When you mention football, you mentioned England which is the "Land where football invented". Founded in 1963, England has the oldest national team in the world. The team took part in the first ever international match was against Scotland in 1872. Playing in 13th tournaments they easily qualified to their 14th this coming summer in Brazil. The "three lions" as they are nicknamed, played for the first time in Brazil 1950 failing to qualify from the Group Stage.
In 1953 England suffered their biggest defeats ever in an international match losing to the great Hungary (led by Ferenc Puskás) 6-3 at Wembley and 7-1 in Budapest. It took them 13 years to recover from these horrible performances becoming the champions of the world when hosting the 1966 tournament. The Final match started a long and bitter rivalry between England and Germany (West Germany those days) while the hosts won 4-2 with the most controversial goal scored by Geoff Hurst. The Germans got their revenge in the 1970 tournament while beating England in the Quarter Final 3-2 in extra time after the English led 2-0. Another chapter was written during the last tournament in South Africa when the referee ignored a clear goal by Frank Lampard which could have tied the game (1:4 to Germany at the end)
Another traditional rivalry was (an still is) with Argentina. No one can forget the 1986 historical match between the two sides when Maradona scored the unforgettable 2 goals (with two different body parts), not to mention the political atmosphere between these two countries surrounding the Falkland Islands conflict those days.
The 1990 World Cup in Italy's Semi Final was their highest achievement since 1966, losing (again) to the Germans 4-2 in penalties.
Peter Shilton (125 appearances) and Bobby Charlton with 49 goals in 106 appearances are the statistical leaders of the English team.
Michael Owen scored a fantastic goal against Argentina in the 1998 tournament at the age of 18!!
No matter which squad will be at Brazil and in which form, there will be always a wishful thinking among the English that this time they will take the glory.
Did you know?
England didn’t participate in the first 3 World Cups due to their disengagement from FIFA until 1950. During that period they founded along with Scotland, Wales and Ireland the British Home Championship tournament.
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