England Football Team

It's a bit ironic that the England soccer team, although always considered one of the toughest in any competition they take part in, only has one trophy to boast with on the World Cup and European Cup stages. Oftentimes, the England soccer team was compared to the Spanish one, who always had enormously talented players in the squad, but didn't get a lot of silverware in its century-old existence.
But the English fans sob over this fact enough as it is, so let's leave that part of England's soccer team behind and focus on its good parts. Like I said earlier, it's still a tough competitor in any competition, but somehow it seems luck always runs out for them when needed the most.
Almost all of England's knock outs from European or World Cups in the past 2 decades were marked by a controversy or a full fledged scandal. But before getting here, let's take a short look inside a more romantic period of time for soccer and see how the England national soccer team evolved throughout time.
England Soccer Team – Early Period
With soccer being "professionalized" in England as of 1863 when the Football Association was formed and the "Laws of the Game" constitution written, England almost immediately formed a national squad from the various teams around London and the entire country, who were already playing semi-professional matches for a few decades. Actually, the English national team is the oldest in the World, alongside the Scottish one.
The two teams "debuted" together, as they played their first match against one another in 1872, starting what would be known as an extremely long rivalry.

England Soccer Team – Lost Opportunities
By the start of the 20th century, FIFA had already formed throughout Europe and was acting as the dominating organization relating to soccer.
England joined FIFA and their rules in 1906, but the relationship between the more conservatory Football Association and the ever changing FIFA resulted in England's departure in 1928.After the Second World War, FIFA was also acting towards reuniting Europe through soccer and the England soccer team re-joined the organization.
However in the time spent outside of FIFA, England was ineligible to play in three World Cups, the ones from 1930, 1934 and 1938. Many speculate that, having a very powerful team back then, the English national soccer team could have easily won the World Cup and have a heavier trophy room now.
England Soccer Team – 1966 World Cup - Expectations
England's comeback to FIFA also brought up expectation of success, but 4 consecutive World Cups, starting with the one in 1950 in Brazil, they did not manage to get a trophy nor even a final. When it was announced that England will host the World Cup in 1966, the failing hopes of the fans were lit up again, especially that England had a powerful team at that point.
With players such as Geoff Hurst, Bobby Charlton, Roger Hunt or Martin Peters in the England soccer team, these expectations proved not to be in vain, as England managed to top a group stage with 3 tough teams: Uruguay, France and Mexico.
In the quarters, they met a surprisingly strong Argentina team, who they barely bested 1-0, then went on to face what was becoming many a specialist's favorite in the tournament, Portugal. Lead by Eusebio, Portugal proved to be a tough nut to crack for the home side, but England eventually won 2-1, both goals being scored by Bobby Charlton.
England Soccer Team – 1966 World Cup - The Final
Then came the dramatic final, played on the "cathedral of soccer", the Wembley Stadium, against a pragmatic and very modern West Germany side lead by Franz Beckenbauer. The Germans were not hindered by the 80,000 English fans cheering for their team and managed to score early, Haller finding the net in the 12th minute.
However, Geoff Hurst would bring the air back in the fans lungs 6 minutes later, as he got the equalizer. Both teams cancelled each other out, until Martin Peters struck what was thought of as a decisive goal, in the 78th minute, but knowing the Germans and their strength of will, it was only to be expected that they equalize and that they did 2 minutes before the final whistle, bringing agony in the hearts of the English national soccer team's fans.
Back then, Extra Time had no additional rules, so another full 30 minutes of hope were in place for them.
Although Franz Beckenbauer's side was admirable in their fight, they proved no match for Geoff Hurst, who played the performance of his life on that particular day. His shot found the post in the 98th minute, but it swirled down past the goal line, then came back onto the pitch and the referee awarded a controversial goal.
Many would have still doubted England's soccer team and its success in 1966, due to this controversial goal, if not for another strike from Geoff Hurst, 1 minute before the end of Extra Time, when he dribbled through a shocked German defense and scored his hattrick of the day, triggering an outburst of crowd onto the pitch.


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