Factbox on England
Colours: White shirts, white shorts, white socks
Nickname: Three Lions
Previous World Cup appearances: 12: 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006
Best World Cup performance: Winners 1966
Coach: Fabio Capello
Most capped player: Peter Shilton 125
Top goalscorer: Bobby Charlton 49
England qualified for the finals with eight successive wins and finished with nine wins out of 10 games in European Group Six, but trouble has dogged the squad since the end of the qualifiers.
John Terry was deposed as captain following revelations that he had an extra-marital affair with the ex-partner of England and former Chelsea team mate Wayne Bridge, who has since made himself unavailable for national selection.
Injuries to David Beckham, who will miss the finals, and Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson and Aaron Lennon hampered coach Fabio Capello's preparations while the inconsistent form of Terry and his centre-back partner Rio Ferdinand has not helped.
Player to watch:
Wayne Rooney. The 24-year-old Manchester United striker, who struck 34 goals before a spate of injuries affected the end of his season, is England's key player. He expects to have fully recovered from a groin strain, and if he is on form and scoring goals, England could go far. If he is below par, they probably will not. (Editing by Robert Woodward; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)