FIFA World Cup™ finals history
England have appeared at 14 FIFA World Cups, including eight of the last nine. They were below-par at Brazil 2014, exiting at the group stage for the first time since 1958. The Three Lions have been World Cup winners once, as hosts in 1966. Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick, the only in a World Cup Final, fired them to a 4-2 extra-time victory over West Germany. Sir Bobby Robson came closest to matching Sir Alf Ramsey’s achievement, guiding England to Italy 1990’s semi-finals, only to be knocked out on penalties by West Germany.

The team
Captain Wayne Rooney remains England’s greatest talent and has taken over leadership responsibilities following the international retirement of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. The departure of that experienced pair has paved the way for an exciting crop of young players to emerge. Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling and the emerging Harry Kane highlight the Three Lions' attacking flair for the future. Danny Welbeck continues to ease the goalscoring burden on Rooney’s shoulders, while Daniel Sturridge's rise to prominence as one of the English Premier League's top forwards has served to bolster England’s attacking options for the road to Russia.

The coach
Sam Allardyce replaced Roy Hodgson as manager in July 2016 after the Three Lions' exit at the hands of Iceland in the UEFA EURO 2016 knockout stages. In taking the reins of his country, the former Sunderland, West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers manager was handed his first opportunity to represent England, having never won an international cap during a two-decade playing career. 'Big Sam', as he has been affectionately known throughout his managerial career, took the role after steering Sunderland clear of relegation from the English Premier League.

The stat
3 - No team has lost more World Cup penalty shootouts than England. 1990 (to West Germany), 1998 (to Argentina) and 2006 (to Portugal).

The former stars
Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton, Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton, Bryan Robson, Gary Lineker, David Beckham