It’s exactly 25 years ago that England kicked off their Euro 1996 campaign on home soil with so much optimism and hope. Football was coming home, after all.
After a 1-1 draw on the opening day of the tournament against Switzerland, the Three Lions put the sword to their Scottish neighbours. A 2-0 win saw Paul Gascoigne steal the show with the most audacious goal. The dentist chair celebration wasn’t bad either.
They eventually fell short at the hands of Germany in the semi finals in a game that will haunt current England boss Gareth Southgate.
A 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and extra time saw Southgate stepping up for a penalty to keep them in the tie.
His penalty was saved by Andreas Kopke low down to his left and England exited the tournament.
England suffered heartbreak in Belgium as they were knocked out in the group stages.
An opening game defeat to Portugal was swiftly countered by a crucial 1-0 win over Germany with Alan Shearer netting the decisive goal.
All that was required was a draw against Romania to qualify.
With the game poised at 2-2 in the closing stages, Phil Neville was the guilty party bringing down Viorel Moldovan in the box. Ioan Ganea converted the penalty to send Romania through and England out.
Another tournament where England fell short by the finest of margins.
After Wayne Rooney lit up the group stages with four goals in two games for England, Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side were met by Portugal in the quarter finals.
After a thrilling 2-2 draw after extra time, England were hoping to put the penalty demons to bed.
Darius Vassell missed the decisive spot kick. Goalkeeper Ricardo was about to compound further misery by dispatching the penalty and send The Three Lions on the next plane home from Germany.
The penalty demons were back to haunt England once again in the quarter finals. This time Italy inflicted the damage.
After a resounding group stage, winning two of out their three games, optimism was high.
It was a tense goalless stalemate for 120 minutes. Ashley Cole and Ashley Young missed in the shootout to hand the chance to Alessandro Diamanti to send Italy into the last four which he gratefully accepted.
After Roy Hodgson’s side scraped their way through the group stages, Iceland awaited them in the last 16 in a game England were huge favourites to win.
They took the lead after four minutes which many expected would send them on their way.
However, the side ranked 34th in the world at the time battled back to win the game 2-1 and Hodgson resigned from his post after the final whistle.