WORLD CUP APPEARANCES
WORLD CUP RECORD
GOALS SCORED (RANK)
After not entering the first three World Cups, England finally made its debut in 1950. The tournament began with a 2-0 victory over Chile, but ended with 1-0 losses to the United States and Spain.
England reached the knockout round in its second World Cup appearance. In group play, England recorded a 4-4 tie with Belgium and a 2-0 victory over Switzerland. However, the team lost in the Quarter-finals to two-time champion Uruguay by a score of 4-2.
England mastered the draw in 1958, posting a record of 0-3-0 in the Group Stage. The outcomes included a 0-0 final against eventual champion Brazil that was the first scoreless draw in World Cup history. But England lost a play-off against the Soviet Union and failed to reach the knockout stage.
In 1962, England notched a 1-1-1 record in group play. The team’s 3-1 victory over Argentina proved pivotal, as Argentina also finished 1-1-1 but had a lower goal average and lost the tie-breaker. A Quarter-finals matchup against Brazil resulted in a 3-1 loss, as Brazil went on to win its second consecutive World Cup.
England hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1966 and pulled in the largest average attendance, a record that would stand until the United States hosted in 1994. The crowds were particularly advantageous to the home country’s squad, as England went 5-1-0 in the tournament and defeated West Germany in the championship game.
Back-to-back championships were still in the offing when England emerged from the Group Stage with a 2-0-1 record, but West Germany avenged its 1966 championship game loss, knocking off England 3-2 in the Quarter-finals.
Did Not Participate
After missing World Cups in 1974 and 1978, England returned in 1982 with its best performance in the first round of group play yet. With victories over France, Czechoslovakia and Kuwait, England finished 3-0-0 with a +5 goal differential. But in the second round, 0-0 draws against West Germany and Spain prevented England from advancing to the knockout stage.
England’s 1-1-1 record advanced it to the Round of 16, where the team defeated Paraguay 3-0. In the Quarter-finals, eventual champion Argentina sent England packing with a 2-1 win. English striker Gary Lineker scored six goals in five games, the most of any individual at the 1986 World Cup.
Most years, a 1-2-0 performance in the Group Stage wouldn’t be enough to claim the top spot. But with 0-3-0 records from both the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands, and a 0-2-1 record from Egypt, England’s four total points won the group. The country then advanced all the way to the third-place game, where it lost to Italy.
England didn’t qualify for the 1994 World Cup, but was back in the tournament – and in the knockout round – in 1998. A 2-0-1 record took second to Romania in the Group Stage. Then England lost 4-3 on penalties to Argentina in the Round of 16.
Despite scoring just two goals in three games of group play, England advanced to the knockout stage with a 1-2-0 record. In the Round of 16, England more than doubled its total goals, hanging three on Denmark in a shutout. The run ended with a 2-1 Quarter-finals loss to eventual champ Brazil.
England reached its second straight Quarter-finals at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The team achieved a 2-1-0 record in a group that included Sweden, Paraguay and Trinidad and Tobago. England defeated Ecuador 1-0 in the Round of 16 but lost 3-1 on penalty kicks to Portugal in the next round.
England’s usual stout defense was on display in the Group Stage, as the team allowed just one goal in three games, but it crumbled in a Round of 16 match with Germany. England lost 4-1 to the eventual third-place finishers.
In Brazil, England finished last in its group with a record of 0-1-2. It was the first time in 14 World Cup appearances that England placed fourth in the Group Stage.
England qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup by winning its UEFA group that included Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta. The country will look to improve upon its disastrous 2014 showing.