Gerrard, Lampard & Ferdinand once explained why England's 'Golden Generation' failed

England's 'Golden Generation' failed to reach a major semi-final

England's last - and only - triumph at a major international tournament came way back in 1966.

That year, the Three Lions lifted the World Cup trophy on home soil and they haven't played in a final ever since.

England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in both 1990 and 2018, as well as qualifying for the final four at Euro 1996.

Rather bizarrely, all three of those successes came before or after the Three Lions' fabled 'Golden Generation'.

Between 2001 and 2007, England possessed a number of the very best players in the world, including Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry Michael Owen and many, many more.

On paper, they should have - at the very least - reached the final at either the 2002 World Cup, Euro 2004 or the 2006 World Cup.

England's 'Golden Generation'

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Sadly, Sven-Goran Eriksson's side were eliminated at the quarter-final stage in all three tournaments and the team's failures were always a bit of a mystery.

Well, that was until late 2017, when Lampard, Gerrard and Ferdinand finally explained why the 'Golden Generation' couldn't replicate their success at club level on the international stage.

The three legendary figures discussed the matter on BT Sport alongside presenter Jake Humphrey and it remains some of the most compelling sports-related television we've seen.


England's array of superstars failed to put their heated club rivalries to one side, which ultimately proved detrimental to the national team.

Ferdinand summed it up perfectly: “It was down to the obsession with winning. I didn’t want to see Frank have an edge on me. I didn’t want to speak to him about anything he’d be able to take away to facilitate his team winning.

“When I was with England with Stevie, when we were battling for the Premier League, I didn’t want to sit around him and be around him because I just didn’t want to hear about what Liverpool were doing.”

No wonder the 'Golden Generation' always flattered to deceive, eh?

Thankfully for England supporters, that level of in-house rivalry doesn't appear to exist anymore and that can only serve Gareth Southgate's side well at this summer's Euro 2020 tournament.

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