AI creates ‘perfect British player’ with Rooney’s shooting and Beckham’s passing

What makes the perfect British footballer? It’s a debate that could go on forever, but artificial intelligence reckons it has the answer.

Chat GPT has identified six key attributes from half-a-dozen legends which, if combined, would make the dream player from Britain and Northern Ireland. There are some notable omissions, including that of Harry Kane, England’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Four other Englishmen make the list, just one Welshman and a Northern Irishman, but no Scots, meaning controversially no place for football icons like Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness. The attributes used were intelligence, heading, speed, dribbling, passing and shooting.

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Four ex-Manchester United players made the cut and few fans will disagree with Paul Scholes for footballing intelligence. For heading, it’s Alan Shearer thanks to his aerial prowess for Southampton, Blackburn, Newcastle and England.

For speed, the recently-retired Gareth Bales, whose pace left numerous full-backs traumatised, gets the nod. In the dribbling stakes, it’s a blast from the past in the shape of Man United icon and hell-raiser George Best.

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For passing, it’s David Beckham, regarded as one of the greatest ever crossers of the ball, while the shooting attribute is possibly the most controversial choice – Wayne Rooney.

Naturally, the result has triggered plenty of debate, with many fans questioning how Chat GPT has come up with such a list. Several felt Kane warranted a place as the line-up's ace shooter, while others pointed to legends like Dixie Dean and Ian Rush.

Others jokingly called for less heralded players. One asked: “What about Maguire’s intelligence?” A second declared: “Maguire is the best ever British defender. Undebatable.”

Another quipped: “Phil Jones for facial expressions.” One fan argued: “I always liked Matt Le Tissier and Chris Waddle. A player with their abilities and maybe the speed of a guy like Raheem Sterling when he was in his prime, would do very well up front.”

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