Round 2 of the group stage has officially begun, if you want to call it that. With Mexico beating France this afternoon, things are beginning to shape up in some groups and we’re starting to see who’s a contender and who’s a pretender.
It’s always nice to take a look into a team’s history, though, so let’s look at 10 things you need to know about England vs. Algeria:
1. England, along with Scotland, are the two oldest football teams in the world as they first played each other in a match in 1872.
2. Of the current squad, captain Steven Gerrard is the most internationally experienced, holding 81 caps, while Wayne Rooney is the leading goalscorer with 25 goals in 61 matches.
3. Tottenham Hotspur have the most representatives on the squad with 5 north Londoners on the team (Ledley King, Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch)
4. Their sole win of the glorious trophy came at the 1966 World Cup at home in London where they won 4-2 against ze West Germans. Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick in the final.
5. England is currently ranked 8th in the FIFA World rankings. Their most capped player is Peter Shilton at 125 games played, Sir Bobby Charlton is the leading goalscorer at 49 and they have never fallen below 27th on the world rankings
1. The Algerian football team nickname is “Les Fennecs” which translates to “The Desert Foxes.” I’m undecided as to whether that’s cool or lame.
2. Algeria will be making their third appearance at the world cup, having been eliminated in the first round in their prior appearances in 1982 and 1986.
3. They are currently ranked 30th in the FIFA World Rankings. Their highest position in the rankings was 26th, while their lowest was at 103rd, telling you that they have come a long way.
4. The Algerians’ biggest accomplishment on the international stage is certainly their win of the 1990 African Cup of Nations.
5. Their most capped player is Yazid Mansouri at 67 matches played. Their leading goalscorer is Raifik Saifi, scoring 19 goals in 63 matches.
England and Algeria have never played each other on the international stage, but if I were to go by whether three lions or desert foxes would win a fight, I would certainly go with the three lions.
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