Ranked! England’s tournament performances since Euro '96

Alan Shearer Holland 1996

The last 22 years really haven’t been pretty for the Three Lions, but Huw Davies has had a crack at rating anyway – from fist-eatingly awful to infrequently enjoyable

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44. England 1-2 Iceland (Euro 2016, last 16)

Harrowing. England were so complacent about this fixture that Roy Hodgson took assistant Ray Lewington on a boat ride down the Seine instead of watching potential knockout opponents Iceland in their final group game against Austria – won in the 94th-minute to set up their meeting with the Three Lions. 

Hodgson's side did take a fourth-minute lead via Wayne Rooney's penalty, though – and then went to bits. When Ragnar Sigurdsson equalised within two minutes, England fell apart and shipped another in the 18th minute via Kolbeinn Sigthorsson. What followed was the most alarmingly low-confidence display in national team history – and a thoroughly deserved exit. 

43. England 0-0 Algeria (World Cup 2010, Group C)

A dire draw against a team that lost its two other games 1-0 was enlivened only by Wayne Rooney ranting about England fans. Oh, and Emile Heskey turning a stepover into a stumble-over before slicing the ball out of play.

42. England 2-0 Trinidad and Tobago (World Cup 2006, Group B)

If The Guardian were harsh in calling this performance “abysmal” and England “an utter shambles”, it wasn’t by much. Steven Gerrard’s fine stoppage-time strike put several coats of gloss on it: England needed a goal-line clearance and a Peter Crouch header that should have been disallowed (the hitherto wasteful beanpole striker pulled Brent Sancho back by his dreadlocks) to beat a team with Dwight Yorke in defensive midfield and an 85-year-old Shaka Hislop in goal.

41. England 1-4 Germany (World Cup 2010, last 16)

Don’t be fooled into thinking things would have been different if Frank Lampard’s strike had been allowed. It may have made the score 2-2 immediately after Matthew Upson (!) had scored, but that one-minute period aside, England were diabolical: they should by rights have already been 5-0 down. It was a horror show.

40. England 2-3 Romania (Euro 2000, Group A)

With his team leading having been second-best, the ever-noble Kevin Keegan instructed his players at half-time to give Romania two goals. Last-minute deputy Nigel Martyn led the defensive omnishambles, and then in the 88th minute, Phil Neville decided he didn’t fancy another week away and hacked down Viorel Moldovan in the box to send England home.

39. England 0-0 Costa Rica (World Cup 2014, Group D)

The most exciting thing to happen in these two hours was Luis Suarez biting Giorgio Chiellini 1,500 miles away.

38. England 0-0 Slovakia (Euro 2016, Group B)

Six changes for the Three Lions' final group game of a horrible tournament, and a predictably disappointing draw which meant they'd be finishing second behind Wales. England had 28 shots and got five on target. "Finishing second is a disappointment but we are still in the last 16 and who is to say the team we will play will be that much stronger?" quipped a defiant Roy Hodgson. If only he knew. 

37. England 0-1 Belgium (World Cup 2018, Group G)

With both England and Belgium already through, this was a dreadful game between second strings. Belgium's were better, though, and the winning goal from Adnan Januzaj was terrific. Few of Gareth Southgate's replacements did anything to suggest they were first XI material. 

36. England 1-1 Russia (Euro 2016, Group B)

As far as opening games go, this was no disaster – but consider that Wales then hammered this awful Russia team 3-0 nine days later. Eric Dier's free-kick to put England ahead was corking, but conceding Vasili Berezutski's 92nd-minute equaliser after almost no pressure in the game was unforgivable. 

35. England 1-0 Paraguay (World Cup 2006, Group B)

With hype over the Golden Generation at its peak and an own goal giving them a lead three minutes into the tournament, it was good of England to dampen expectations with a thoroughly dour performance from then on.

34. England 1-2 Romania (World Cup 98, Group G)

Despite substitute Michael Owen cancelling out Viorel Moldovan’s goal (yep, him again) and then hitting the post, England lost in rather careless fashion. Dan Petrescu scored a late, late goal that Graeme Le Saux watched through his fingers even while trying to tackle him.