Tonight, at EURO16, England meet the tournaments smallest nation in the form of Iceland. On paper, this should be a walk in the park for the stars of the Premier League – but history might suggest otherwise!
Did you know it’s ten years since England last won a knockout match at a major international football tournament? The opponents on that day were Ecuador, who were ‘swept aside’ 1-0 (!) in Stuttgart on 25 June 2006, in that years World Cup 2006. Of course, in the next round Ronaldo winked his Portuguese team to a 3-1 win on penalties after Wayne Rooney got himself sent off!
Since that World Cup, England have failed to progress past the first knockout round of any major tournament – their record looks like this…
European Championship 2008 (in Austria and Switzerland): England fail to qualify after losing out to Russia and Croatia in Qualifying Group E.
World Cup 2010 (in South Africa): England fail to avoid a big name in the Second Round after the USA take top spot in the Group. They lose 4-1 to Germany to end their participation in South Africa.
European Championship 2012 (in Poland and Ukraine): After successfully winning their Group – a group which included France – England fall at the very next hurdle after they fail to score against Italy and then go out 4-2 on penalties.
World Cup 2014 (in Brazil): Utter disaster as England fail to even get out of the Group, finishing bottom after losing to Italy (2-1), Uruguay (also 2-1) and failing to beat Costa Rica (0-0) who ended up topping the group.
Are you still so sure we’ll win tonight?!