With regards to prestigious soccer tournaments, aside from the World Cup, there is not actually something that will get near the status of the European Championship.
England have been semi-regular members through the years, and while the crew has by no means been topped champions, they’ve skilled their fair proportion of ups and downs alongside the way in which.
With Germany set to host the 2024 version of the event subsequent summer time, Soccer FanCast has seemed again on and recounted all of England’s previous campaigns so that you can reminisce about.
Euro 1960: Declined to enter
So, kicking issues off is the inaugural version of the European Championships all the way in which again in 1960, when it was referred to as the European Nations’ Cup, and the way did England do? Properly, they weren’t concerned after declining the invites to the qualifiers.
Now, the place England’s refusal to take part within the early editions of the World Cup was born out of conceitedness, the selection to show down the Sixties Euros seems to have had extra to do with the assumption that it wasn’t a contest that will catch on.
The opposite house nations additionally refused to partake, as did West Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands – so we can’t chalk this one all the way down to a superiority advanced.
Solely France, Yugoslavia, the USSR, and Czechoslovakia took half within the finals, and it was the USSR that in the end gained all of it after they beat Yugoslavia 2-1 on the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Euro 1968: Semi-finals (third place)
Flash ahead eight years from England’s refusal to partake within the inaugural Euros to 1968, and we lastly obtained our first take a look at England on the European Championship, having didn’t qualify for the 1964 version.
The event finals had been held in Italy and featured simply 4 groups after two years of qualifying and quarter-finals. The groups that made it had been Italy, the USSR, Yugoslavia, and England.
The Three Lions had been going into the finals as world champions, so there was an comprehensible expectation that they might make it to the ultimate at a minimal – but they didn’t.
As an alternative, the world champions needed to accept third place after they misplaced their semi-final 1-0 to Yugoslavia and gained their third play-off 2-0 towards the USSR.
Euro 1980: Group stage
It might be 12 lengthy years of European failure for England between their appearances in 1968 and 1980, and when the Three Lions lastly made their much-awaited return to the event, they didn’t final lengthy.
The finals had been as soon as once more held in Italy and had been the primary to function eight groups, that means there was to be a gaggle stage earlier than the knock-out video games.
England had been positioned into a gaggle alongside Spain, Belgium and the hosts, Italy.
The opening recreation towards the Belgians began nicely sufficient, with Ray Wilkins giving the Three Lions the lead on 26 minutes. Nonetheless, it took simply three minutes for England to concede an equaliser.
England’s second recreation noticed them lose 1-0 to the Italians, and despite the fact that they gained their remaining match towards the Spanish 2-1, a draw between Italy and Belgium sealed their destiny and despatched them house early.
Euro 1988: Group stage
It was one other eight-year wait to see England compete in one other European Championships, and the identical wait resulted in the identical consequence: an early exit.
The 1988 version of the event was held in West Germany and was really the final European event to see each West Germany and the USSR participate.
As soon as once more, eight groups had been collaborating within the finals, and England was positioned into a gaggle with the Republic of Eire, the Netherlands and the USSR.
The place there have been at the very least a number of positives to take from the 1980 Euros, there have been no such positives in 1988.
England kicked their marketing campaign off with a shock 1-0 defeat to the Irish and adopted that up with a 3-1 losses to the Dutch and the Soviets.
The Three Lions completed all-time low of the group with no factors and a objective distinction of minus 5.
Euro 1992: Group stage
Properly, the constructive right here is that there was no eight-year wait this time. England had really managed to qualify for back-to-back European Championships for the primary time in historical past.
Nonetheless, the detrimental is that when the crew obtained to the finals, the outcome was, as at all times, an embarrassing group stage exit.
Sweden hosted in 1992, and as was changing into the norm by this level, the event finals featured eight groups cut up into two teams of 4 earlier than the knockout rounds.
England’s group featured the hosts, France and, most curiously of all, Denmark. The inclusion of the Danish was stunning because it was presupposed to be Yugoslavia that certified of their place, however the nation’s breakup meant that they clearly could not play, so the Danes had been chosen to interchange them.
In fact, Denmark then went on to win the entire thing, defeating the Germans within the remaining to grow to be the one crew to have gained the European Championship regardless of not technically qualifying.
Again to England, although – and so they needed to play the Danish facet of their first recreation, and neither crew seemed nice as they performed out a 0-0 draw. Up subsequent was the French, and what adopted was yet one more bore draw, 0-0.
England’s remaining group recreation was towards the hosts, and the maths was easy: win and undergo.
It began so nicely, with David Platt giving the Three Lions the lead within the fourth minute, however because the English so typically do, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and conceded two targets within the second half to lose and go crashing out of the group stage.
Euro 1996: Semi-finals
With England now qualifying for European Championships pretty repeatedly, did the crew begin delivering improved outcomes? Surprisingly, sure, sure they did.
The 1996 version of the event was held in England, and with it being thirty years on from England’s World Cup triumph on house soil, there was a real perception that regardless of their earlier failings, this time can be totally different. They usually had been proper, kind of.
The dimensions of the competitors had been doubled for the 1996 version to incorporate 4 teams of 4 for the primary time. England had been positioned in a gaggle with the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the Auld enemy, Scotland.
The hosts kicked off the event with a tepid 1-1 draw with the Swiss, however adopted that up with a now iconic recreation towards the Scots on the outdated Wembley. Alan Shearer would possibly’ve opened the scoring in that encounter, nevertheless it was Paul Gascoigne’s objective and celebration that has been ingrained into English soccer folklore.
The ultimate group recreation noticed Terry Venables’ males put 4 previous the Dutch and qualify from the group in a cushty first place.
The quarter-finals noticed England tackle Spain, and with the rating 0-0 after further time, penalties had been wanted to resolve a winner. The hosts scored all 4 of their spot kicks, whereas the Spanish scored simply two of theirs, that means England’s social gathering would keep on going – for now.
The semi-finals noticed the hosts tackle Germany, and regardless of a number of nervousness beforehand, Shearer gave England an early lead when he opened the scoring within the third minute. Nonetheless, the Germans shortly fought again and levelled the rating within the sixteenth minute, and with neither facet in a position to rating once more, the sport went to penalties.
Now, there’s simply one thing about penalties, particularly towards Germany, that causes nice England sides to crumble, and sadly, that occurred right here.
After each side had scored their opening 5 penalties, Gareth Southgate stepped as much as take the sixth, however he noticed his try saved. Andreas Moller then scored his, and the hosts had been out.
Euro 2000: Group stage
England made their option to Euro 2000, hosted within the Netherlands and Belgium, with one mission: go one step additional than 1996.
Sadly, this was an goal that was very a lot not met.
The Three Lions had been drawn into a gaggle with Portugal, Romania and Germany. England’s first recreation of the event was a totally thrilling 3-2 defeat to Portugal, which they put behind them fairly shortly as they ended up profitable the next recreation towards Germany 1-0.
The ultimate group recreation was towards Romania, and it was as soon as once more a easy equation: win and undergo or lose and go house.
That stated, simplicity did not assure outcomes, and the Romanians surprised the footballing world after they ran out 3-2 winners.
Euro 2004: Quarter-finals
Euro 2004 was held in Portugal and as soon as once more featured 4 teams of 4. England had been positioned in Group B alongside France, Croatia and Switzerland.
The primary recreation of the event led to heartbreak for Sven-Goran Eriksson’s facet as regardless of main for a lot of the recreation by a Thirty eighth-minute Frank Lampard objective, they ended up dropping after the French scored within the 91st and 93rd minutes.
Sport two noticed them take out these frustrations on the Swiss as they stormed to a 3-0 victory, and so they performed out one other victory of their third recreation towards Croatia as they gained 4-2.
The quarter-finals noticed England face off towards the hosts in one of many event’s greatest video games.
Michael Owen opened the scoring within the third minute to present the Three Lions the lead, however an 83rd-minute objective from Helder Postiga ensured the sport can be heading to further time.
The Portuguese took the lead themselves within the a hundred and tenth minute because of a Rui Costa strike, however Lampard as soon as once more levelled the rating with a objective of his personal within the a hundred and fifteenth minute – it was going to penalties.
It was the hosts who gained out on spot kicks after David Beckham and Darius Vassell each noticed their makes an attempt saved.
Oh, what may have been.
Euro 2012: Quarter-finals
England didn’t qualify for the 2008 version of the event, in order that they needed to wait eight years to try to transfer previous their heartbreak in Portugal, though, with how this one went, we aren’t too certain they did.
England had been positioned in Group D alongside France, Sweden and joint-hosts Ukraine.
Issues obtained off to an inexpensive begin as Roy Hodgson’s males performed out a 1-1 draw with the French. They did even higher within the second recreation, beating the Swedish 3-2, regardless of surrendering a 1-0 lead halfway by the second half.
A 1-0 win over Ukraine within the remaining group recreation noticed them advance to the quarter-finals, the place they might face Italy.
The sport was dreadfully boring and ended 0-0 after extra-time. It was as soon as once more a penalty shootout that stood between success and failure for England, and it as soon as once more led to heartbreak as each Ashley Younger and Ashley Cole missed their spot kicks at hand the Italians the win.
Euro 2016: Spherical of 16
The 2010s weren’t time for the English nationwide crew, and no event encapsulates that higher than the 2016 European Championship, which featured 24 groups for the primary time.
England had been positioned in a gaggle with Russia, Slovakia, and Wales. Of their opening recreation, England managed to throw away a 1-0 lead within the 92nd minute to attract with Russia, whereas the second recreation noticed them rating within the 92nd minute to beat Wales. The ultimate match noticed them play out a tedious 0-0 draw with Slovakia.
Regardless of taking part in poorly in all three video games, England had managed to qualify in second from the group and got a ‘dream’ draw as Iceland had been set to play them within the Spherical of 16.
Regardless that Iceland had drawn towards Portugal and Hungary and even crushed Austria, there was an amazing expectation that England would and may come away snug winners from the conflict, one thing that didn’t occur.
Wayne Rooney did give the Three Lions the lead when he scored a penalty within the fourth minute, however a sixth-minute equaliser from Ragnar Sigurðsson and an 18th-minute objective from Kolbeinn Sigþórsson flipped the sport on its head.
England seemed toothless for the remainder of the sport and got here away as deserved losers.
It is truthful to say that this outcome represented an actual low level for English soccer.
Euro 2020: Finalists
Right here we’re then, the latest version of the European Championships and, by far and away, England’s most profitable event.
The competitors kicked off a yr later than deliberate as a result of pandemic and was performed throughout a number of European nations, together with England.
Gareth Southgate had simply led his facet to a World Cup semi-final three years prior, and so whereas the Three Lions weren’t favourites, there was a component of expectation amongst followers.
The crew had been positioned in Group D alongside Croatia, the Czech Republic and Scotland. Issues obtained off to an honest begin as Southgate’s males performed out a 1-0 win over Croatia. That stated, the next 0-0 draw towards Scotland tempered folks’s expectations considerably.
The ultimate group recreation performed out very similar to the primary; Raheem Sterling scored England’s solely objective because the facet beat the Czechs 1-0. Two wins and a draw from the group was sufficient to qualify prime, which meant a last-16 tie towards the Germans.
There was a degree of cautious optimism amongst English followers heading into the sport, and targets from Sterling and Harry Kane validated these emotions because the Three Lions had lastly bested Die Mannschaft in a knockout recreation for the primary time because the World Cup remaining in 1966.
The quarter-finals noticed the crew put 4 previous Ukraine to arrange a nervy semi-final with Denmark. The sport passed off at Wembley Stadium, so there was an eerie silence when the Danes took the lead by Mikkel Damsgaard within the thirtieth minute.
Fortunately for the house crowd, Simon Kjær put the ball behind his personal web simply 9 minutes later to degree the rating. It might take further time to discover a winner, however England lastly took the lead when Kane scored within the 104th minute. It was simply Italy that now stood between England and footballing greatness.
With the crew enhancing because the event went on, there was a component of confidence amongst followers and pundits alike going into the sport, and it seemed like that confidence was well-placed when Luke Shaw opened the scoring simply two minutes in.
Nonetheless, as soon as they had been forward, England appeared to shrink additional and additional again into their shell, and after defending for a lot of the recreation, Italy lastly levelled the rating by Leonardo Bonucci. Additional time got here and went, and it was as soon as once more – because it at all times is – a penalty shootout that stood earlier than the English nationwide crew.
Sadly, everyone knows what occurred from right here.
Kane and Harry Maguire scored their penalties, however Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka all needed to endure the soul-crushing feeling of lacking theirs. Jordan Pickford carried out wonders between the sticks, nevertheless it simply wasn’t to be, and Italy claimed the title on English soil.
And there you’ve it, the story of England’s European Championships. It does not actually make for nice studying, does it? Hopefully, Southgate and co can change that in Germany subsequent summer time.