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The England men's national football team represents England in senior men's international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England.[3][4]

England
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Three Lions
AssociationThe Football Association
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachGareth Southgate
CaptainHarry Kane
Most capsPeter Shilton (125)
Top scorerWayne Rooney (53)
Home stadiumWembley Stadium
FIFA codeENG
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 4 Increase 1 (4 April 2019)[1]
Highest3 (August 2012[1])
Lowest27 (February 1996[1])
Elo ranking
Current 5 Increase 2 (27 March 2019)[2]
Highest1 (1872–1876, 1892–1911,
1966–1970, 1987–1988)
Lowest17 (11 June 1995)
First international
 Scotland 0–0 England 
(Partick, Scotland; 30 November 1872)
Biggest win
 England 13–0 Ireland 
(Belfast, Ireland; 31 July 1882)
Biggest defeat
 Hungary 7–1 England 
(Budapest, Hungary; 23 May 1954)
World Cup
Appearances15 (first in 1950)
Best resultChampions (1966)
European Championship
Appearances9 (first in 1968)
Best resultThird place (1968)
UEFA Nations League Finals
Appearances1 (first in 2019)

England is one of the two oldest national teams in football, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872. England's home ground is Wembley Stadium, London, and their headquarters are at St George's Park, Burton upon Trent. The team's manager is Gareth Southgate. Although part of the United Kingdom, England's representative side plays in major professional tournaments, but not the Olympic Games.

Since first entering the tournament in 1950, England has qualified for the FIFA World Cup 15 times. They won the 1966 World Cup, when they hosted the finals, and finished fourth in 1990 and 2018. Since first entering in 1964, England have never won the UEFA European Championship, with their best performances being a third-place finish in 1968 and 1996, the latter as hosts.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Early yearsEdit

 
The England team before a match against Scotland at Richmond in 1893

The England national football team is the joint-oldest in the world; it was formed at the same time as Scotland. A representative match between England and Scotland was played on 5 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, played at Hamilton Crescent in Scotland, is viewed as the first official international football match, because the two teams were independently selected and operated, rather than being the work of a single football association.[5] Over the next 40 years, England played exclusively with the other three Home Nations—Scotland, Wales and Ireland—in the British Home Championship.

At first, England had no permanent home stadium. They joined FIFA in 1906 and played their first ever games against countries other than the Home Nations on a tour of Central Europe in 1908. Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923 and became their home ground. The relationship between England and FIFA became strained, and this resulted in their departure from FIFA in 1928, before they rejoined in 1946. As a result, they did not compete in a World Cup until 1950, in which they were beaten in a 1–0 defeat by the United States, failing to get past the first round in one of the most embarrassing defeats in the team's history.[6]

Their first defeat on home soil to a foreign team was a 0–2 loss to the Republic of Ireland, on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary, was their second defeat by a foreign team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1. This stands as England's largest ever defeat. After the game, a bewildered Syd Owen said, "it was like playing men from outer space".[7] In the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, and lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay.

Walter Winterbottom and Alf RamseyEdit

 
Elizabeth II presenting England captain Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet trophy following England's 4–2 victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final

Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as England's first ever full-time manager in 1946, the team was still picked by a committee until Alf Ramsey took over in 1963. The 1966 FIFA World Cup was hosted in England and Ramsey guided England to victory with a 4–2 win against West Germany after extra time in the final, during which Geoff Hurst famously scored a hat-trick. In UEFA Euro 1968, the team reached the semi-finals for the first time, being eliminated by Yugoslavia.

England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning champions, and reached the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by West Germany. England had been 2–0 up, but were eventually beaten 3–2 after extra time. They failed in qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, leading to Ramsey's dismissal.

Don Revie, Ron Greenwood and Bobby RobsonEdit

Ramsey was succeeded by Don Revie between 1974 and 1977, but the team failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 1976 and the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Under Ron Greenwood, they managed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain (the first time competitively since 1962); despite not losing a game, they were eliminated in the second group stage.

Bobby Robson managed England from 1982 to 1990. Although the team failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 1984, they reached the quarter-finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup, losing 2–1 to Argentina in a game made famous by two goals by Maradona for very contrasting reasons. England striker Gary Lineker finished as the tournament's top scorer with six goals.

England went on to lose every match at UEFA Euro 1988. They next achieved their second best result in the 1990 FIFA World Cup by finishing fourth – losing again to West Germany in a semi-final finishing 1–1 after extra time, then 3–4 in England's first penalty shoot-out. Despite losing to Italy in the third place play-off, the members of the England team were given bronze medals identical to the Italians'. The England team of 1990 were welcomed home as heroes and thousands of people lined the streets for a spectacular open-top bus parade.

Graham Taylor, Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle and Kevin KeeganEdit

The 1990s saw four England managers follow Robson, each in the role for a relatively brief period. Graham Taylor was Robson's immediate successor. England failed to win any matches at UEFA Euro 1992, drawing with tournament winners Denmark and later with France, before being eliminated by host nation Sweden. The team then failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup after losing a controversial game against the Netherlands in Rotterdam, which resulted in Taylor's resignation.

Between 1994 and 1996, Terry Venables managed the team. At UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, they equalled their best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-finals as they did in 1968, before exiting via a penalty shoot-out loss to Germany.[8] England striker Alan Shearer was the tournament's top scorer with five goals. Venables resigned following investigations into his financial activities.[9]

Venables' successor, Glenn Hoddle, similarly left the job for non-footballing reasons after just one international tournament – the 1998 FIFA World Cup — in which England were eliminated in the second round again by Argentina and again on penalties (after a 2–2 draw). Following Hoddle's departure, Kevin Keegan took England to UEFA Euro 2000, but the team left in the group stage and he resigned shortly afterwards.

Sven-Göran Eriksson, Steve McClaren and Fabio CapelloEdit

 
The England team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup

Sven-Göran Eriksson took charge between 2001 and 2006, and was the team's first non-English manager. He guided England to the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2004 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. England lost only five competitive matches during his tenure, and England rose to number four in the world ranking under his guidance. Eriksson's contract was extended by the FA by two years, to include UEFA Euro 2008, but was terminated by them after the 2006 World Cup.

Steve McClaren was then appointed as head coach, but after failing to qualify for Euro 2008 was sacked on 22 November 2007. The following month, he was replaced by a second foreign manager, Italian Fabio Capello, whose experience included spells at Juventus and Real Madrid. England won all but one of their qualifying games for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but at the tournament itself, England drew their opening two games; this led to questions about the team's spirit, tactics and ability to handle pressure.[10] They progressed to the next round, however, where they were beaten 4–1 by Germany, their heaviest defeat in a World Cup finals tournament match. In February 2012, Capello resigned from his role as England manager, following a disagreement with the FA over their request to remove John Terry from team captaincy after accusations of racial abuse concerning the player.[11]

Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce and Gareth SouthgateEdit

In May 2012, Roy Hodgson was announced as the new manager, just six weeks before UEFA Euro 2012.[12] England managed to finish top of their group, but exited the Championships in the quarter-finals via a penalty shoot-out, against Italy.[13] In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, England were eliminated at the group stage for the first time since the 1958 World Cup, and the first time at a major tournament since Euro 2000.[14] England qualified unbeaten for UEFA Euro 2016,[15] but were ultimately eliminated in the Round of 16, losing 2–1 to Iceland.[16] Hodgson resigned as manager immediately,[17] and just under a month later was replaced by Sam Allardyce.[18] After only 67 days Allardyce resigned from his managerial post by mutual agreement, after alleged breach of rules of the FA, making him the shortest serving permanent England manager.[19]

 
The England line-up before the last match of group G against Belgium, 28 June 2018

Gareth Southgate, then the coach of the England under-21 team, was put in temporary charge of the national team until November of that year,[20] before being given the position on a permanent basis.[21] Under Southgate, England qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup[22] and came second in their group at the tournament.[23][24] They defeated Colombia on penalties in the first knock-out round,[25][26] and then beat Sweden 2–0 in the quarter-final to reach only their third World Cup semi-final.[27][28] In the semi-final, they were beaten 2–1 in extra time by Croatia[29][30][31] and then were beaten by Belgium for a second time, 2–0, in the third place match.[32] England striker Harry Kane finished the tournament as top scorer with six goals.

Team imageEdit

ColoursEdit

 
England shirt for the 1966 World Cup final

England's traditional home colours are white shirts, navy blue shorts and white or black socks. The team has periodically worn an all-white kit.

Although England's first away kits were blue, England's traditional away colours are red shirts, white shorts and red socks. In 1996, England's away kit was changed to grey shirts, shorts and socks. This kit was only worn three times, including against Germany in the semi-final of Euro 1996 but the deviation from the traditional red was unpopular with supporters and the England away kit remained red until 2011, when a navy blue away kit was introduced. The away kit is also sometimes worn during home matches, when a new edition has been released to promote it.

England have occasionally had a third kit. At the 1970 World Cup England wore a third kit with pale blue shirts, shorts and socks against Czechoslovakia. They had a kit similar to Brazil's, with yellow shirts, yellow socks and blue shorts which they wore in the summer of 1973. For the World Cup in 1986 England had a third kit of pale blue, imitating that worn in Mexico 16 years before and England retained pale blue third kits until 1992, but they were rarely used.

Umbro first agreed to manufacture the kit in 1954 and since then has supplied most of the kits, the exceptions being from 1959–1965 with Bukta and 1974–1984 with Admiral. Nike purchased Umbro in 2008 and took over as kit supplier in 2013 following their sale of the Umbro brand.[33]

CrestEdit

The motif of the England national football team has three lions passant guardant, the emblem of King Richard I, who reigned from 1189 to 1199.[34] In 1872, English players wore white jerseys emblazoned with the three lions crest of the Football Association.[35] The lions, often blue, have had minor changes to colour and appearance.[36] Initially topped by a crown, this was removed in 1949 when the FA was given an official coat of arms by the College of Arms; this introduced ten Tudor roses, one for each of the regional branches of the FA.[35][37] Since 2003, England top their logo with a star to recognise their World Cup win in 1966; this was first embroidered onto the left sleeve of the home kit, and a year later was moved to its current position, first on the away shirt.[38]

KitsEdit