England is the cradle of football, but in all this time, this national team won only one major title, and that happened in 1966 when England became the world champion on home soil. The fact that England has never won a Euro title in history sounds almost unreal.
She missed a great opportunity for that at the previous Euro when the final was held at Wembley, but England was defeated by Italy after a penalty shootout, so she is still waiting for the title she will try to win in Germany. In Group C, England will compete with Denmark, Slovenia, and Serbia, so we shouldn’t expect any problems regarding the passage to the knockout phase.
England is the first favorite to win the title
England is currently, according to bookmakers’ estimates, the first favorite to win the title at the Euro next summer. Certainly, the fact that England has never won the title has a role in that assessment, and it is unnecessary to talk about how high-quality the English team is. England had great players in the past, but they never won the title. England achieved its two biggest successes when it was the host, and its best ranking was achieved at the last Euro when it experienced a shocking defeat by Italy in the final.
The English routinely secured placement in the knockout phase, and then Germany, Ukraine, and Denmark fell in order. However, England did not have the strength or concentration for the final shot because Italy was better after the penalty. The English did not make a name for themselves when taking penalty kicks because as many as three players missed their kicks and Gary Southgate had a rather strange choice of penalty taker.
Southgate made the decision that Rashford and Sancho, who stepped onto the field just a few minutes before the end of extra time, would take the penalties. They were not warmed up or focused enough and in the end the last penalty was missed by the young Bukayo Saka and the celebration of the Italians could begin. England missed a great opportunity that they had for the first time in history because they had never played in a Euro final before. Until that Euro, their biggest success was the semi-finals at UEFA Euro 1996, when they were defeated by Germany in the semi-finals after penalties.
It is interesting that all the players were accurate from the penalty spot except one, and that guy was today’s coach of England, Gary Southgate. Germany later won the title and became European champions for the third time, which is also their last title for now. England won third place in 1968, but only four national teams participated in the Euro. Then the English first experienced a defeat against Yugoslavia, but then they defeated the Soviet Union 2-0 in the fight for third place.
The leader of the team at the upcoming Euro will be Harry Kane, the captain and also the best scorer in the history of this national team. Kane moved to Germany last summer and is already terrorizing the nets of opposing goalkeepers wearing a Bayern shirt. In the past years, Kane recorded great performances for Tottenham but it was not enough for this team to win any trophy. Kane is now playing for a team that is competing for trophies on all fronts and this could contribute to him coming to this Euro with even more confidence.
The fact that the Euros are held in Germany seems to have contributed to Kane choosing Bayern over some other teams. Besides Kane, England has plenty of other great players who believe they can finally bring football back home. Under the baton of Gary Southgate, England have made huge progress in recent years. Let’s just remember the terrible performance of this national team at UEFA Euro 2016 when England lost to Iceland at the start of the knockout phase.
After that, Roy Hodgson left the bench and the new coach became Southgate, who until then led the U-21 team. Since then, the rise of England has started, reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of UEFA Euro 2022. The English have been waiting for a major title for almost 6 decades and Southgate is aware of the expectations in his country and believes that England can continue to play well in major tournaments.
“We are hugely excited to be part of the tournament, we know the expectation at home, we have developed a lot as a team over the last few years and we are getting used to these big games, so we are ready for that expectation and we hope we can give our supporters some more brilliant nights, like we have over the last few tournaments.”
As in previous years, England did not have any problems in qualifying for the Euro. She managed to take revenge on the Italians for the defeat in the final with two victories and to routinely take the first place in the group for which she has a real chance even at the Euro itself because she does not have overly difficult rivals.