England national football team

Nickname(s) The Three Lions
Association The Football Association
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Gareth Southgate
Captain Wayne Rooney
Most caps Peter Shilton (125)
Top scorer Wayne Rooney (53)
Home stadium Wembley Stadium
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 13 Decrease 1 (24 November 2016)
Highest 3 (August 2012)
Lowest 27 (February 1996)
Elo ranking
Current 10 Steady (2 December 2016)
Highest 1 (1872–1876
Lowest 16 (19 June 2014)
First international
 Scotland 0–0 England 
(Partick, Scotland; 30 November 1872)
Biggest win
 England 13–0 Ireland 
(Belfast, Ireland; 31 July 1882)
Biggest defeat
 Hungary 7–1 England 
(Budapest, Hungary; 23 May 1954)
World Cup
Appearances 14 (first in 1950)
Best result Champions, 1966
European Championship
Appearances 9 (first in 1968)
Best result Third place, 1968 & 1996

The England national football team represents England in international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England.[1][2]

England are one of the two oldest national teams in football; alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872. England's home ground is Wembley Stadium, London, and the current caretaker manager is Gareth Southgate. Although part of the United Kingdom, England has always had a representative side that plays in major professional tournaments, though not in the Olympic Games, as the IOC has always recognised United Kingdom representative sides.

England contest the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, which alternate biennially. In contesting for the World Cup seventeen times over the past sixty four years, England won the 1966 World Cup, when they hosted the finals, and achieved a semi final appearance in 1990. England have never won the UEFA European Football Championship – after fifteen attempts over fifty-six years – their best performances were semi final appearances at the 1968 and 1996 Championships, the latter of which they hosted.


The England team before playing a match against Scotland at Richmond in 1893.

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.[3] 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.[4]

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".[5] In the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, and lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay.

Queen Elizabeth II presenting England captain Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet trophy following England's 4–2 victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final

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.[6] 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.

The England team during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] England qualified for UEFA Euro 2016, with 10 wins from 10 qualifying matches,[13] but were ultimately eliminated in the Round of 16, losing 2–1 to Iceland, for the first time since the 2010 World Cup.[14] Hodgson resigned as manager immediately,[15] and just under a month later was replaced by Sam Allardyce.[16] 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.[17]

Team image

Media coverage

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.[18]


England shirt during 1966 World Cup final.

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.[19]

Kit evolution

WC 1950WC 1954WC 1958WC 1962
Home 2
vs Chile and
vs United States All the matchesAll the matches vs Argentinavs Hungaryvs Bulgaria
WC 1966Euro 1968WC 1970
Home 2
vs Uruguay, Mexico,
France and Portugal
vs Argentina vs West Germany vs Yugoslavia and
vs Romania
and Brazil
vs Czechoslovakia vs West Germany
Euro 1980WC 1982WC 1986Euro 1988WC 1990Euro 1992
Home 2
All the matches vs Czechoslovakia,
Kuwait and Spain
vs West Germany
and France
vs all except
vs Argentina All the matches All the matches All the matches
Euro 1996WC 1998Euro 2000WC 2002
Home 2
vs all except
vs Germany vs Tunisia
and Romania
vs Argentina vs Colombia vs Romania
and Portugal
vs Germany vs Sweden,
Denmark and Brazil
vs Argentina
and Nigeria
Euro 2004WC 2006WC 2010Euro 2012WC 2014
vs all except
vs Croatia vs all except
vs Sweden vs United States and
vs Slovenia and
vs all except
vs Sweden All the matches
Euro 2016
vs all except
vs Slovakia

Kit manufacturer

Manufacturer Period
England Umbro 1954–1961
England Bukta 1959–1965
England Umbro 1965–1974
England Admiral 1974–1984
England Umbro 1984–2013
United States Nike2013–


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.[20] The lions, often blue, have had minor changes to colour and appearance.[21] 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.[22][23] 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.[24]

Home stadium

Wembley Stadium during a friendly match between England and Germany

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.

Coaching staff

As of 30th November 2016
Manager England Gareth Southgate
Assistant Manager England Sammy Lee
First Team Coach England Steve Holland
Goalkeeping Coach Wales Martyn Margetson
First-Team Doctor England Ian Beasley
Fitness Coach England Chris Neville
Masseur England Mark Sertori
Physiotherapist England Gary Lewin


For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see List of England international footballers (alphabetical)

Current squad

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.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Joe Hart (1987-04-19) 19 April 1987 68 0 Italy Torino
13 1GK Tom Heaton (1986-04-15) 15 April 1986 2 0 England Burnley
23 1GK Jordan Pickford (1994-03-07) 7 March 1994 0 0 England Sunderland

2 2DF Nathaniel Clyne (1991-04-05) 5 April 1991 14 0 England Liverpool
3 2DF Danny Rose (1990-07-02) 2 July 1990 12 0 England Tottenham Hotspur
5 2DF Gary Cahill (third-captain) (1985-12-19) 19 December 1985 52 4 England Chelsea
6 2DF John Stones (1994-05-28) 28 May 1994 15 0 England Manchester City
12 2DF Kyle Walker (1990-05-28) 28 May 1990 23 0 England Tottenham Hotspur
16 2DF Phil Jagielka (1982-08-17) 17 August 1982 40 3 England Everton
18 2DF Michael Keane (1993-01-11) 11 January 1993 0 0 England Burnley
21 2DF Ryan Bertrand (1989-08-05) 5 August 1989 10 0 England Southampton
22 2DF Aaron Cresswell (1989-12-15) 15 December 1989 1 0 England West Ham United

4 3MF Eric Dier (1994-01-15) 15 January 1994 15 2 England Tottenham Hotspur
7 3MF Raheem Sterling (1994-12-08) 8 December 1994 29 2 England Manchester City
8 3MF Jordan Henderson (Vice-captain) (1990-06-17) 17 June 1990 32 0 England Liverpool
10 3MF Jesse Lingard (1992-12-15) 15 December 1992 3 0 England Manchester United
11 3MF Adam Lallana (1988-05-10) 10 May 1988 29 3 England Liverpool
14 3MF Theo Walcott (1989-03-16) 16 March 1989 47 8 England Arsenal
17 3MF Andros Townsend (1991-07-16) 16 July 1991 13 3 England Crystal Palace
19 3MF Jack Wilshere (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 34 2 England Bournemouth

9 4FW Jamie Vardy (1987-01-11) 11 January 1987 14 5 England Leicester City
15 4FW Daniel Sturridge (1989-09-01) 1 September 1989 25 8 England Liverpool
20 4FW Marcus Rashford (1997-10-31) 31 October 1997 6 1 England Manchester United

Recent call ups

The following players have also been called up to the England squad within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Fraser Forster (1988-03-17) 17 March 1988 6 0 England Southampton v.  Scotland, 11 November 2016
GK Alex McCarthy (1989-12-03) 3 December 1989 0 0 England Southampton v.  Slovakia, 4 September 2016
GK Jack Butland (1993-03-10) 10 March 1993 4 0 England Stoke City v.  Netherlands, 29 March 2016

DF Chris Smalling (1989-11-22) 22 November 1989 29 1 England Manchester United v.  Slovenia, 11 October 2016
DF Kieran Gibbs (1989-09-26) 26 September 1989 10 0 England Arsenal v.  Slovenia, 11 October 2016
DF Glen Johnson (1984-08-23) 23 August 1984 54 1 England Stoke City v.  Malta, 8 October 2016
DF Luke Shaw (1995-07-12) 12 July 1995 6 0 England Manchester United v.  Slovakia, 4 September 2016

MF Wayne Rooney (Captain) (1985-10-24) 24 October 1985 119 53 England Manchester United v.  Spain, 15 November 2016
MF Danny Drinkwater (1990-03-05) 5 March 1990 3 0 England Leicester City v.  Scotland, 11 November 2016
MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (1993-08-15) 15 August 1993 24 5 England Arsenal v.  Slovenia, 11 October 2016
MF Dele Alli (1996-04-11) 11 April 1996 15 2 England Tottenham Hotspur v.  Slovenia, 11 October 2016
MF Michail Antonio (1990-03-28) 28 March 1990 0 0 England West Ham United v.  Slovenia, 11 October 2016
MF Ross Barkley (1993-12-05) 5 December 1993 22 2 England Everton UEFA Euro 2016 squad
MF James Milner RET (1986-01-04) 4 January 1986 61 1 England Liverpool UEFA Euro 2016 squad
MF Fabian Delph (1989-11-21) 21 November 1989 9 0 England Manchester City v.  Turkey, 22 May 2016

FW Harry Kane (1993-07-28) 28 July 1993 17 5 England Tottenham Hotspur v.  Spain, 15 November 2016
FW Danny Welbeck (1990-11-26) 26 November 1990 34 14 England Arsenal v.  Netherlands, 29 March 2016


Results and fixtures