh Jack.

From England’s star midfielder to Arsenal bench player, who couldn’t sustain a starting place at Bournemouth.

Still young enough to come back though.

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