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The English national football team represents England in international association football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. Although most national teams worldwide represent a sovereign state, the four home nations which form the United Kingdom are each represented separately in international tournaments. His nickname is The Three Lions.
England is one of seven national teams to have won the FIFA World Cup, which they did in 1966 when they hosted the finals. They defeated West Germany 4–2 in extra time in the Final. England share with France the record of having one World Cup victory. Since then England's best performance at a World Cup was reaching the semi-finals in 1990, losing to West Germany on penalties. Nevertheless, they remain a prominent team on the global stage, rarely dropping outside of the top ten rankings of both FIFA and Elo. England also reached the semi-finals of the UEFA European Championship in 1968 and 1996. They were the most successful of the Home Nations in the British Home Championship with 54 wins (including 20 shared wins) before the competition was suspended in 1984.
Traditionally, England's greatest rivals have been Scotland, who were their opponents in the first-ever international football match in 1870. Since regular fixtures against Scotland came to an end in the late 1980s, other rivalries have become more prominent. Matches with Argentina and Germany have produced particularly eventful encounters. England's home ground is Wembley Stadium in London.
The England national football team is the joint oldest in the world, formed at the same time as Scotland. A representative match between England and Scotland was played on the 5th March 1870, having been organised by the Football Association. A return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872. This match, at Hamilton Crescent in Scotland, is viewed as the first official international as the two teams were independently selected and operated, rather than being the work of a single football association, as the previous 1870 match had been. Over the next forty years, England played exclusively with the other three "Home Nations" - Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The games were made competitive with the British Home Championship from 1883 to 1984.
Before Wembley, London was opened, England had no permanent home ground. England joined FIFA in 1906, playing its first ever game outside the British Isles in 1908. However, the relationship between the two was strained, resulting in the British nations' departure from FIFA in 1928, before rejoining in 1946. As a result, England did not compete in a World Cup until 1950, in which they were beaten in a 1–0 defeat against the United States, failing to get past the first round.
England's first ever defeat on home soil to a non-UK team was a 0–2 loss to Ireland on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park, Liverpool. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary was England's first ever defeat to a non-UK team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1, which still stands as England's worst ever defeat. Ivor Broadis scored the England goal. After the game bewildered England centre half Syd Owen said, “It was like playing people from outer space”.
In the 1954 World Cup two goals by Broadis saw him become the first England player to score two goals in a game at the World Cup finals. Broadis beat Nat Lofthouse by 30 minutes when both scored 2 each in the thrilling 4–4 draw against Belgium. In reaching the quarter finals for the first time England lost 4–2 being eliminated by Uruguay. Only once have England progressed beyond the World Cup quarter finals away from home.
Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as the first ever full time manager in 1946, the team was still picked by a committee until Alf Ramsey took over in 1963. Under Ramsey, England experienced its greatest ever success, winning the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final against West Germany 4–2 after extra time. Geoff Hurst famously scored a hat-trick in the final. The 1966 World Cup was also held in England. Though England lost again to the Auld Enemy Scotland only a year later with a famous 3–2 for the Scots at Wembley. England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning cup holders. They reached the Quarter-finals but were knocked out by West Germany. England had been 2–0 up but were eventually beaten 3–2 after extra time. For the 1974 and 1978 World Cups, England failed to qualify. In 1982, England under Ron Greenwood qualified for 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain after a 12-year absence and were eliminated from the second round without losing a match. The team under Bobby Robson fared better as England reached the quarter finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup and finished fourth in the tournament four years later. This is the only time England have progressed beyond the World Cup quarter finals away from home.
The 1990s saw four England managers, each in the role for a relatively brief period. Graham Taylor was Robson's successor, but left after England failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. At Euro '96, held in England, Terry Venables led England to its best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-final. He left following investigations into his financial activities and his successor, Glenn Hoddle, similarly left the job for non-footballing reasons after just one international tournament - the 1998 World Cup - in which England were eliminated in the Second Round. Following Hoddle's departure, Kevin Keegan took England to Euro 2000, but performances were disappointing and he resigned shortly afterwards.
Sven-Göran Eriksson took charge of the team between 2001 and 2006 and was the first non-English manager of England. Despite controversial press coverage of his personal life, Eriksson was consistently popular with the majority of fans and England enjoyed some success with top qualifying place in two World Cup tournaments and Euro 2004, losing only five competitive matches during his tenure and rising to a (joint) record FIFA No.4 world ranking for the English national team during the 2006 World Cup under his guidance. Eriksson's contract was extended by The FA by two years to include Euro 2008 prior to being terminated by them at the conclusion of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Steve McClaren was appointed as the head coach following the 2006 World Cup. The reign was marked with little success, with England failing to qualify for the 2008 European Championships. McClaren left on 22 November 2007, after only 16 months in charge and making him the shortest tenured full time England manager ever since the inauguration of the post in 1946. He was replaced on 14 December 2007 by the former Real Madrid and AC Milan manager Fabio Capello. The Italian is the second foreign manager to coach England, after Eriksson, and took charge of his first game on 6 February 2008 against Switzerland. England won 2–1. England have enjoyed more success under Capello, having won all but one of their qualifying games for the 2010 World Cup. A 5-1 victory over Croatia at Wembley Stadium ensured the team qualified for the final tournament with two games to spare, a feat that has never been achieved before.
For the first 50 years of its existence, England played its home matches all around the country; for the first few years it used cricket grounds, before later moving on to football clubs' stadiums. England played their first match at Wembley Stadium in 1924 against Scotland, but for the next 27 years used Wembley as a venue for Scotland matches only.
The Wembley Stadium is a stadium in Wembley, located in the London Borough of Brent in London, England. It is owned by The Football Association (FA) via its subsidiary Wembley National Stadium Limited, and its primary use is for home games of the England national football team, and the main English domestic football finals.
From the 2008–09 season to the 2011–12 season, England's home qualifiers and away friendlies will be shown live on ITV. Away qualifiers and home friendlies were shown live on Setanta Sports until the company went into administration in June 2009. Currently, no broadcaster has been chosen to take over these games, along with the FA Cup, with the FA looking for a replacement. As a result of the demise of Setanta, England's World Cup qualifier in Ukraine on 10 October 2009 was shown in Britain on a pay-per-view basis via the internet only. This one-off event was the first time an England game had been screened in such a way. The number of subscribers, paying between £4.99 and £11.99 each, was estimated at between 250,000 and 300,000, and the total number of viewers at around 500,000.
In Australia, England national football team home games and selected away games are broadcast by Setanta Sports Australia.
All matches are broadcast with full commentary on BBC Radio Five Live.
England's traditional home colours are white shirts, navy blue shorts and white socks. Since 2001, the team has periodically worn white shorts during home matches. The traditional England away colours are red shirts, white shorts and red socks, although England did not need an away kit until they played against a non-British side. From 1945 to 1952, England wore a blue away kit. In 1996 England's away kit was changed to grey shirts, shorts and socks. This kit was worn against Bulgaria, Germany and Georgia but the deviation from traditional red was unpopular with supporters and since then the England away kit has remained red. Periodically, the red kit is worn during home matches.
On 28 March 2009, England debuted a new Umbro retro inspired all white home kit, in the 4–0 friendly victory over Slovakia at Wembley. The new kit replaces the traditional navy blue shorts with white shorts.
England have occasionally had a third kit as well. At the 1970 World Cup England wore a third kit with light blue shirt, shorts and socks against Czechoslovakia.
They had a strip similar to Brazil's kit, with a yellow shirt and blue shorts in 1973, worn against Czechoslovakia, Poland and Italy.
Between 1986 and 1992 England had pale blue third kits which were rarely worn by the England National Team.
FIFA World Cup
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup Qualification record||Manager(s)|
|1930||Did not enter||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1950||First Group stage||8th||3||1||0||2||2||2||3||3||0||0||14||3||Winterbottom|
|1974||Did not qualify||4||1||2||1||3||4||Ramsey|
|1982||Second Group stage||6th||5||3||2||0||6||1||8||4||1||3||13||8||Greenwood|
|1994||Did not qualify||10||5||3||2||26||9||Taylor|
|1998||Round of 16||9th||4||2||1||1||7||4||8||6||1||1||15||2||Hoddle|
|2002||Quarter-final||6th||5||2||2||1||6||3||8||5||2||1||16||6||Keegan, Wilkinson, Eriksson|
|2010||Round of 16||13th||4||1||2||1||3||5||10||9||0||1||34||6||Capello|
|2014||To be determined|
UEFA European Championship
|UEFA European Championship record||Manager(s)|
|1960||Did not enter|
|1964||Did not qualify||Winterbottom, Ramsey|
|1972||Did not qualify||Ramsey|
|1976||Did not qualify||Revie|
|1984||Did not qualify||Robson|
|2000||Group Stage||11th||3||1||0||2||5||6||Hoddle, Keegan|
|2008||Did not qualify||McClaren|
|2012||Qualified (final position TBD)||Capello, Hodgson|
|2016||To be determined|
|Total||Best: Third Place||7/13||23||7||7||9||31||28|
|1964 Taça de Nações||Group stage||3rd||3||0||1||2||2||7|
|1976 U.S.A. Bicentennial Cup Tournament||Group stage||2nd||3||2||0||1||6||4|
|1985 Rous Cup||One match||2nd||1||0||0||1||0||1|
|1985 Ciudad de México Cup Tournament||Group stage||3rd||2||0||0||2||1||3|
|1985 Azteca 2000 Tournament||Group stage||2nd||2||1||0||1||3||1|
|1986 Rous Cup||Winners, one match||1st||1||1||0||0||2||1|
|1987 Rous Cup||Group stage||2nd||2||0||2||0||1||1|
|1988 Rous Cup||Winners, group stage||1st||2||1||1||0||2||1|
|1989 Rous Cup||Winners, group stage||1st||2||1||1||0||2||0|
|1991 England Challenge Cup||Winners, group stage||1st||2||1||1||0||5||3|
|1993 U.S. Cup||Group stage||4th||3||0||1||2||2||5|
|1995 Umbro Cup||Group stage||2nd||3||1||1||1||6||7|
|1997 Tournoi de France||Winners, group stage||1st||3||2||0||1||3||1|
|1998 King Hassan II International Cup Tournament||Group stage||2nd||2||1||1||0||1||0|
|2004 FA Summer Tournament||Winners, group stage||1st||2||1||1||0||7||2|
All time record
As of 29 February 2012
|Republic of Ireland||14||5||6||2||19||13||+7||36%|
|Serbia and Montenegro||1||1||0||0||2||1||+1||100%|
|Trinidad and Tobago||2||2||0||0||5||0||+5||100%|
- FIFA World Cup
- Winners (1): 1966
- Fourth place (1): 1990
- UEFA European Football Championship
- Third place (1): 1968
- Semi-Final (1): 1996
- British Home Championship
- Winners (54): (Including 20 shared)
- Runners-up (24): (Including 7 shared)
- Third place (6):
- Tournament of France
- Winners (1): 1997
- Hassan II Trophy
- Runners-up (1): 1998
Most capped players
Top goal scorers
|#||Name||Career||Goals (caps)||Goals per game|
|1||Bobby Charlton||1958–1970||49 (106)||0.4623|
|2||Gary Lineker||1984–1992||48 (80)||0.6000|
|3||Jimmy Greaves||1959–1967||44 (57)||0.7719|
|4||Michael Owen||1998–||40 (89)||0.4494|
|5||Tom Finney||1946–1958||30 (76)||0.3947|
|Nat Lofthouse||1950–1958||30 (33)||0.9091|
|Alan Shearer||1992–2000||30 (63)||0.4762|
|8||Vivian Woodward||1903–1911||29 (23)||1.2609|
|9||Steve Bloomer||1895–1907||28 (23)||1.2174|
|Wayne Rooney||2003–||28 (73)||0.3835|
|Manager||England career||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Win %|
|Sir Alf Ramsey||1963–1974||113||69||27||17||61.1|