Southgate building a new England – after half a century of struggles

by | Jul 11, 2021

SUNDAY’S European Championship final at Wembley was England’s first in the competition’s history and only their second final in 71 years of international tournaments.

Football still hasn’t come home – 55 years after the nation’s only success so far – but Gareth Southgate’s men have gone closer than any England side have since Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup in 1966.

England have so far won the World Cup once and reached the semi-finals twice – in 1990 and 2018 – and their best performances at the Euros prior to this tournament were semi-finals in their first tournament in 1968 and again in 1996.

Three FIFA World Cups had already taken place before England’s first entry in 1950, and it was another 18 years before they took part in their first European Championships tournament – two years after winning the World Cup.

Prior to Southgate’s reign, which has so far produced a World Cup semi-final and a Euros final in his two tournaments in charge, England benefitted from home advantage when winning the World Cup in 1996 and reaching the semi-finals at Euro 96.

Euro 2020 was as close as it gets to a home tournament – and a Euros semi-final and final and World Cup glory is not a bad return from two tournaments on home soil and a third with all but one of England’s games taking place at Wembley.

Now, after reaching a World Cup semi-final and Euros final, Southgate’s mission is to go one step further at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Here is a look at the 71-year history of England’s involvement in the World Cup and European Championship so far…

1930 World Cup (Uruguay) – Did not enter (not a FIFA member)

1934 World Cup (Italy) – Did not enter (not a FIFA member)

1938 World Cup (France) – Did not enter (not a FIFA member)

1950 World Cup (Brazil) – Group stage

1954 World Cup (Switzerland) – Quarter-finals

1958 World Cup (Sweden) – Group stage

1960 Euros (France) – Did not enter

1962 World Cup (Chile) – Quarter-finals

1964 Euros (Spain) – Did not qualify

1966 World Cup (England) – WINNERS

1968 Euros (Italy) – Semi-finals

1970 World Cup (Mexico) – Quarter-finals

1972 Euros (Belgium) – Did not qualify

1974 World Cup (West Germany) – Did not qualify

1976 Euros (Yugoslavia) – Did not qualify

1978 World Cup (Argentina) – Did not qualify

1980 Euros (Italy) – Group stage

1982 World Cup (Spain) – Second group stage

1984 Euros (France) – Did not qualify

1986 World Cup (Mexico) – Quarter-finals

1988 Euros (West Germany) – Group stage

1990 World Cup (Italy) – Semi-finals

1992 Euros (Sweden) – Group stage

1994 World Cup (USA) – Did not qualify

1996 Euros (England) – Semi-finals

1998 World Cup (France) – Last 16

2000 Euros (Belgium & The Netherlands) – Group stage

2002 World Cup (South Korea & Japan) – Quarter-finals

2004 Euros (Portugal) – Quarter-finals

2006 World Cup (Germany) – Quarter-finals

2008 Euros (Austria & Switzerland) – Did not qualify

2010 World Cup (South Africa) – Last 16

2012 Euros (Poland & Ukraine) – Quarter-finals

2014 World Cup (Brazil) – Group stage

2016 Euros (France) – Last 16

2018 World Cup (Russia) – Semi-finals

2020 Euros (Europe) – Final

Italics – Did not enter / Did not qualify

Bold – Progressed beyond the initial group stage