The England squad that lifted the 1966 World Cup is often remembered as the best they've ever produced—but Gareth Southgate's Euro 2020 finalists may rival that honour following this summer's display.
Harry Kane & Co. will demand their places as at least contenders for that throne if they beat Italy at Wembley in their maiden European Championship final.
Captain Kane heads into the decider as the top scorer still active in the tournament having scored four goals, just one fewer than overall joint-Golden Boot frontrunners Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and Patrik Schick (Czech Republic).
Raheem Sterling has also contributed heavily with three goals of his own, while goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and his defence have attracted plaudits for conceding just one goal in their six outings thus far.
Every contribution thus far has played a role in sending England to the European final for the first time in their history, but certain strs have stood out from an impressive crowd ahead of a historic night for the country.
The mindset, the mettle, the magnificent man-management, Southgate has shown all those traits and more while deciding which of his sparking jewels to select every game.
We all have our views on who should be where but only Southgate can make the call – and so far he has got everything right – from starters to subs to tactics. Faultless. 10
Five clean sheets but the Everton man endured a crazy hour – starting with miscue in Rome, concluding with Denmark’s free-kick strike.
By the final whistle in midweek, though, the best keeper at the finals seemed back to his very best. Keep calm – and all will be fine on Sunday. 9
Atletico Madrid title winner reappeared for final minutes of semi-final when Southgate employed extra-time lockdown.
Versatility in either full-back position is massive; so, too, his set-piece delivery. If, England revert to three at back, the ex-Spurs ace starts. 7
Do you think England will overcome Italy to lift the Euro 2020 crown? Let us know in the comments section.
Nervy displays in group phase have given way to powerful performances. Against Denmark, the Man City man stood firm when others struggled.
Desire to bomb forward and if he can keep focus throughout- he is the perfect pillar to resist the Azzurri. 8
Anyone seen Ben Chilwell? Nope, because Chelsea’s Champions League winner cannot get a look-in with Shaw ripping it up.
The Man Utd left-back had a great domestic campaign and has been breathtaking in these finals. His overlapping combo with Sterling is simply sensational. 9
A supposed weak link that might wreck our tournament early – in the absence of injured Harry Maguire. Yeah, right!
What a joke that proved during those opening two group games, when the Aston Villa defender deputised without putting a foot wrong. 8
Arguably, the only player to underperform this summer. Maybe his monumental exploits on Chelsea’s flanks caught him up..
His time will come – at the World Cup Xmas 2022 – but on this occasion he could not take his chance in that Scotland stalemate. 6
Where to start with our only defensive ever-present at the tournament.
Graceful, composed, physically strong and quick – on floor or in air – he has been as integral as any to the tightest defence on show. One more time, please. 9
Oh no, never waste time waiting for a player to get fit was the cry from many. Southgate didn’t listen. Phew!
Almost three months out with ankle trouble, the Man Utd skipper has grown in stature, form and class in his three games. A colossus. 9
Doubts about the Man City man's ability to be a Euro star have been smashed to smithereens.
Every game, every weaving dribble has had an effect. Four goals – and plenty of assists make him the Three Lions' top dog. 9
The most improved England star at the tournament – with his brilliant club form being transferred to the world stage seamlessly.
His work, tackling and passing makes him the best rising holding midfielder In game. 8
Premier League followers knew nothing this time last year about the Leeds’ midfield lynchpin. Crikey, how fast that has changed.
Almost as fast as those relentless interceptions and pin-point distribution to boot. He sparked England’s glory charge with assist in opening game. 8
Champions League winner has had a decent tournament without hitting any breathtaking heights – yet!
Still has time to be the country’s shining jewel in the crown against Italy, where his influence from back to front in all aspects can be the difference. 8
Some might have suspected the Aston Villa magician would not enjoy being in and out of the action as has been the case.
But his impact off the bench is immeasurable – against Germany most tellingly – and, given not even in the squad before COVID, he is relishing his part. 8
How good England have been is highlighted by them not needing Foden's midfield talents – or at least not after he was left out after opening game booking.
But returned late on against Denmark with purpose. Knack of maintaining possession in a crowd is priceless. 7
Teenage Arsenal sensation, 19, who is defying logic that, at the highest level, inexperience is an issue.
The way he single-handedly drives England forward and opponents back, just when required, is astonishing. All he needs is a goal. 8
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The Man Utd-bound winger has started only leaving a few with raised eyebrows at his lack of game time.
Against Ukraine, Jadon Sancho was a critical driving force in the opening hour as he dazzled and danced around markers in Rome. 7
Turned 18 earlier this month, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder has found appearances dwindling the longer the tournament goes.
That’s no reflection on his superb outing in first game against Czech Republic. Could figure in final – if needs be. 7
So now we know why the gaffer was so desperate to have the Liverpool skipper about the place.
Not just for obvious experience off the field but for unwavering commitment on it. Scored seconds after coming on against Ukraine – and great cameo against Danes. 7
Barely been seen but Man Utd underlined his usefulness with a decent showing as a sub in rout of Ukraine.
Six months ago, he would have been an automatic starter, but appears as integral to set up, even on then bench. Class act. 6
Still not at his deadly, red-hot most-lethal-finisher-in-the-world best. However, the greatest Three Lions striker of all is leading the country all the way.
That’s the measure of King Harry – a total inspiration to everyone on these shores – and, by the way, he’s only got four goals. Golden Boot number two is still on! 8
Everton striker looked in contention for a genuine part on England’s glorious run before Kane began to find the net again.
Harsh not to even be among subs for semi-final – and could face similar heartache in Sunday's showpiece. 6
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