Will England ever win a World Cup again?

You’d need to go back 54 years now to remember the one and only time that England were crowned champions of the footballing world. A 4-2 win over rivals West Germany saw the World Cup coming back to the home of football.

It was the great football commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme who brought us those words that will forever be in the minds of English football fans: “They think it’s all over. It is now!”. It could have easily been a different story with England going a goal down in the first 12 minutes, and a bet on soccer live odds may well have been best placed on West Germany at this point.

With Qatar 2022 only a year away, England may have the chance to finally repeat their past glory. It has been a long and bumpy road, but could 2022 be the turning point for the three lions?

 Italia ‘90

England have come close to reaching the final again since 1966. It was the cruel semi-final of Italia ’90 that saw them missing out on penalties. With England being the stronger team for much of the first 90 minutes, and into extra time, the team were knocked out on penalties by Germany.

With the score fixed at 1-1, Lineker, Beardsley, and Platt comfortably put away England’s first three penalties. Perhaps most remembered though were the next two where Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle failed to find the back of the net. With Gazza in tears, England were out and had to settle for 4th place. This seemed to be the start of something big for England, but the next world cup brought the nation’s hopes crashing back down to earth.

USA 1994

With the nation still on a high from England’s performance during Italia ’90, hopes were high for the England team of 1994. A chance to build on what had been delivered 4 years earlier, Graham Taylor’s men were poised to go at least one step further and to reach the World Cup final. As the record shows, that was not to be

Drawn in what should have been a relatively easy qualifying group, England failed to make the grade. With defeats at the hands of Norway and the Netherlands, England managed to come away third in the table, above Poland, Turkey, and San Marino. Disappointing and embarrassing for a team that had reached the semi-finals in the previous campaign.

2018 and new hope

Being led by Gareth Southgate, who had experienced the highs and lows as a player himself, England started their 2018 campaign as they meant to go on. The team shone as they breezed into the final 16: it finally felt that this was England’s time and that the World Cup would be returning home.

As is often the case with England, the campaign in Russia fell short with the team being knocked out in the semi-finals. This time it was a goal in extra time from Croatia that ended England’s dream. However, what England fans had to take away from this World Cup run was that Southgate had nurtured and developed new talent: this talent will be set to mature as England enter the 2022 tournament.

Qatar 2022

Drawn in Group I, England have Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, and San Marino to face on the road to qualification. Where Poland may pose a slight risk, this England team should breeze through qualification.

With Harry Kane maturing as a captain and still being regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, England enters the 2022 campaign with a sense of hope all over again. This hope isn’t misplaced: Southgate has worked wonders with the England team and focused on bringing through fresh talent. If Russia 2018 was a rehearsal, Qatar 2022 is set to be the real thing: the year that England lifts the World Cup and bring football home.