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England Match Memories: Which Games Do You Remember?

Sports News - May 25, 2010

Every country has its historic matches that will never be forgotten and England’s rich World Cup history provides many celebrated games. Say phrases like “1966 World Cup”, “hand of God”, “David Beckham free kick”, “Gazza”, or “losing to penalties” to an England fan and watch his eyes light up with pleasure or grief thinking about the matches that define the England National Team.

Sometimes these great, historic games are not the matches that you remember (for no other reason than maybe not being alive at the time). You may take these famous matches into historical perspective but you actually remember the games that, for some reason, speak to you in some way or other. It could be as simple as a goal that you find stunning, the debut of a player you particularly like, or your club players carrying the side. It could just be that the game represents to you a particular time in history for the team.

Here are five England matches (and an honorable mention) I find particularly memorable.  While not necessarily a list of the best England matches I’ve seen, these are the ones I will never forget.

  • Against Scotland in 1996

What I most remember about this match is Gazza’s flick over the Scottish defense that was followed by the famous celebration in this two goal win.

  • Against Argentina in 1998

I fondly remember this match for a very young Michael Owen dribbling past the Argentine defense to score an inspired goal. Not so fondly remembered is the David Beckham red card and loss to penalties.

  • Against Germany in 2001

If beating Germany wasn’t enough, this game featured three of my club’s players score five goals against the opposition.

  • Against Greece in 2001

The amazing David Beckham spot kick merits this match an inclusion on my list of memorable matches.

  • Against Argentina in 2005

I’ll never forget this back-and-forth match that resulted in a win over Argentina. By now, you can probably guess who my favorite England player was in the past.

  • Honorable Mention – Against Croatia in 2010.

To relate this back to the approaching World Cup we’re all anticipating, I find this recent match memorable because it displays the goal scoring ability of the current crop of players.

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  1. Madden 11

    June 2, 2010 at 5:43 am

    I will definitely get a good try on this game. I feel excited trying this. For a long time my cousins are bugging me out to try this game.

  2. Richard the Red (Devil)

    June 1, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I would have to go for England v Argentina in the 1986 World Cup for sheer heartbreak reasons alone. When that scum, Maradona, handed that ball in the goal I thought I was going to lose my mind. I was only 15 at the time living in Ancoats, Manchester and I remember watching that match with my mum, grandma in my uncle’s flat. He wanted to go to the pub with his mates to watch it but grandma guilted him into staying at home with us. I remember screaming at the tv for them to call the handball. Right then I knew we were proper fucked. We had the windows to the flat open and you could hear screaming and glass breaking all around Manchester. His second goal can kiss my ass. Cokehead scum. 24 years later and I’m still pissed about that one. I’m just glad we showed them what for in the Falklands War although that wasn’t too hard. Anyway, I want another shot at those Argie bastards.

  3. Paul Bestall

    June 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    An interesting selection, when you sit down and think about it, it’s really tough to pull 5 games out of a hat, but I’d have to include England v Germany in 1990 and England v Argentina in 2002.

    Have to agree about the Argentian friendly, that was one of the best non-competitive games I’ve ever watched.

    • Gaz Hunt

      June 1, 2010 at 11:03 pm

      Thanks, Paul.

      I agree – England’s game against Germany in 1990 would be a great choice.

      I have to emphasize, however, that there isn’t any pulling these games out of a hat for me. For some reason, I remember these games far more vividly than most others (even if there are more obvious “classic” or “historic” matches to pick). Maybe it’s just indicative of my limited exposure to England matches after moving to the States.

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