Ranked! The 19 worst moments in England national team history
19. Wally plus Brolly
England 2-2 Croatia, European Championship qualifier (2007)
On November 21, 2007, England suffered one of the darker days in their footballing history when they failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
Steve McClaren’s side only needed a draw against Croatia at Wembley to book their place at the tournament, but after they came from two goals down to level the scores at 2-2, Mladen Petric fired home a dramatic winner 13 minutes from time.
While visiting manager Slaven Bilic jumped for joy, McClaren stood in disbelief – although at least he was sheltered from the pouring rain by his infamous umbrella. The following day, he was labelled the “Wally with the Brolly” by the Daily Mail and subsequently sacked after just 18 games in charge.
18. Rooney riled by travelling Lions
England 0-0 Algeria, 2010 World Cup group stage
As England trudged off the pitch following a wretched display in Cape Town, a chorus of boos rang out around the Green Port Stadium.
Wayne Rooney couldn't keep his thoughts to himself, offering a menacing stare to one of the TV cameras before uttering up a sarcastic: “Nice to see your home fans booing you. That's what loyal support is.”
Captain Steven Gerrard later admitted that his side “weren’t good enough” and that the travelling fans had every right to voice their displeasure after a tepid display most memorable for some Emile Heskey stepovers. Exactly.
17. One hell of a beating in Norway
Norway 2-1 England, World Cup qualifier (1981)
The Three Lions still qualified for the 1982 tournament, but an unexpected defeat to bottom-of-the-table Norway - ranked 76th in the world at the time - was embarrassing to say the least.
Goals from Roger Albertsen and Hallvar Thoresen sealed a famous win for the Norwegians, but the game is best remembered for Bjorge Lillelien’s commentary after the full-time whistle.
"Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana! Maggie Thatcher - can you hear me, Maggie Thatcher? Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of a beating!"
16. The bobble in Croatia
Croatia 2-0 England, European Championship qualifier (2006)
Steve McClaren’s England needed a lift following their goalless draw with Macedonia at Old Trafford in their previous encounter. What they definitely didn’t need was Gary Neville's routine back pass to bobble off a loose piece of Croatian turf, causing goalkeeper Paul Robinson to mistime his clearance.
The ball rolled past the bemused shot-stopper to seal a valuable three points for the hosts. Robinson’s England career never recovered.
15. Schooled by Pirlo's Panenka
England 0-0 Italy (2-4 on penalties), Euro 2012 quarter-finals
Midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo played England off the park in Kiev, completing 131 successful passes when no England player made it to 50.
After being outplayed for 120 minutes, Roy Hodgson’s side held out for penalties with a semi-final place at Euro 2012 on the line. England took an early lead in the shoot-out, but then – keeping with tradition – things went to pot. After misses from Ashleys Young and Cole, Pirlo stepped up to embarrass Joe Hart with an audacious Panenka, completing his memorable masterclass with style.
14. Roy the oracle shamed by Suarez
Uruguay 2-1 England, 2014 World Cup group stage
Luis Suarez was an injury doubt before the crucial group game in Sao Paulo, amid suggestions from Roy Hodgson that the Uruguayan talisman wasn’t world class off the back of a 31-goal Premier League campaign.
Sure enough, the former Liverpool striker produced the best possible riposte, scoring twice to eliminate the Three Lions. His winner five minutes from time originated from Steven Gerrard’s misjudged header – and Suarez wasn’t afraid to show his emotion after proving a point to his English critics. Cheers, Roy.
13. "We didn't like that crossbar anyway..."
England 1-2 Scotland, 1977 British Home Championship
As the full-time whistle sounded, a throng of Scotland fans flooded onto the Wembley pitch following a 2-1 victory for the Tartan Army. Kenny Dalglish and his Scottish team-mates were lauded in London as they were hauled onto the shoulders of their buoyant fans - who also broke the crossbar for good measure.
The result saw Scotland win the British Home Championship for the first time in three years – and coincided with England’s failure to qualify for a second successive World Cup.