Progress slow over years for Three Lions ...
ENGLAND WERE appearing at their fourth World Cup in 1962 but only twice in history have the Three Lions gone further than the quarter-final stage that proved to be the limit for Walter Winterbottom’s men in Chile.
The peak, of course, came four years later on home soil as Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley as West Germany were beaten 4-2 after extra-time.
Defeat on penalties in 1990 then denied England a second appearance in the final, the Germans exacting revenge as misses by Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle sent Bobby Robson’s side tumbling out. Otherwise, England’s involvement in the World Cup finals has largely been a sorry tale with the tone set in 1950 via a shock defeat to the United States that led to elimination in the group stage.
It was the first of three tournaments that the Three Lions failed to reach the knockout stage (1958 & 2014), while 1998 and 2010 brought an exit in the round of 16. There was also an appearance in the second group stage in 1982, while 1962 was one of six defeats in the quarter-finals.
The most recent of those came under Sven Goran Eriksson in 2002 and 2006. Both were big disappointments at the time but the nation would surely take a repeat in Russia.