England’s loss to football minnow Iceland at Euro 2016 was a disaster and an embarrassment to one of the world’s great football nations and home to the best league in the world, the Premier League.
Incredibly, it also marked 50 years since England last triumphed in an international tournament, that being the 1966 World Cup, played at home, where Bobby Moore captained the team to a famous win over West Germany.
Since then its been one disaster after another: Maradona’s hand of God goal in 1986, and then an incredible six penalty shoot defeats at World Cups and European Championships.
Just how is this possible given all the great players who have donned the famous Three Lions jersey appears unfathomable. Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, Peter Shilton, David Seaman, Tony Adams, Stephen Gerrard, Wayne Rooney…the list goes on and on.
Perhaps this time we can blame it all on Brexit this time? This is how Gary Lineker reflected on it on Twitter:
The worst defeat in our history. England beaten by a country with more volcanoes than professional footballers. Well played Iceland.
Here’s the full list of failures:
England’s record in international tournaments since the 1966 World Cup triumph:
1970 World Cup: Quarterfinals (lost to W. Germany 3-2 in extra time)
1974 World Cup: Did not qualify
1978 World Cup: Did not qualify
1980 UEFA Euro: Group stage
1982 World Cup: 2nd round (round robin)
1984 UEFA Euro: Did not qualify
1986 World Cup: Quarterfinals (lost to Argentina 2-1)
1988 UEFA Euro: Group stage (lost all three games, including to Ireland)
1992 UEFA Euro: Group stage
1990 World Cup: Fourth (lost semi-final to Germany on penalties)
1994 World Cup: Did not qualify
1996 UEFA Euro: Semi-finals (lost to Germany on penalties)
1998 World Cup: Last 16 (lost to Argentina on penalties)
2000 UEFA Euro: Group stage
2002 World Cup: Quarterfinals (lost to Brazil 2-1)
2004 UEFA Euro: Quarterfinals (lost to Portugal on penalties)
2006 World Cup: Quarterfinals (lost to Portugal on penalties)
2008 UEFA Euro: Did not qualify
2010 World Cup: 2nd round (lost to Germany 4-1)
2012 UEFA Euro: Quarterfinals (lost to Italy on penalties)
2014 World Cup: Group stages
2016 UEFA Euro: Last 16 (lost to Iceland)