The England national football team is the joint-oldest in the world; it was formed at the same time as Scotland. A representative match between England and Scotland was played on 5 March 1870, having been organised by the Football Association. A return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872.
This match, played at Hamilton Crescent in Scotland, is viewed as the first official international football match, because the two teams were independently selected and operated, rather than being the work of a single football association. Over the next forty years, England played exclusively with the other three Home Nations—Scotland, Wales and Ireland—in the British Home Championship.
To begin with, England had no permanent home stadium. They joined FIFA in 1906 and played their first ever games against countries other than the Home Nations on a tour of Central Europe in 1908. Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923 and became their home ground. The relationship between England and FIFA became strained, and this resulted in their departure from FIFA in 1928, before they rejoined in 1946. As a result, they did not compete in a World Cup until 1950, in which they were beaten in a 1–0 defeat by the United States, failing to get past the first round in one of the most embarrassing defeats in the team's history.
Their first ever defeat on home soil to a foreign team was a 0–2 loss to the Republic of Ireland, on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary, was their second defeat by a foreign team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1. This still stands as England's worst ever defeat. After the game, a bewildered Syd Owen said, "it was like playing men from outer space". In the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, and lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay.
Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as England's first ever full-time manager in 1946, the team was still picked by a committee until Alf Ramsey took over in 1963. The 1966 FIFA World Cup was hosted in England and Ramsey guided England to victory with a 4–2 win against West Germany after extra time in the final, during which Geoff Hurst famously scored a hat-trick. In UEFA Euro 1968, the team reached the semi-finals for the first time, being eliminated by Yugoslavia.
England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning champions, and reached the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by West Germany. England had been 2–0 up, but were eventually beaten 3–2 after extra time. They failed in qualification for the 1974, leading to Ramsey's dismissal, and 1978 FIFA World Cups. Under Ron Greenwood, they managed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain (the first time competitively since 1962); despite not losing a game, they were eliminated in the second group stage.
The team under Bobby Robson fared better as England reached the quarter-finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup, losing 2–1 to Argentina in a game made famous by two goals by Maradona for very contrasting reasons, before losing every match in UEFA Euro 1988. They next went on to achieve their second best result in the 1990 FIFA World Cup by finishing fourth – losing again to West Germany in an semi-final finishing 1–1 after extra time, then 3–4 in England's first penalty shoot-out.
Despite losing to Italy in the third place play-off, the members of the England team were given bronze medals identical to the Italians’. The England team of 1990 were welcomed home as heroes and thousands of people lined the streets, for a spectacular open-top bus parade. However, the team did not win any matches in UEFA Euro 1992, drawing with tournament winners Denmark, and later with France, before being eliminated by host nation Sweden.
The 1990s saw four England managers, each in the role for a relatively brief period. Graham Taylor was Robson's successor, but resigned after England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, Terry Venables led England, equalling their best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-finals as they did in 1968.
He resigned following investigations into his financial activities. His successor, Glenn Hoddle, similarly left the job for non-footballing reasons after just one international tournament – the 1998 FIFA World Cup — in which England were eliminated in the second round again by Argentina and again on penalties (after a 2–2 draw). Following Hoddle's departure, Kevin Keegan took England to UEFA Euro 2000, but performances were disappointing and he resigned shortly afterwards.
Sven-Göran Eriksson took charge of the team between 2001 and 2006, and was the first non–English manager of England. Despite controversial press coverage of his personal life, Eriksson was consistently popular with the majority of fans. He guided England to the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2004, and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He lost only five competitive matches during his tenure, and England rose to a No.4 world ranking under his guidance. His contract was extended by the Football Association by two years, to include UEFA Euro 2008. However, it was terminated by them at the 2006 FIFA World Cup's conclusion.
Steve McClaren was then appointed as head coach, and was sacked unanimously by The Football Association on 22 November 2007, after failing to get the team to Euro 2008. The following month, he was replaced by a second foreign manager, Italian Fabio Capello, whose experience included stints at Juventus and Real Madrid.
England won all but one of their qualifying games for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but at the tournament itself, England drew their opening two games; this led to questions about the team's spirit, tactics and ability to handle pressure. They progressed to the next round, where they were beaten 4–1 by Germany, their heaviest defeat in a World Cup finals tournament match.
In February 2012, Capello resigned from his role as England manager, following a disagreement with the FA over their request to remove John Terry from team captaincy after accusations of racial abuse concerning the player. Following this, there was media speculation that Harry Redknapp would take the job. However, on 1 May 2012, Roy Hodgson was announced as the new manager, just six weeks before UEFA Euro 2012. England managed to finish top of their group, winning two and drawing one of their fixtures, but exited the Championships in the quarter-finals via a penalty shoot-out, this time to Italy.
In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, England were eliminated at the group stage for the first time since the 1958 World Cup, and the first time at a major tournament since Euro 2000. England's points total of one from three matches was its worst ever in the World Cup, obtaining one point from drawing against Costa Rica in their last match. England qualified for UEFA Euro 2016, with 10 wins from 10 qualifying matches, but were ultimately eliminated in the Round of 16, losing 2–1 to Iceland, for the first time since the 2010 World Cup. Hodgson resigned as manager immediately, and just under a month later was replaced by Sam Allardyce. After only 67 days Allardyce resigned from his managerial post by mutual agreement, after alleged breach of rules of the FA, making him the shortest serving permanent England manager.
All England matches are broadcast with full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live. From the 2008–09 season until the 2017–18 season, England's home and away qualifiers, and friendlies both home and away are broadcast live on ITV (often with the exception of STV, the ITV affiliate in central and northern Scotland). England's away qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup were shown on Setanta Sports until that company's collapse. As a result of Setanta Sports's demise, England's World Cup qualifier in Ukraine on 10 October 2009 was shown in the United Kingdom on a pay-per-view basis via the internet only. This one-off event was the first time an England game had been screened in such a way. The number of subscribers, paying between £4.99 and £11.99 each, was estimated at between 250,000 and 300,000 and the total number of viewers at around 500,000.
England's traditional home colours are white shirts, navy blue shorts and white or black socks. The team has periodically worn an all-white kit.
Although England's first away kits were blue, England's traditional away colours are red shirts, white shorts and red socks. In 1996, England's away kit was changed to grey shirts, shorts and socks. This kit was only worn three times, including against Germany in the semi-final of Euro 96 but the deviation from the traditional red was unpopular with supporters and the England away kit remained red until 2011, when a navy blue away kit was introduced. The away kit is also sometimes worn during home matches, when a new edition has been released to promote it.
England have occasionally had a third kit. At the 1970 World Cup England wore a third kit with pale blue shirts, shorts and socks against Czechoslovakia. They had a kit similar to Brazil's, with yellow shirts, yellow socks and blue shorts which they wore in the summer of 1973. For the World Cup in 1986 England had a third kit of pale blue, imitating that worn in Mexico sixteen years before and England retained pale blue third kits until 1992, but they were rarely used.
Umbro first agreed to manufacture the kit in 1954 and since then has supplied most of the kits, the exceptions being from 1959–1965 with Bukta and 1974–1984 with Admiral. Nike purchased Umbro in 2008 and took over as kit supplier in 2013 following their sale of the Umbro brand.
The motif of the England national football team has three lions passant guardant, the emblem of King Richard I, who reigned from 1189 to 1199. The lions, often blue, have had minor changes to colour and appearance. Initially topped by a crown, this was removed in 1949 when the FA was given an official coat of arms by the College of Arms; this introduced ten Tudor roses, one for each of the regional branches of the FA. Since 2003, England top their logo with a star to recognise their World Cup win in 1966; this was first embroidered onto the left sleeve of the home kit, and a year later was moved to its current position, first on the away shirt.
For the first fifty years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country. They initially used cricket grounds before later moving on to football clubs' stadiums. The original Empire Stadium was built in Wembley, London, for the British Empire Exhibition.
England played their first match at the stadium in 1924 against Scotland and for the next 27 years Wembley was used as a venue for matches against Scotland only. The stadium later became known simply as Wembley Stadium and it became England's permanent home stadium during the 1950s. In October 2000, the stadium closed its doors, ending with a defeat.
This stadium was demolished during the period of 2002–2003, and work began to completely rebuild it. During this time, England played at a number of different venues across the country, though by the time of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification, this had largely settled down to having Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium as the primary venue, with Newcastle United's St. James' Park used on occasions when Old Trafford was unavailable.
They returned to the new Wembley Stadium in March 2007. The stadium is now owned by the Football Association, via its subsidiary Wembley National Stadium Limited.As of 6th December 2016
For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see
List of England international footballers (alphabetical)
The following players have been called up for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Scotland on 11 November 2016 and Friendly Match against Spain on 15 November 2016.
Caps and goals updated as of 15 November 2016 after the match against Spain.
The following players have also been called up to the England squad within the last twelve months.
Notes:RET Retired from the national team
Updated 11 November 2016.
Players in bold are still active at club level.
Players with an equal number of caps are ranked in chronological order of reaching the milestone.
Goalscorers with an equal number of goals are ranked with the highest to lowest goals per game ratio.
Updated 11 November 2016.
Players in bold are still active at club level.For the all-time record of the national team against opposing nations, see the team's all-time record page
England first appeared at the 1950 FIFA World Cup and have appeared in 14 FIFA World Cup Finals tournaments, tied for sixth best by number of appearances. They are also tied for sixth by number of wins, alongside France and Spain. The national team is one of eight national teams to have won at least one FIFA World Cup title. The England team won their first and only World Cup title in 1966. The tournament was played on home soil and England defeated Germany 4–2 in the final. In 1990, England finished in fourth place, losing 2–1 to host nation Italy in the third place play-off, after losing on penalties to champions Germany in the semi-final. The team has also reached the quarter-final on two recent occasions in 2002 and 2006. Previously, they reached this stage in 1954, 1962, 1970 and 1986.
England failed to qualify for the World Cup in 1974, 1978 and 1994. The team's earliest exit in the competition itself was its elimination in the first round in 1950, 1958 and most recently in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, after being defeated in both their opening two matches for the first time, versus Italy and Uruguay in Group D. In 1950, four teams remained after the first round, in 1958 eight teams remained and in 2014 sixteen teams remained. In 2010, England suffered its most resounding World Cup defeat (4–1 to Germany) in the Round of 16, after drawing with the United States and Algeria and defeating Slovenia 1–0 in the group stage.
Winners Runners-up Third place Fourth place *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks. Darker color indicates win, normal color indicates lost.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.
****England played all of their 2002 matches in Japan.
England have achieved moderate success at the UEFA European Football Championship, having finished in third place in 1968 and reached the semi-final in 1996. England hosted Euro 96 and have qualified for nine UEFA European Championship Finals tournaments, tied for fourth best by number of appearances. The team has also reached the quarter-final on two recent occasions, in 2004 and 2012. The team's worst result in the competition was a first-round elimination in 1980, 1988, 1992, 2000 and UEFA Euro 2016/2016. The team did not enter in 1960, and they failed to qualify in 1964, 1972, 1976, 1984, and 2008.*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
Major:FIFA World Cup
Fourth place (1):
UEFA European Championship
Semi finalists (2):
Regional:British Home Championship
(including 20 shared)
Winners (3): 1986, 1988, 1989
Minor:FA Summer Tournament
Tournament of France
England Challenge Cup
Other:FIFA Fair Play Trophy:
Unofficial:Unofficial Football World Championships:
Matches as Champion: 88
Reigns as Champion: 21