The England national football team represents England in international football competitions such as the World Cup and the European Championships. It is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is one of the highest-ranking national teams in Europe and is currently enjoying a six game winning streak in the lead up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The modern version of football originated in England.


Each of the four Home Nations of the United Kingdom has its own football association, domestic league and national team. Because the IOC does not accept regional representative teams, England does not compete in Olympic football. A Great Britain and Northern Ireland team will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics to be held in London. England and Northern Ireland have already confirmed that they will allow their players to play in this team.


England is by far the most successful of the Home Nations, having won the 1966 World Cup and the British Home Championship thirty-four times, as many as the other three nations have won together.




Shirt badge/Association crest


The Three Lions


The Football Association (The FA)


 Sven-Göran Eriksson,
2001 - July 2006

Most caps

Peter Shilton (125)

Top scorer

Sir Bobby Charlton (49)

Team colours

Team colours

Team colours

Team colours

Team colours

Home colours

Team colours

Team colours

Team colours

Team colours

Team colours

Away colours

First international
Scotland 0 - 0 England
(Partick, Scotland; 30 November 1872)

Largest win
N. Ireland 0 - 13 England
(Belfast, Northern Ireland; 18 February 1882)

Worst defeat
Hungary 7 - 1 England
(Budapest, Hungary; 23 May 1954)

World Cup


12 (First in 1950)

Best result

Winners, 1966

European Championship


7 (First in 1968)

Best result

Third, 1968, Semi-finals, 1996





1966 World Cup


Ramsey's prediction came true, and the 1966 World Cup was England's finest moment. Captained by Bobby Moore, England's "Wingless Wonders" dispatched Argentina and then Portugal to set up a final with West Germany at Wembley. England won 4-2 after extra time, with three goals from Geoff Hurst and one from Martin Peters. The game created the famous English catchphrase "They think it's all over... it is now!", which were BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme's words as Hurst scored his third goal in the 120th minute.






The Eriksson era


In 2001, the Swede Sven-Göran Eriksson was appointed as Keegan's successor, becoming the first foreign national to manage England. Eriksson turned around the team's 2002 World Cup campaign with a 5-1 victory over Germany. England came from behind with goals from Emile Heskey, Steven Gerrard and a Michael Owen hat-trick; all five England goals coming from Liverpool FC players. England ensured qualification after a tense final game against Greece; David Beckham scored from a free kick in the last seconds of the game to make the score 2-2 and put England top of their group on goal difference. In the finals in Japan and South Korea, England beat Argentina 1-0 in the group stage and reached the quarter-finals before being beaten 2-1 by the eventual winners Brazil.


In Euro 2004, England came top of their qualification group after drawing 0-0 away to Turkey in their final qualifier. In the finals, despite a last-minute loss to France in the group stage, England were favoured to do well, but having reached the quarter-final of the European tournament, for only the second time in its history, were knocked out in yet another penalty shootout, this time to hosts Portugal after a 2-2 draw in the quarter-finals.


The year 2005 saw Eriksson receive heavy criticism from fans for his defensive strategies and alleged lack of passion, his lack of communication with the players from the bench, and a perceived inability to change tactics when necessary in a game, as witnessed against Brazil in 2002. A 4-1 loss to Denmark in a friendly was followed by a humiliating 1-0 defeat to Northern Ireland in a 2006 World Cup qualifier, which despite a previously excellent qualifying record led to further criticism. An unconvincing 1-0 victory over Austria did nothing to relieve the pressure. However, despite these criticisms England qualified for the World Cup finals with one match to spare, and travel to Germany as group winners following a 2-1 victory and a much improved performance against Poland.


In their first friendly match following qualification for the World Cup, England beat Argentina 3-2 in Geneva, Switzerland, in a game many have described as England's best performance in a very long time.


The Swede has also received a degree of criticism during his time in charge for experimenting with his teams excessively during friendly matches, sometimes changing the entire eleven at half-time before FIFA ruled that only a maximum of six substitutions would be allowed in such games from 2004. He also received criticism from some quarters of the English media for 'cheapening' the captaincy of the England team by allowing lower-profile players such as Emile Heskey and Philip Neville to lead the team after substitutions. Critics making such claims are generally ignored as not being aware that only the player leading the team at kick-off is officially recorded as having captained England. A player inheriting the armband later on in a game is not an 'England captain' in the official sense.


Following revelations in the News of the World newspaper during January 2006, the Football Association decided to come to an agreement with Eriksson over his future and on 23 January 2006, it was announced that the Swede was to stand down after the summer's World Cup Finals. A number of possible successors were linked with the job; after a series of interviews that were widely criticized for their length, Portuguese national team manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was allegedly offered the job, but declined due to the relentless media pressure of the British press. On 4 May 2006, it was announced that Steve McClaren would succeed Eriksson after the World Cup. His first game in charge will be against Greece at Old Trafford on 6 August.



World Cup record


  • 1930 to 1938 - Did not enter

  • 1950 - Round 1

  • 1954 - Quarter-finals

  • 1958 - Round 1

  • 1962 - Quarter-finals

  • 1966 - Winners

  • 1970 - Quarter-finals

  • 1974 - Did not qualify

  • 1978 - Did not qualify

  • 1982 - Round 2

  • 1986 - Quarter-finals

  • 1990 - Semi-Finals

  • 1994 - Did not qualify

  • 1998 - Round 2

  • 2002 - Quarter-finals

  • 2006 - Qualified
























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  1. During the World Cup, many of the stadiums will be officially known by different names, as FIFA prohibits sponsorship of stadium names unless the stadium sponsors are also official FIFA sponsors. For example, Allianz Arena will be known during the competition as "FIFA World Cup Stadium, Munich" (or in German: "FIFA WM-Stadion München"). These new names are reflected in the table. Of the twelve hosting stadia, all but one (Leipzig) are in the former West Germany.

  2. Draw seedings

  3. http://eur.i1.yimg.com/eur.yimg.com/i/eu/fifa/regen.pdf FIFA official tournament rules (PDF)

  4. Guardian article on 'Group of Death'

  5. FOX Sports article on 'Group of Death'

  6. Official 2006 FIFA World Cup rules

  7. FIFA report on official song

  8. World Cup ticket sales, Which?

  9. ESPN Star broadcasts in Asian countries such as Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

  10. STAR TV description of ESPN

  11. ESPN Star corporate information

  12. For the first time ever, the state broadcaster RAI lost the bid for broadcasting. However, by law, it must broadcast all of the Italy national team games.

  13. HD will be available for free both in the terrestrial network and by Canal Digital satellite




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