With just 66 days to go, the World Cup is coming up pretty fast. According to the FIFA official World Cup website, the number 66 is linked to Englands finest hour in football. The year 1966 saw the country win the World Cup on home soil over West Germany.
However, it is the one and only time when England won the World Cup. Apart from that, the best the country has achieved was a semi-final spot in the 1990 games. This means that out of the 18 World Cups over the years, England could only manage one win and one semi-final spot.
But strangely, every time a World Cup comes, people will talk about how England is going to win a World Cup. And of course, we know what happens each time.
And for those of you looking to bet on England, be it through the office pool or the government kind of pools, the following is a set of patterns that occur when England goes to the World Cup.
Thoughtfully mapped out in the book Soccernomics (authored by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski), I hope the following points allow you to carefully think through before you invest your hard-earned money.
1) Pretournament favourites to win The authors note that there is a belief that England is footballs mother country and therefore should be the best. Everyone in England thinks we have a God-given right to win the World Cup, said ex-England player Johnny Haynes. His England was eliminated in 1958.
2) England faces former wartime enemy The authors point out that England was knocked out by either Germany or Argentina in five of their last seven World Cups. For this World Cup, it could be anyone from either of these two countries, or even Japan.
3) England gets knocked out due to bad luck or a freakish goal In 2002, Ronaldino would not have been good enough to deliberately place the long range free kick. In 2006, Wayne Rooney would not have been sent off for stomping if it werent for Cristiano Ronaldo influencing the referee. These things just dont happen to other countries, say the authors.
4) Everyone else cheats Diego Simeone in 1998 gets David Beckham sent off. In 2006, Ronaldo did the same for Rooney. So did every referee that had officiated England games.
5) England gets knocked out without getting anywhere near lifting the trophy Except for the semi final of 1990, England has always been eliminated when still needing to defeat at least three excellent teams, point out the book.
6) Normal life resumes after elimination The book points out Englands eliminations are celebrated and even turned into commercials for pizza chains.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.