Mini football figure - England
Miniature football player with kit of the national team of England.
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The England national football team is, together with the Scottish national football team, the oldest national football team in the world. Both played their first international match in 1872. It represents England in international competitions such as the World Cup and the European Championships. It is governed by the Football Association (FA), the leading association in English football.
Along with hockey and rugby, football is one of the sports with four British national teams. England as the "motherland of football", Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each founded their own football association independently. Scotland and Northern Ireland also play their own championships; the Welsh teams play partly in the English leagues, mostly in their own.
The English national team is the most successful of the British national teams, its greatest success was winning the World Cup played in 1966 in England. In addition, England won the British Home Championship title 34 times on their own (in some years the title was shared), a former competition between the Home Nations, while the other three national teams also have 34 individual titles between them.
On 14 November 2019, the England selectors played their 1000th international match.
The first international match played by an England selection was also the first official international match in the history of football: the team, led by captain Cuthbert Ottaway, faced a Scottish selection on 30 November 1872 at Hamilton Crescent, in what is now the Glasgow district of Partick. The match ended 0-0 in front of a crowd of around 4000. The following year, the English selection recorded their first victory with a 4-2 win over Scotland at Kennington Oval Stadium. The 13-0 win over the Irish selection on 18 February 1882 was the highest victory in an international match until 22 October 1908, when Denmark defeated a French selection 17-1 at the London Olympics.
For the next 40 years, England played almost exclusively against Scotland, Wales and Ireland, which was the fourth country in the United Kingdom before partition in 1921.
World Cup title and creeping decline (1962-1982)
Ramsey's prediction was indeed to come true and England became World Champions at the 1966 World Cup, which to this day stands as the greatest achievement in English football history. Led by team captain Bobby Moore, the England Wingless Wonders - so called because Ramsey had his team play without a true winger in the tournament - defeated Argentina and Portugal to then face the German national team at Wembley Stadium in the final. England won the final 4-2 after extra time after a total of three goals from Geoff Hurst (including the famous Wembley goal) and one from Martin Peters. Kenneth Wolstenholme, a reporter for the BBC, commented on the presence of spectators on the pitch, Hurst's last goal in the 120th minute and the end of the game with the famous statement: "They think it's all over ... it is now!
England came third in the following European Championship in 1968 and, as defending champions, were one of the favourites for the 1970 World Cup, played in Mexico. However, after leading 2-0 at one stage, England lost 3-2 to Germany in the 1/4-finals and were eliminated from the tournament. England also lost to Germany in the 1/4-finals at the 1972 European Championships when they went down by a total of 1:3 goals. The negative trend continued when England couldn’t qualify for the 1974 World Cup played in Germany after a 1-1 draw with Poland in qualifying, when they were repeatedly thwarted by the strong-playing Polish goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski. In the aftermath of the failed qualification, the FA sacked coach Ramsey, who had achieved 69 wins and 27 draws in 113 games with England. There was strong criticism that the FA did not give Ramsey the opportunity to make his own decision to resign, given the successes that were due to his sporting leadership.
After a brief transition period under coach Joe Mercer, the FA signed Don Revie as Ramsey's official successor. Under his aegis, the England national team's performances developed even more negatively than in Ramsey's late phase and England couldn’t qualify for either the group stage of the 1976 European Championship or the 1978 World Cup played in Argentina. Revie had already resigned in 1977 and was replaced by Ron Greenwood. At the same time, a steadily growing hooligan problem developed among supporters of the national team, especially at England's away internationals. At the 1980 European Championship, the Italian police even used tear gas during a group game against Belgium. England qualified for the World Cup played in 1982 played in Spain, but failed there in the second group stage, although the team had not lost a game. During this tournament, too, England's matches were accompanied by violence.
Renewal under Bobby Robson and changeable phases in the 1990s (1982-2000)
Although much of the public and media had viewed Bobby Robson with great scepticism during his time as national coach, he is subsequently regarded as one of the most successful coaches England ever had. After failing to qualify for the European Championship in 1984 in France following a defeat to Denmark, he led the national team to the World Cup played in Mexico in 1986. After a poor start in which England lost from Portugal and drew against Morocco without their injured captain Robson, three goals from Gary Lineker in a 3-0 win against Poland secured their passage to the next round. After another 3-0 win over Paraguay in the 2nd round, the team lost to eventual world champions Argentina in a controversial match. During the 2-1 defeat, Diego Maradona scored two goals, the first of which went down in football history as the Hand of God. The second goal, preceded by Maradona dribbling across half the pitch and past 5 England players, was later named World Cup Goal of the Century. Gary Lineker won the title of top scorer of the World Cup.
England qualified for the European Championship in Germany in 1988, but lost all 3 group matches against Ireland (0:1) and the eventual finalists Netherlands (1:3) and Soviet Union (1:3).
The next World Cup played in 1990 was then to be the best performance by an England team since they won the title in 1966. After the group stage, the team narrowly edged out Belgium and Cameroon by a goal difference in each of the knockout rounds before losing to Germany on penalties in the semi-final. It was a 1-1 draw after extra time. Pearce and Waddle had missed their penalty kicks, but the good team performances, the appearance of Paul Gascoigne as England's best player during the tournament and the absence of violence were positive factors. After the tournament, England goalkeeper Peter Shilton retired after a total of 125 appearances, making him the record international to this day.
The period under Graham Taylor, Robson's successor as national coach, turned out to be very unhappy. During his tenure, England did not win a game in the European Championship of 1992 in Sweden. Taylor was heavily criticised by the public for his decision to substitute Gary Lineker after 64 minutes in the important last group match against Sweden when the score was 1-2. England also couldn’t qualify for the World Cup played in the United States in 1994 from then on, although in a qualifying match against San Marino, one of the weakest football teams ever, the team had been 1-0 down after only a few seconds before England went on to win 7:1. Taylor was sacked in 1993 and replaced by Venables, who led the England national team to a fine result at the European Championship in 1996 on home soil. Expectations were very high at this tournament marking the 30th anniversary of the World Cup played in 1966 and the England team started well in the preliminary round. They beat Scotland 2:0 with a very good playing Paul Gascoigne and then defeated the strongly rated Netherlands team surprisingly clearly 4-1. After a victory in a penalty shootout against Spain, England faced Germany in the semi-finals, as they had done six years earlier at the World Cup, after a 1-1 draw after extra time. After Gareth Southgate missed the decisive penalty, England again lost to the German team.
Venables resigned after the end of the European Championship. His successor, Glenn Hoddle, led England to a successful qualifying campaign for the World Cup played in 1998 in France, securing their place in the tournament with a 0-0 against Italy. At the World Cup, the England team was then beaten again on penalties after David Beckham had already had to leave the field early during the match against Argentina due to a red card. The following year, Hoddle resigned from his post after making controversial statements about disabled people in a newspaper interview. Former England captain Keegan took over as coach and, after scoring 2-1 in the first and second legs against Scotland in the play-offs, led the team to the 2000 European Championships in the Netherlands and Belgium, where they failed to make it past the group stage. Keegan resigned in September 2000 after the team lost its last match at the old Wembley Stadium, a 2002 World Cup qualifier against Germany.
Foreign national coaches, non-participation in Euro 2008 and penalty defeats (2000-2012)
In 2001, Swede Eriksson was appointed Keegan's successor, making him England's 1st foreign coach. Eriksson led the team to a spectacular 5-1 away win over Germany in September of that year after trailing 1-0, when Emile Heskey and Steven Gerrard were joined by an outstanding Michael Owen to score three goals. England secured direct qualification and group victory with a late free-kick goal to draw 2-2 at home to Greece and on better goal difference. At the World Cup played in Japan and South Korea itself, England won with 1-0 from Argentina in the group matches to reach the quarter-finals, in which they lost 2-1 to eventual world champions Brazil.
The English team also won the qualifying group for the European Championship in 2004 after a 0-0 draw in the last match against Turkey. Despite a defeat in the preliminary round against France, England was considered one of the favourites for the rest of the tournament. However, the team failed to reach the quarter-finals against Portugal, again losing out on penalties.
In 2005, Eriksson faced increased criticism for the defensive strategy, a rather dispassionate understanding of the game, communication problems with his players and certain difficulties in adapting tactics to a changing game, most notably evident in the defeat to Brazil during the 2002 World Cup. The lost in friendly match against Denmark, and in a World Cup qualifying game against Northern Ireland in 2006. This historic defeat resulted in a huge wave of criticism, even though the team had previously played a good qualifying campaign. A hard-fought 1-0 win against Austria did nothing to ease the pressure. Nevertheless, the England team qualified for the World Cup tournament in 2006 even before their last match, which they won 2-1 against Poland thanks to a clear improvement in performance.
At the end of qualifying, England beat Argentina 3-2 at a friendly game in Geneva, Switzerland, in possibly their best performance in several years.
At the World Cup played in 2006, the England team already showed weaknesses in the group stage. In the round of 16, Ecuador were beaten 1-0. In the subsequent 1 / 4 match against Portugal, England was eliminated in the penalty shoot-out, as they had been at the 1990 World Cup against Germany and the 1998 World Cup against Argentina.
The English press bid Eriksson farewell with derision and criticism.
After taking the lead after the World Cup played in 2006, the new England coach Steve McClaren appointed Terry as the new team captain and refrained from nominating David Beckham for a long time. Together with former head coach Terry Venables as assistant coach, McClaren sorted out another veteran player, Sol Campbell, in an additional step to rebuild the team.
The 2006/07 season saw the England national team begin the qualifying campaign for the 2008 European Football Championships in Austria and Switzerland, bur could not qualify.
In 2007, Capello was appointed as new national coach. Under Capello, England became the second European team to qualify early for the World Cup of 2010 in South Africa. At the World Cup they played the USA, Algeria and Slovenia in the group stage. After two disappointing draws against the USA (1:1) and Algeria (0:0), they were forced to play Slovenia. In the end, Slovenia was defeated 1-0. In the round of 16, they met arch-rivals Germany, who they lost to 1:4. A goal scored by Frank Lampard at 1-2, but disallowed by the referee, brought back memories of the Wembley goal.
In the qualifiers for the 2012 European Football Championship, England faced Montenegro, Bulgaria, Wales and Switzerland. In the beginning, England had a long-distance duel with Montenegro; on the third and fourth matchday of the qualifiers, Montenegro even finished first in the qualifying Group G. On 7 October 2011, the penultimate qualifying matchday, England and Montenegro drew 2-2 (the first leg on 12 October 2010 ended 0-0), which secured England the group win.
On 3 February 2012, Terry was removed as captain of the national team by the FA because the court case against Terry for alleged racist remarks was not due to take place until after the Euro 2012 football championship and the FA feared a negative impact on the national team's performance at Euro 2012. Fabio Capello criticised the decision in several interviews and resigned as coach of the national team on 8 Feb.
Shortly before Euro 2012, in May ‘12, Roy Hodgson was named as Fabio Capello's successor. However, he did not take up the post until after the end of the Premier League season. Hodgson did call Terry into the squad and dispensed with Rio Ferdinand, whose brother had allegedly racially insulted Terry, but appointed Steven Gerrard as captain. Before the European Championship, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill were all out injured.
At the European Championship, England again failed to win their opening match, but the 1-1 with France and wins over Sweden and Ukraine ensured group victory. In the ¼ finals, the England team, playing a similar tactic to Chelsea FC in the Champions League final, was clearly outclassed by the Italian team, but still reached the penalty shoot-out, where they lost again.
In qualifying for the World Cup played in 2014, England were drawn in Europe Group H with Ukraine, Montenegro, Poland, Moldova and San Marino. The Three Lions completed their matches without defeat (six wins, four draws) and finished as group winners ahead of Ukraine. On the last matchday on 15 October 2013, they beat Poland 2-0 at Wembley Stadium to secure their place in the World Cup.
At the finals, England, Italy and Uruguay were the first three former world champions to meet in a preliminary round group, as England had been placed in Lottery Pot 4 due to their poor FIFA ranking. The group was completed by the team from Costa Rica. England lost the first match 2-1 to Italy; the second match on 19 June 2014 against Uruguay was also lost 2-1. Italy's defeat the following day against Costa Rica meant that they were already eliminated after the second matchday of the preliminary round group. It was the 1st elimination of an English team after the preliminary round at a World Cup since 1958. Against Costa Rica, who had started the tournament as outsiders, they achieved a goalless draw. This meant that the Central American team won their group and later advanced to the quarter-finals.
After the World Cup, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard resigned, Wayne Rooney became the new captain and led England into the subsequent European Championship qualifiers, which England began with seven wins in a row and thus mathematically qualified for the European Championship as early as 5 September 2015. As England also won the remaining matches, they were the only team in the qualifiers without losing a point and were therefore regarded as one of the contenders for the title. England entered the finals with the second-youngest squad, but lost 2-1 in the last 16 to Iceland, who were making their European debut, and Roy Hodgson resigned as coach shortly after the game. Wayne Rooney, on the other hand, confirmed that he wanted to continue playing for England. On 30 November 2016, Gareth Southgate was appointed as the new coach.
Under him, the Three Lions regained their former strength and reached the 2018 World Cup as unbeaten leaders in the qualifiers, where strong performances by new regular goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and new captain Harry Kane, among others, put them in the spotlight; in the end, they lost
the third-place match to Belgium. They also finished third in the final round of the Nations League just over a year later in spring 2019.
On 14 November 2019, the England selection played their 1000th international match. In those 1000 games, a total of 1245 players had already been nominated, with Leicester City's James Maddison making his debut in that match. The qualifying campaign for Euro 2021 was contested with ten wins from the same number of games; this was otherwise only achieved by Belgium. England faced Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic in the group stage of the 2021 European Championship, with all three group games taking place at Wembley Stadium. The opening match was a 1-0 win against Croatia before the "Battle of Britain" against Scotland. There, the Three Lions could not get beyond a goalless draw. England also won the decisive group match against the Czechs 1-0 and advanced to the last 16, where they met arch-rivals Germany. England won 2-0 with goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane to advance to the quarter-finals; the victory over the German national team was England's first home win over the DFB side since 1975. In the ¼ finals, played at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, England played the Ukrainian national team and the British prevailed 4-0. In the semi-final, which was again played at Wembley, they were up against outsiders Denmark and conceded their first goal of the competition in the 30th minute with a Mikkel Damsgaard free-kick, but equalised nine minutes later with a Simon Kjær own goal. The game went into extra time and in the 103rd minute England were awarded a questionable penalty, which Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel managed to keep out, but Harry Kane scored on the follow-up shot to send his country into the final, which was also played at Wembley Stadium. The opponents there were Italy. In the final, the hosts took the lead through an early goal by Luke Shaw and the lead lasted until the 67th minute before Leonardo Bonucci equalised for the Italians. This match was not decided in regulation time either, but even had to go to penalties, where England's Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed and England thus missed the chance to win their second title at a major tournament after winning the World Cup played in 1966.
England's first home matches were played at Kennington Oval in London, which hosted a total of ten matches between 1873 and 1889, before matches were also played at other London stadiums in addition to other cities. After the completion of London's Wembley Stadium in 1924, it alternated in particular with Highbury in the borough of the same name (12 matches) until the early 1960s. After that, until the demolition of Wembley Stadium, all London matches were played there. After the opening of the new Wembley Stadium, all London matches were also played there. For the 1966 World Cup and the 1996 European Championship, the fixture list was also arranged so that England could play all their matches at Wembley Stadium.
Apart from London, Manchester (22 matches at Whalley Range, Old Trafford, Maine Road and City of Manchester Stadium), Liverpool (21 matches at Aigburth Cricket Ground, Anfield and Goodison Park) and Birmingham (10 matches at Wellington Road, Villa Park) were the most frequent venues. (see also: List of international matches of the English national football team#Playing cities)
The national jersey is adorned with the English coat of arms with the three lions (heraldically these are leopards), the famous "Three Lions", as well as a star for the 1966 World Cup victory. In terms of colour design, it has undergone many changes since the middle of the 20th century.
Traditionally, there are rivalries with the Argentinian, German and Scottish national football teams. The rivalry with the Argentinian team developed particularly after the Falklands War and the Hand of God in the 1986 World Cup. The Anglo-German football rivalry is particularly a result of the Wembley goal and the English team's elimination in important knockout matches at World and European Championships against Germany, with the English team twice losing only on penalties. However, this rivalry is far more pronounced on the English side than on the German. The Scottish team is the first and most frequent opponent of the English team and the English-Scottish rivalry is part of the history of Great Britain.
- 61 mm
- 40 gramms