Under the stewardship of Gareth Southgate, the men’s England football team have been more effective than they have for decades. Fans of the Three Lions go into tournaments with hope in their hearts (rather than fear in their heads) and though Southgate hasn’t led his side to glory just yet, there is a feeling that maybe, just maybe, Euro 2024 could be England’s time.
In this article, we’ll assess whether England do indeed stand a decent chance of going all the way in Germany. We’ll start by taking a brief look at England’s past performances in the Euros, then we’ll examine some of the biggest threats to the Three Lions. Finally, we’ll seek out reasons to be optimistic about England’s chances of ending what would be 58 years of hurt!
England’s Euros Record
Let’s take a look back at how England got on at previous European Championships. As you might be aware, England have never won the Euros, but here we show how far they got at each tournament.
|Year (Host)||Stage of Elimination|
|1960 (France)||Didn’t enter|
|1964 (Spain)||Didn’t qualify|
|1968 (Italy)||Third place (of four teams)|
|1972 (Belgium)||Didn’t qualify|
|1976 (Yugoslavia)||Didn’t qualify|
|1980 (Italy)||Group stage (sixth of eight teams)|
|1984 (France)||Didn’t qualify|
|1988 (West Germany)||Group stage (seventh of eight teams)|
|1992 (Sweden)||Group stage (seventh of eight teams)|
|1996 (England)||Semi-finals (third of 16 teams)|
|2000 (Belgium & Netherlands)||Group stage (11th of 16 teams)|
|2004 (Portugal)||Quarter-finals (fifth of 16 teams)|
|2008 (Austria & Switzerland)||Didn’t qualify|
|2012 (Poland & Ukraine)||Quarter-finals (fifth of 16 teams)|
|2016 (France)||Round of 16 (12th of 24 teams)|
|2020 (Pan-European)||Runners-up (second of 24 teams)|
England Main Rivals at Euro 2024
At the time of writing, the qualification competition for Euro 2024 is just getting underway, so it is difficult to predict exactly which teams will be there. But one team who will certainly be present will be the hosts Germany. After an abysmal (by their high standards) World Cup in Qatar, Die Mannschaft will be desperate to perform, especially as they’ll be competing in front of their own fans on home soil.
Although Germany have won the tournament three times (a joint-record with Spain), they haven’t done so since 1996, and the last time they hosted they were knocked out in the semis. Overall, if Hansi Flick is still at the helm, we are not convinced Germany will have the invention to go all the way.
A team that could well have the skill, determination and guile to scupper England’s hopes at Germany 2024 is, of course, France. They beat England (albeit narrowly and perhaps even fortuitously) in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, and then went on to lose the final on penalties to Argentina. But that defeat in Qatar could spur the French on to greatness in Germany and England fans will be hoping the Three Lions don’t meet Les Bleu until the final (and maybe that when they do, Kylian Mbappe has got himself a suspension!).
Other likely contenders in Germany that could stand in the way of an England victory include Italy (who are the current holders but who failed to qualify for the last World Cup), Spain (who, along with Germany, have won the Euros three times), and Netherlands, who appear to be on the rise once again.
We feel that Belgium’s ship has sailed given that many of their best players are getting towards the end of their careers. In contrast, Portugal might stand a chance of going far at the Euros if their long-time talisman Cristiano Ronaldo hangs up his international boots as he’s been more of a hindrance than a help for his nation in recent times.
Can England Go All The Way In Germany 2024?
Going into a tournament as the losing finalists of the previous renewal is probably not a bad position to be in. It would have been nice if England had got further than the quarters at the World Cup in Qatar, but they showed themselves capable of competing with France, arguably the best team in the world at the moment (despite their loss to Argentina in the final on penalties).
There are some big reasons to be positive about England’s chances in Germany, including:
- Jude Bellingham – The Borussia Dortmund star was perhaps England’s best player in Qatar. His assurance on and off the ball was a delight and belied his tender age. His decision-making and all-round play in attack and defence means that he will be a massive asset to England as they hopefully go deep into the tournament in Germany. The former Birmingham City man looks destined to become one of the greatest players of his generation, and given that he plays in Germany, he’ll be on familiar territory at the Euros. We’re convinced he’ll be one of the players of the tournament.
- Attacking Options Aplenty – As well as the proven goalscoring prowess of Harry Kane, who showed his enduring qualities in Qatar, Southgate is blessed with numerous excellent attacking options at the moment. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka has been scoring for fun all season and looks to be getting better every year. Man United’s Marcus Rashford has seen a resurgence in form under Red Devils’ boss Erik ten Hag. While the likes of Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish offer invention, guile and attacking bite.
- Climate – Although not necessarily a game-changer, the fact that the German climate is not dissimilar to England’s will mean the players shouldn’t feel restricted by the weather.
- Gareth Southgate – Despite what many critics may feel, perhaps England’s greatest asset is their manager, Gareth Southgate. His calm but determined demeanour both takes the pressure off his players and invites them to stretch themselves, to aim for greatness. And the players respond. It is clear that Southgate has built a squad that plays for him and each other and this is essential when it comes to tournament football.
With all that in mind, we hope England can go all the way at Euro 2024, ideally by beating the Germans in the final… on penalties!