The Great Tournament is about 2 months away from the opening match and the anticipation is great. The 2010 South Africa World Cup is almost here. Its now time to continue the previews of Group C teams with the island nation of England.
Official Name: The Football Association
Nickname: The Three Lions
FIFA Confederation: UEFA (Europe)
FIFA Code: ENG
How They Qualified: Won Group 6 of UEFA Qualifying
World Cup Appearances (Including 2010): 13
Best WC Finish:Champions, England 1966
World Cup Record (MP: Wins – Draws – Losses):55: 25W – 17D – 13L
Head Coach: Fabio Capello
Most Capped Player (# of caps): Peter Shilton (125)
All-Time Goal Scoring Leader (# of goals): Sir Bobby Charlton (49)
Brief Footballing History: England’s national team is the co-oldest national team in the world along with Scotland. England is considered the home of modern football as we known it and the nation’s crowning achievement was the 1966 World Cup triumph on home soil. Names like Alf Ramsey, Geoff Hurst, and Bobby Charlton became footballing legends after 1966.
Since 1966, England has failed to win a major international tournament and hasn’t even reached a final. Despite having one of the Top 3 domestic leagues in the world, England’s national team needs a World Cup victory to re-establish The Three Lions as a top footballing nation.
Player To Watch: England is loaded with well-known players like Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard but the one to watch is possibly the fastest player in the Premiership, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott. (AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)
Walcott is the successor to David Beckham on the right side and the 21-year old right winger is England’s most explosive attacker. The Arsenal man will be a terror to opposing defenses with his speed and dribbling ability. Walcott was a surprise member of the 2006 World Cup but didn’t get any PT, he should feature more prominently in South Africa.
Outlook: Under Fabio Capello’s direction, England is looking like a serious title contender much more than in World Cups past. England was impressive in blasting through their UEFA Qualifying group and getting past the group stage will not be enough. The way England has looked under Fabio Capello the motto has to be “Lift the trophy or bust.”
WC Group Schedule:
June 12 vs. USA
June 18 vs. Algeria
June 23 vs. Slovenia
Slovenia is the next to be analyzed in Group C