Euro 96 was an iconic competition for many reasons. It was a summer when England reached the semi-finals and the old Wembley stadium rocked to the sound of the Three Lions.
25 years ago today Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds released “Three Lions”.
– Stu’s football flashbacks (@stusfootyflash) May 20, 2021
The oldest rivalry in football
One of the tournament’s most memorable moments came when England faced Scotland in the group stage. England struggled early in this game and may have been lucky not to have conceded an equalizer on the penalty spot. Minutes later, however, Paul Gascoigne scored one of England’s great goals.
This tournament in 2021 sees the old enemies play out again. Who will have a moment like Paul Gascoigne? Those who bet on football at Space Casino will see that England are one of the big favorites to win this match and then to win Group D.
Scotland have players such as Manchester United’s Scott McTominay and Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson both playing at the top level and could cause England problems, but the Three Lions’ depth of attack will be impatient.
Home advantage in 2021
This summer’s competition has a slightly different format with matches played across Europe meaning England will have the home advantage in the group stages.
The Three Lions will want to be at the top of their group as that would mean their round of 16 game will be played at Wembley and not Copenhagen or Budapest. If they progress, the semi-finals and the final will also be played in their home stadium. With the crowds returning, that could give them a huge advantage.
Unlike Euro 96, England are in good shape in preparation for the tournament. England hadn’t even qualified for the World Cup two years earlier and struggled in the warm-up matches 25 years ago.
Beyond the semi-finals
England’s race to the semi-final at the 2018 World Cup was their best run in a tournament since reaching the Euro 96 semi-final. Will they finally be able to do better and reach the final in 2021? It would be their first final since the historic 1966 World Cup. The members of this team have been legends since and the commentary on the fourth and final goal has become just as iconic. “They think it’s all over.
Will Phil Foden, Harry Kane and Harry Maguire emulate Sir Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore and Paul Gascoigne who have all put on memorable tournaments for the England national team?
The legacy of Euro 96
There has been a lot of talk about the Euro 96 legacy. Was it successful or is it just rose-tinted glasses for the locals? This interesting article from Eurosport argued that outside of England it was considered an unforgettable tournament. Despite this, English fans believe it is a turning point in the relationship between the national team and their fans. ITV even produced a documentary looking at its impact.
Will this tournament have a bigger legacy than Euro 96 and will it be remembered even more in 25 years?
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