England has the best league in the world but has not played in a major final since 1966


England has proven over time that a country can have one of the best leagues in the world and still struggle to win major trophies at the international level.

In the history of club football especially in Europe, there has been a lingering debate that the English Premier League is the most competitive and best league in the world. Many agree with this perspective while others disagree.

Amidst this argument, the Three Lions of England which is the senior national team of the country has not been able to show that the country does not only have one of the best leagues in the world but a successful national team.

When the name England is mentioned in football, a long list of major trophies the national team has won should follow but that has not been the case. Year in and year out, they start every tournament as favorites and end most of them as one of the best four (aside from 1966).

As prominent as England is when it comes to football, the country should have won at least three FIFA World Cup, three UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League but that is far from the current reality of the country.

The best the country has gotten so far in the history of football is the 1966 FIFA World Cup trophy, a fourth-place finish in 1990, and the 2018 World Cups. As bad as it has been, the country finished third once in UEFA European Championship (1968).

Since then, the closest England came to winning the European Championship was a semi-final finish in 1996.

With all these at the back of the minds of the England internationals, coach Gareth Southgate and his boys are condemned to win the ongoing Euro 2020. Fortunately or unfortunately for them, the semi-finals and final of the tournament will be played at the Wembley Stadium on July 7 and July 11 respectively.

England captain Harry Kane and the country's head coach Gareth Southgate.
England captain Harry Kane and the country’s head coach Gareth Southgate.

The country has made it to the semi-finals of the tournament for the second time in a row. They will play against Denmark at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, July 7, which means that their supporters would dominate at the stands while the Three Lions attempt to break the jinx that has prevented the team from reaching the European Championship final.

In anticipation of the D-Day, the coach of the side, Gareth Southgate, said his team has knocked off so many perceived barriers and stressed that the team won’t feel satisfied if their journey in the tournament ends in the semi-finals once again.

“We’ve knocked off so many hoodoos or perceived barriers already and I feel like this group of players will feel this is just the next challenge,” Southgate said.

“I guess the interesting part for us is we won’t feel totally satisfied if it’s just a semi-final for us, whereas maybe three years ago, although there was a massive disappointment after the semi-final, there was a feeling we’d come a long way.

“Now we’ve replicated what we did there, but that won’t be enough to fulfill the group. That’s a positive sign.

“The other thing that is so positive, these young players – 18, 19, 20, 21 – are getting more experiences of England that are positive and enjoyable and they’re feeling what it can be like to be in an England shirt and have fun and win matches and have a relationship with the fans that is positive.

“That’s so important for a generation to come. We’ll get more out of their talent if we can keep that relationship with the fans.”

If England manage to beat Denmark in the semi-finals on Wednesday, they will face either Italy or Spain in Euro 2020 final on July 11, 2021, at Wembley Stadium.


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