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Gareth Southgate urges England to end “appalling” European Championship record next summer

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate has labelled England's European Championship record "appalling" after Saturday's group stage draw.

The Three Lions will face Croatia, Czech Republic and one of Norway, Scotland, Serbia or Israel in the first phase of next summer's competition.

England are among the favourites to lift the trophy at the Wembley final on 12 July, having made great strides under Southgate's tutelage.

After reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, England qualified for the Nations League Finals and then qualified for Euro 2020 as Group A winners.

However, the one-time world champions have never even reached the final of a European Championship.

England lost to Yugoslavia in the semi-finals of Euro 1968, before beating the Soviet Union in the third-place play-off.

They failed to qualify in 1972, 1976 and 1984, and suffered group-stage eliminations in 1980, 1988 and 1992.

Terry Venables' side did reach the semi-finals at Euro 1996, although England benefited from home advantage that summer.

The Three Lions have not advanced beyond the quarter-finals since then, most recently losing a last-16 clash to Iceland at Euro 2016.

And Southgate has called on his players to improve England's record at next summer's tournament, which will be held across the continent to celebrate UEFA's 60-year anniversary.

“The opportunity is for us to go further than so many teams in the past and our European Championship record has been appalling,” he told reporters.

“They’ve got opportunity to really excite our country again. They know what that felt like two years ago from a slightly further distance and this time they get the chance to feel it... really close up.”

England will begin their Euro 2020 campaign against Croatia in a rematch of last summer's World Cup semi-final.

Southgate's side will then lock horns with the winner of play-off Path C, before concluding the group stage against Czech Republic.


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