Who would make your all-time United Ireland XI football team? Here's our take

Who would make your all-time United Ireland XI football team? Here's our take

ON the back of Sinn Fein launching a fresh plea to create a United Ireland football team, we have decided to put together an all-time United Ireland XI.

Goalkeeper: Pat Jennings

Since making his international debut at the tender age of 18 for Northern Ireland, Jennings amounted 119 caps in a career spanning 23 years.

Jennings won multiple awards and trophies for Arsenal and Tottenham, including two FA Cups and an UEFA Cup.

The Northern Irishman holds a record for appearing in the qualifying stages of six World Cup campaigns between 1966 and 1986 and played his final game at the 1986 World Cup at the age of 42.

Left Back: Aaron Hughes

International Friendly, City Arena, Trnava, Slovakia 4/6/2016 Slovakia vs Northern Ireland Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry An approving thumbs up from Aaron Hughes on his selection into the United Ireland all time XI. ©INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry

Debatable one this, but hear us out. Hughes is a versatile defender, who was a part of Fulham's famous UEFA Europa League final run, and has been a regular captain of Northern Ireland.

He was the first outfield player to reach over 100 caps for Northern Ireland and is second only to goalkeeping legend Jennings.

Right Back: Dennis Irwin

Euro 2000 Play-off first leg 13/11/1999 Republic of Ireland Denis Irwin ©INPHO/Billy Stickland Irwin clearing the ball in a Euro 2000 play-off first leg. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Manchester United legend and Cork native Dennis Irwin, features at right back.

The defender has recently been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame and has numerous accolades to his name including several Premier League titles and a Champions League medal.

Irwin was capped 56 times scoring 4 goals, all of which were scored at Lansdowne Road.

Centre Back: Steve Staunton

steve-n Steve Staunton captaining the Republic of Ireland [Picture: Inpho]
The Republic of Ireland centre-back had a better time playing for the Boys in Green than managing them having racked up 102 caps, scoring seven goals.

He holds the distinction of being the only player to have played in every single one of Ireland's thirteen World Cup finals games.

Centre Back: Paul McGrath

Paul McGrath Ex-Manchester United and Aston Villa legend Paul McGrath [Picture: Inpho]
Ex-Manchester United and Aston Villa defender was capped 83 times for the Republic of Ireland in a career hampered by injuries.

McGrath, who appeared in the Republic's first ever international tournament at Euro '88, is highly regarded by fans and is most fondly remembered for his defensive performance in a famous 1-0 win against Italy at the 1994 World Cup.

A Premier League legend, McGrath was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame last year and won the FAI Senior International Player of the Year twice in 1990 and 1991, while he won the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1993.

Left Midfield: George Best

George Best The legendary George Best [Picture: Getty]
A Manchester United legend and one of the greatest dribblers of all time, Best was capped just 37 times for Northern Ireland, notching nine goals, but he secured his legacy on through his club career.

The great Pele once stated that “George Best was the greatest player in the world". High praise indeed.

Indeed, Best famously went on record voicing his support for a United Ireland football side.

Right Midfield: Danny Blanchflower

danny-n Danny Blanchflower is a Spurs and Northern Ireland legend [Picture: Getty]
Ulsterman and Spurs legend Blanchflower appeared 56 times for Northern Ireland between 1946 and 1963 and in his prime was described as one of the most creative midfielders in the game.

Blanchflower managed Northern Ireland for three years but failed to secure qualification to the 1978 World Cup before taking up the manager's job at Chelsea.

Centre Midfield: Roy Keane

keane-n Roy Keane is currently assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland [Picture: Inpho]
Tempestuous midfielder, strong captain, assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland - there's only one Roy Keane.

The tough tackling ex-Manchester United and Nottingham Forest star turned out for the Boys in Green 67 times.

Minus the incident in Saipan, his commitment and ferocity for the national team is unquestionable and he is now proving to be a key man under Martin O'Neill's watchful eye.

Centre Midfield: Liam Brady

brady-n Liam Brady won 72 caps for the Republic of Ireland scoring 9 goals [Picture: Inpho]
Arsenal legend and left-footed maestro Brady won 72 caps for the Republic of Ireland and went on to become assistant manager between 2008 and 2010 under Trappatoni.

Unfortunately, the Dubliner never played in a major tournament. However, out of the 72 caps he started an impressive 70, underlining how important he was to the national side.

Striker: Robbie Keane

keane2-n Captain fantastic applauds the Irish fans on his last appearance vs Oman [Picture: Inpho]
Keane recently announced his retirement from international football after Euro 2016, but the 36-year-old certainly finished his international career on a high.

He accumulated a number of important goals for the Republic of Ireland and notched 68 goals in 146 games, making him Republic of Ireland's all-time record goal scorer by some distance.

Not only is he the all-time top scorer but he is also the all-time most capped, so it would be unthinkable not to include him in this fantasy United Ireland football team.

Striker: David Healy

haely-n David Healy celebrates a late equaliser vs Azerbaijan [Picture: Inpho]
Another all-time leading goal scorer, but for Northern Ireland, Co. Down poacher David Healy scored 36 times having been capped just shy of a century for his country.

Healy will be fondly remembered for his winning goal against England at Windsor Park in 2005 and hat-trick against Spain.

Three year later he was given an MBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to football.

Let us know who you'd replace and why in the comments section below