England have only won the World Cup once, in 1966. Let’s investigate the four exact parallels being repeated this year.
Four events are occurring simultaneously in 2018 to the 1966 path to glory. BBC Sport’s MotD first published the startling coincidences. However, the nation was not at that time overcome with, ‘It’s coming home’ fever. ESPN reposted the potential eventuality on Sunday: astounding Twitter users.
If the fifth part of the sequence falls into place: England lift the cup as winners. That is yet to be fulfilled, obviously. Although, they are only two victories away from repeating history. In more ways than one:
1. Real Madrid won the European Cup
In 1966, Real Madrid won the European Cup at Heysel Stadium. In the Brussels region of Belgium, Los Blancos claimed their sixth title. Although, their fans waited another 32 years for the seventh. Thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, they won the Champions League in 2018. Conquering Liverpool gave Real a record thirteenth title.
2. Manchester City won a league title
That same year Manchester City won the second division title. Ok, my hands are up: it wasn’t a first division/premiership title. Yet it is a league triumph. According to Wikipedia: ‘This season is widely believed to have been the start of Manchester City’s golden era’. And parallel to ’66, the Citizens were first in the league this campaign.
3. Chelsea finish fifth
Chelsea are in the top-flight mix, much as they were 52-years-ago. During their thirty-ninth year in the English top flight, the Blues’ league position was fifth. After a league title in 2014/15; a mediocre following season saw Jose Mourinho relieved of duty. Antonio Conte repeated that fluctuation with a champions’ demise at fifth. But he is hanging on at Stamford Bridge.
4. Burnley qualify for Europe
Incredibly, Burnley also qualified for European competition in ’66. Turf Moor witnessed a third placed top-flight finish in 1965–66. In addition to their target man, Willie Irvine, being the league’s top scorer. Sean Dyche’s Clarets stunned the elite league once again in 2018, finishing a marvellous seventh. This guaranteed Europa League qualifying placement.
England win the World Cup?
The Three Lions beat West Germany fairly convincingly 4-2 in 1966. Partly thanks to a Russian linesman: whose dubious decision to award a goal is still hotly contested. If England lift the gloriously dazzling FIFA World Cup trophy on Sunday; then history did indeed repeat itself.