What does the World Cup 1990, Euro 1996, World Cup 1998, Euro 2004, World Cup 2006 and Euro 2012 all have in common?
If you’re an England fan, you know only too well that your country crashed out on penalties in all of these international competitions.
Of course, the Three Lions don’t have to worry about the possibility of penalties in the group stages of tournaments and Roy Hodgson’s side have made their way to the knockout stage at Euro 2016.
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But now is where the competition begins in earnest.
England face Iceland in the last-16 and will be hoping they have enough to overcome a nation that has a population of just 330,000 without the need for extra-time or the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
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However, with England seemingly struggling to break down sides that defend - just look at the 0-0 draw with Slovakia as an example - the last-16 clash with the Icelanders may just go all the way.
And if it does, Hodgson already knows which eight players will be selected to take a spot-kick if they’re on the pitch.
According to The Times, these players are: Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge, Eric Dier, Adam Lallana, James Milner and Dele Alli.
Let’s take a look at the penalty records of these eight players, shall we?
The Times report that this is the record of the eight players when taking a penalty in the Premier League:
Wayne Rooney 42-33 (taken 42, scored 33)
James Milner 11-9
Harry Kane 10-8
Jamie Vardy 7-6
Adam Lallana 7-5
Daniel Sturridge 0-1
Dele Alli none
Eric Dier none
So, on paper, it seems that England have some pretty decent penalty takers but we all know it’s very different when it comes down to the pressure of an international tournament. Just ask the likes of Stuart Pearce, Gareth Southgate, David Batty, Darius Vassell, Jamie Carragher and Ashley Young amongst others.
While the spot takers are very important, the goalkeeper is just as vital.
So, what is Joe Hart’s record of saving penalties?
The newspaper claims that the Manchester City goalkeeper has conceded 20 goals from penalties after facing 28 in the top-flight. But Hart will be given footage of all of Iceland’s penalty takers to study on his iPad over the coming days.
If England get past Iceland - whether they need a shootout or not - it’s likely they will face France in the quarter-final if Les Blues can overcome Ireland in their last-16 clash.
Without wanting to look too far ahead, if - and it’s a very big if - England can get past the hosts, they will likely face Germany, Spain or Italy in the last-four.
Basically, Hodgson’s men are going to have to ride their luck if they are to reach the final in Paris on July 10 and it’s likely that they may need to win a penalty shootout to get there.
Lets hope Kane, Rooney, Vardy, Sturridge, Dier, Lallana, Milner and Alli are up to it.
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