With just four teams left in this year's World Cup, Belgium, France, Croatia and England's bandwagons are about to topple over. However, of these four teams, the only core fan base that likely rivals England in terms of sheer rabidity is France ...
With just four teams left in this year's World Cup, Belgium, France, Croatia and England's bandwagons are about to topple over. However, of these four teams, the only core fan base that likely rivals England in terms of sheer rabidity is France. Belgium is excited about its golden generation coming together while Croatia is just excited to be left standing, but the French and English fan bases expect to be here.
You can see it in the Three Lions' catchphrase this year: "It's coming home." "It," of course, refers to the World Cup, whereas "home" refers to England. While there are those that (semi-correctly) assume that this refers to the fact that soccer as we know it was first played in England in the mid-19th century, there's a bit more to it than that.
Where the song actually comes from is ... a real song. From over two decades ago. The song "Three Lions (Football's Coming Home)" by The Lightning Seeds is the actual origin of the catchphrase, and it's become an anthem of sorts for English fans throughout this World Cup. Comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner also had hands in the creation of the song.
The song's inception, however, wasn't inspired by winning The World Cup or even hosting it. It was inspired by England hosting the European Championship. Prior to that, it hadn't hosted a major tournament since 1966 -- a World Cup hosting that it won.
The lyrics are pretty simple, though they do have some of that trademark English pessimism peppered in there. "30 years of hurt" is said numerous times throughout the song, for example.
That song, however, is now the Three Lions rallying cry, and expect to hear a whole lot more of it in the coming days.
Of course, there is an alternative explanation.
Maybe it's coming home, maybe it's not. But before we know, England must first get through Croatia in the semifinal match on Wednesday. It's not an easy out, but England has a pretty fantastic team itself, as we've seen throughout this Cup.
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