A Brief History of the England National Soccer Team

MatthewA By MatthewA, 23rd Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3c00j_vr/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Sports>Sports

The England soccer team is one that has played in most of the World Cups. Overall, England teams date back to the 19th century, with a number of games played in the period. Largely, England teams played against the home nations, and so the serious soccer began in the 20th century.

A Brief History of the England National Soccer Team

While it is not actually referred to often, England's first games in international events were actually at the Olympics. England actually played in and won three Olympic gold medals in the 1900, 1908 and '12 games. These were the first international events won by the team.

With the emergence of the FIFA World Cup in 1930, the Olympics events ceased in 1934. However, England did not play in the first tournament as long as the FA did not allow them to enter. As such, England did not compete greatly against other teams. However, some notable exceptions include a 1934 game against the world champions Italy that the English won 3 - 2, and then also a 6 - 3 win over Germany in 1938. So England did seemingly have a very good team.

The appointment of Winterbottom as team manager in 1946 was significant. While the FA continued to select players, Winterbottom was a first team manager for the team. Winterbottom would remain manager up to the 1962 World Cup, and bring a number of approaches to coaching.

However, it would not be until 1950 that England played in their first World Cup. That tournament was a poor one for the team as defeats to Spain and USA saw them go out in the first round despite a first World Cup win against Chile.

In the early 1950s England also played Hungary twice. In 1953, Hungary played a friendly game at Wembley and were the first team to win there with a 6 - 3 win. This great Hungary team also played the English again a few months later and were able to win 7 - 1 overall. This second defeat remains a record defeat for any England team.

Further World Cups in the 1950s were a little better. The team reached the quarter-finals of the 1954 tournament.

However, it would not be until the 1960s that England's football team really became a top international side again. With the appointment of Alf Ramsey to replace Winterbottom, England played a 4 - 1 - 3 - 2 formation. The team had some great players such as Moore and Hurst who would win a first World Cup for England with a 4 - 2 defeat of Germany in the final at Wembley.

In 1968, England played in the European Championships. In this championship the world champions finished third.

England defended the Jules Rimet trophy in 1970. The team was seemingly as good as their predecessor, and progress was made into the quarter-finals. England lost 3 - 2 to Germany in the last eight.

The 1970s was a poor era for the national team. England twice failed to qualify for the FIFA cup, despite having players such as Keegan. They fared a little better in the 1976 European Championship, losing in the quarter-finals.

In the 1980s England qualified for the 1982 World Cup. Then in 1986 they reached the World Cup quarter-finals only to lose to Argentina 2 - 1. A dubious handball won that match for Argentina. However, in the 1988 European Championship they did not progress beyond the first round, losing to the Rep of Ireland and champions Holland.

The 1990 World Cup was a good one. Then the English progressed to the semi-finals after beating Cameroon in the quarter-finals. Against Germany in the semi-finals, they lost on penalties. Overall, England finished fourth in the cup after losing a playoff against Italy.

However, in 1994 England failed to qualify for the finals. In further World Cups since, England have reached the quarter-finals at best, losing to Portugal on penalties in Germany.

In more recent times, the FA have broken with tradition somewhat and appointed foreign managers. Eriksson was the first foreign manager of an England team, appointed in 2002. Then, with England failing to qualify for the European Championship, Cappello was appointed.

Most recently, England have qualified for the European Championship. With some more promising results in qualifying there is more room for optimism, but it remains to be seen whether this current team can really go the distance.


England, Football, Soccer, World Cup

Meet the author

author avatar MatthewA
Matthew is the author of the book Battles of the Pacific War 1941 - 1945. You can find further details at http://battlesofthepacificwar.blogspot.co.uk/.

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