Euro 2024: England the favourite that shouldn’t be one

Euro 2024: England the favourite that shouldn’t be one
Euro 2024: England the favourite that shouldn’t be one

After 90 painful minutes against Slovakia, the English fought their way into the quarter-finals. Many had expected the victory beforehand, although England’s record at European Championships is poor.

England, the motherland of football. The country of football legends such as George Best and Bobby Charlton. The country in which David Beckham’s right foot and also David Beckham’s left foot – to quote a film – matured into world stardom. England, the proud football nation. The Three Lions were once again among the favourites at this European Championship, as they often are. But a look at the history books shows that the English have never really impressed on the big stage of a European Championship. Let alone won a title.

At the last European tournament, the English almost managed to climb to the European football throne. But their dream of their first title was shattered at home in Wembley Stadium when they lost to the Italians. Never before had the English made it this far in a European Championship.

Poor record for England at European Championships

Apart from that, the English team’s record at European Championships is bleak. They have only managed to make it into the top three three times: in 1968, the Lions beat the USSR in the match for third place, and in 1996, the English team lost to Germany in the semi-finals. The match for third place was not played back then, so the ranking is not official.

They failed to qualify for the Euros five times, and failed to get past the preliminary round four times. Including the 2024 European Championship, they only reached the round of 16 twice and the quarter-finals twice. Instead of great successes, the English have so far achieved negative records. The Three Lions are now notorious for their performance in penalty shootouts. No other team has ever lost more. A curse that has followed England since the 1990 European Championship semi-finals and cost the Lions the title at the last European Championship. The English have had to compete in five penalty shootouts at European Championships so far, and have only won one.

England, the unlikely favorite

The English team’s performance at the European Championships is obviously poor. The fact that the Three Lions were once again counted among the best teams in Europe is mainly due to two things: the fact that they already had a taste of the title in 2021 and the fact that the team is brimming with superstars from the Premier League. On top of that, superstar Harry Kane is a striker for the Lions. The team’s biggest problem, it was rumored beforehand, was coach Gareth Southgate.

On Sunday evening, during the round of 16 match, it actually looked for a long time as if the European runners-up England would follow the example of the European champions Italy and say goodbye to the tournament. The British looked pale against Slovakia in their first knockout match of this European Championship, and were behind for a long time. It was only in injury time that Jude Bellingham equalized and prevented elimination, forcing extra time. Harry Kane added another goal shortly afterwards. The Lions barely managed to make it to the quarter-finals. An improbable turn of events.

Source: Stern

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