According to Baddiel & Skinner it was meant to be no more years of hurt when England arrived in France for the 1998 World Cup. We would return, Jules Rimet still gleaming.
Twenty years on we’re still ruing that David Beckham sending off, disillusioned by David Batty’s penalty miss and all round regretting getting beat by a nation whose entire squad then died their hair blonde in celebration.
It was meant to be the start of a golden era for English football and looking back it perhaps could have been. Many of that squad went on to win the treble the following year. One little whiz kid of a forward went on to be crowned World Player of the Year.
There were Invincibles in that squad and world transfer record breakers. It all started so well too. Just as the Three Lions will in a few months time in Russia 2018 Group G, thinks kicked off against Tunisia and resulted in a comfortable 2-0 win at the Stade Vélodrome.
A defeat to Romania left them needing something from the last game to qualify. They delivered with a 2-0 win and hope built to that now infamous Argentina game.
The Round of 16 was going to be tough. Glenn Hoddle’s men were up against the likes of Gabriel Batistuta, Juan Sebastian Verón and Diego Simeone, but there was a belief.
It started badly, the aforementioned Fiorentina man striking after five minutes. A quick fire double from the Three Lions, including one of the greatest World Cup goals of all time, however and it was looking promising.
We all know the story from there. A penalty shoot out was required and if one team didn’t do penalties during the 1990s, or perhaps ever, it’s those boys in white (or grey).
With many thinking about the World Cup 2018 squad, we want you to take a look back 20 years, and see if you can name the 22-man class of 1998…