Beckham, Owen to Sancho - Top 10 English players who went abroad

David Beckham, Jadon Sancho, Michael OwenGetty Images

It has always been a rare sight to see English footballers plying their trade outside the Premier League.

There are hardly a few top players in every generation who receive offers from other top European leagues and move out of England to make a career.

A few of the prominent English players who decided to leave the Premier League at some point in their careers are David Beckham, Gary Lineker, Michael Owen and Paul Gascoigne.

Both Beckham and Owen played for Real Madrid in the mid-2000s. Beckham even played for AC Milan, LA Galaxy and PSG. Lineker and Gascoigne, on the other hand, played for FC Barcelona and Lazio.

Among the current crop of players, Jadon Sancho began his professional career with Borussia Dortmund before moving to Manchester United in the 2021/22 season. His former teammate Jude Bellingham is currently plying his trade with the Bundesliga side.

  • David Beckham Real Madrid

    David Beckham

    Overseas clubs: Real Madrid, AC Milan, LA Galaxy, PSG

    Titles: LaLiga (1), Supercopa de Espana (1), MLS Cup (2), Ligue 1 (1)

    One of the greatest English footballers of all time, David Beckham joined Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2003 and played there for four seasons. In 2007, he moved to MLS side LA Galaxy where he spent the next five seasons of his career. In between, he had two short loan spells at AC Milan in 2009 and 2010. He finally ended his career in 2013 after spending six months at PSG.

  • Michael Owen Real MadridGetty Images

    Michael Owen

    Overseas club: Real Madrid

    Trophies: None

    Following his England teammate David Beckham's footsteps, Michael Owen joined Real Madrid in 2004, a year after Beckham's arrival at Los Blancos. Unfortunately his stay was shortlived. He was plagued with too many injuries and he left the club after just one season to return to England.

  • Mark Hughes Gary Lineker Barcelona Primera Division 1986/87

    Gary Lineker

    Overseas clubs: FC Barcelona, Nagoya Grampus

    Trophies: European Cup Winners' Cup (1), Copa del Rey (1)

    The former England international forward moved to Spain to join FC Barcelona from Everton in 1986 and played for three seasons at the club. After returning from Barcelona, he spent three years at Tottenham before ending his career at Japanese club Nagoya Grampus.

  • Paul Gascoigne LazioGetty Images

    Paul Gascoigne

    Overseas Club: Lazio, Gansu Tianma

    Trophy: None

    The English attacker joined Serie A side Lazio from Tottenham Hotspur in 1992 and played for three seasons before moving to Scotland and joining Rangers. Later in his career, he even played for Chinese club Gansu Tianma for a year in 1993.

  • Steve McManaman Real MadridGetty Images

    Steve McManaman

    Overseas club: Real Madrid

    Titles: LaLiga (2), Supercopa de Espana (2), Champions League (2), UEFA Super Cup (1).

    The Liverpool legend joined Real Madrid from the Reds in 1999 and spent four seasons at the club. In 2003, he returned to the Premier League and played for Manchester City for two years before ending his professional career in 2005. 

  • Jadon Sancho Dortmund Monchengladbach

    Jadon Sancho

    Overseas club: Borussia Dortmund

    Trophies: DFB Pokal (1), DFB Supercup (1)

    The English winger joined Borussia Dortmund in 2017 from the academy of Manchester City and spent four seasons at the club before returning to England in 2021 and joining Manchester United for a massive €85 million.

  • Jude Bellingham Dortmund BVB LeipzigGetty

    Jude Bellingham

    Overseas club: Borussia Dortmund

    Trophy: DFB Pokal

    The young English midfielder joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020 and has been playing there for the past two seasons.

  • Tammy Abraham Roma 2021-22Getty

    Tammy Abraham

    Overseas club: AS Roma

    Trophies: Europa Conference League

    The former Chelsea forward and England international joined AS Roma ahead of the 2021/22 season. In his maiden campaign, Abraham scored 17 goals for the club in 37 matches.

  • Kevin KeeganGetty Images

    Kevin Keegan

    Overseas club: Hamburger SV

    Trophies: Bundesliga

    The Liverpool great left the Reds after spending six seasons in 1977 and moved to Germany to join Hamburger SV where he played for three years. Keegan was instrumental in Hamburger winning the Bundesliga in the 1978/79 season and had won two Ballon d'Ors during his stint in Germany.

  • Glenn Hoddle (L)Getty Images

    Glenn Hoddle

    Overseas club: AS Monaco

    Trophy: Ligue 1 (1)

    The former England international midfielder joined Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in 1987 from Tottenham Hotspur and played for four seasons at the club before returning to England and joining Swindon Town. He last played for Chelsea from 1993 to 1995 before announcing his retirement.