Top Five - England World Cup Performances
Published : 22 Jun 2010 11:10:34
Following England's abysmal 0-0 with Algeria last Friday, football.co.uk's Joe Strange remembers some of the Three Lions' best World Cup performances ahead of the must-win game with Slovenia tomorrow afternoon.
1. England v West Germany - 1966 World Cup Final
Apologies for being predictable, but it simply has to go down as England's greatest ever World Cup performance. As if winning the trophy wasn't enough, we beat the Germans in the final and it was at Wembley. Plus super Geoff Hurst bagged a hat-trick, the second goal falling well over the line might I add. Does it get any better? Probably not.
2. England v Argentina - 2002 World Cup Group Stage
The game which confirmed David Beckham as a national hero. After being sent-off during England's penalty shoot-out loss to Argentina in the 1998 tournament, Becks completed his transformation from villain to god with a bullet penalty to win the game. This passionate display from Sven Goran Eriksson's men also helped eliminate the Argies at the group stage – brilliant.
3. England v West Germany - 1990 World Cup Semi-final
So we might not have won, but Bobby Robson's men did the country proud at Italia '90. A great run through to the last four saw us come up against the old enemy once again, but unfortunately the boys couldn't replicate the heroics of 1966. The dreaded penalty shoot-out was our downfall as it took the gloss off an otherwise excellent display.
4. England v France - 1982 World Cup Group Stage
In their first appearance at a World Cup for 12 years, the Three Lions roared back onto the world stage with a convincing 3-1 victory over much-fancied France. Often remembered for Bryan Robson's goal after just 27 seconds, England secured a comfortable win over a side who eventually finished fourth in the tournament.
5. England v Portugal - 1966 World Cup Semi-final
Like Cristiano Ronaldo today, Portugal had arguably the world’s finest player in 1966. Eusebio had dragged his country past North Korea in the quarter-finals, scoring four of their five goals as they recovered from 3-0 down to win 5-3. But the prolific striker was no match for Bobby Moore and co as England won 2-1 to reach the World Cup final.