England national football team

World Cup Participation

1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022



England Soccer Team History

Beginnings and World Cup Win

England national football team has the oldest national team in the world, along with Scotland. The two nations contested the first recognized international match in 1872, which finished in a scoreless draw. Other important milestones in the early years of the England soccer team were joining FIFA in 1906 and the opening of historic Wembley Stadium in 1923. Wembley has been their home ground ever since.

The Three Lions were not a participant at the first World Cup in 1930 as they left FIFA in 1928 and didn’t rejoin until 1946. That meant 1950 was the first ever England World Cup appearance. Brazil 1950 was a big disappointment for England as they won just one of their three matches and suffered an embarrassing 1-0 loss to the USA.

Four years later, the Three Lions made it out of the first round for the first time, losing 4-2 to Uruguay in the quarterfinals. Alf Ramsey was appointed as manager in 1963 and the most successful period in team history followed.

England hosted the World Cup for the first time in 1966 and were able to play all of their home matches at Wembley. The Three Lions drew their first match but didn’t concede a single goal in the group stage, advancing as group winners.

Led by legends Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves, and Bobby Charlton – the Three Lions won all three of their knockout stage matches to win their first and only World Cup title. England beat West Germany 4-2 in an eventful final that went into extra time.

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End of the Ramsey Era

In 1968, England competed at the European Championships for the first time. They qualified for the semifinal round and managed to snag third place. World Cup winner Ramsey was fired after making the quarterfinals at World Cup 1970 and failing to qualify four years later.

The Three Lions had a tough time qualifying and getting out of the group stage in major tournaments for the next decade. That was until Bobby Robson was appointed and England were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup by Diego Maradona and Argentina. Maradona scored the iconic “Hand of God” and “Goal of the Century” goals in that famous match. Striker Gary Lineker also won the golden boot despite England’s elimination.

England national football team exceeded expectations at the 1990 World Cup, Robson’s last in charge, as they made the semifinals. They were eliminated by West Germany in penalties after a grueling 1-1 draw. Graham Taylor was appointed as Robson’s successor after the tournament but he found little success. England failed to win a single game at Euro 92 and failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, which led to Taylor’s resignation.

Terry Venables succeeded Taylor and led England to their then-best performance at a European Championship in 1996. Like in 1968, England were eliminated on penalties by Germany in the semifinals but striker Alan Shearer won the Golden Boot.
21st Century

Sven-Goran Eriksson became the first foreign manager in national team history when he was appointed in 2001. He guided England to three consecutive quarter finals in major tournaments but was ultimately replaced after Portugal defeated England in the 2006 World Cup.

At the 2014 World Cup, England exited in the group stage for the first time since 1958 and were eliminated by Iceland in the round of 16 of the 2016 Euros. Since Gareth Southgate took over in 2016, England made the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup and were runners up at Euro 2020.

Striker Harry Kane, who is almost certain to finish his career as England’s top scorer, won the Golden Boot at Russia 2018. At Euro 2020, England national football team heartbreakingly lost in penalties to Italy but came in second place for the first time in their history.

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