It remains a mystery to England fans that the country which invented football has had so little success on the international stage. A solitary World Cup is all the Three Lions have to show for their efforts despite having their fair share of talented teams over the years.
International football as a contest began with England in 1872 when they travelled to Scotland for the first ever game between two nations. It ended 0-0 and the two countries have shared a healthy rivalry ever since, stoked by regular matches between the two up until the late Eighties.
It is impossible to talk about England's football history without dwelling on 1966. That was the year everything came right for the Three Lions, winning the World Cup in their own back yard. The mythology surrounding that victory is as ingrained in the country's culture as Henry VIII or the Battle of Hastings and barely an England game goes by without some mention of it.
The climax of the tournament was dramatic, with an extra time victory over England's great rivals Germany, courtesy of a hat-trick from Geoff Hurst, the second goal of which is one of the most disputed strikes of all time. Hurst's shot rebounded off the underside of the bar and bounced out of the goal. The Russian linesman ruled it to have crossed the line and to this day no one is completely certain whether he was right or not.
England's performances since 1966 have flattered to deceive. Germany got their own back in the 1990 World Cup, beating England on penalties in the semi-final and then repeated the trick at Euro 96 at the same stage. Despite having one of the best domestic leagues in the world England still struggle at international level. Even with the likes of Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney in their ranks.