As arguably the Three Lions most famous player, Charlton's voice still carries a great deal of weight.
With 49 goals he remains England's highest scorer and was obviously a central element of the most famous day in their history; the 1966 World Cup triumph.
For 47 years, the country has craved a repeat without ever being able to deliver.
Charlton always says it can happen. But deep down, he never believes it will.
Speaking at the Soccerex Conference in Manchester, Charlton said: "When I am asked to give my opinion, I always say yes (we can win the World Cup) but it is a fool's errand.
"People wonder whether we will ever win it again. I worry about that as well.
"You need good players. But if all the spaces at English clubs are taken by foreign players, you have no chance."
Charlton is not the first to express concern at the reducing number of English players in the Premier League.
A succession of England managers have also expressed their concern.
Charlton's own club, Manchester United, have done their bit, with six players - including Rio Ferdinand - named in Roy Hodgson's squad for the recent World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
Yet that input is not being mirrored elsewhere.
"The number of players we have to choose from is ridiculous," said Charlton.
"Didn't Fabio Capello say there were only 94 footballers he could select out of the whole of the league?
"You can't expect them all to be world-class players.
"I would like to think that one day we will be favourites going into a World Cup, but we are not anymore.
"I am not happy about it, but I don't know how you can solve it either."
One of the true world class players in Ferguson's squad is Wayne Rooney.
Yet even he has not always found his best form this season, and was left out of Sir Alex Ferguson's starting line-up for the crunch Champions League encounter with Real Madrid at Old Trafford.
However, with 197 and 35 goals respectively, the 27-year-old is in with a chance of eclipsing Charlton's record marks for Manchester United and England of 249 and 49.
"I don't worry about Wayne," said Charlton.
"I am really proud of my record and if someone takes it I would be sick.
"But I would be happy if it was him."
And at the present rate, further achievements for United will be under Ferguson.
Although there was some speculation the Red Devils' boss might finally leave his post at the end of the season, that has now been silenced.
And Charlton is convinced Ferguson will continue for a good while yet.
"People say he can't go on forever - but I think he will," said Charlton.
"There is nothing in his posture to suggest he is tired and he still has the same enthusiasm."