England’s Dreaming: How These Three Lions Recall the Spirit of Italia ’90

“During a break in the England-Italy match last weekend, there was a TV ad narrated by Gary Oldman. I was struck by how much he reminded me of the modern English footballer (not the first-time-on-a-world-stage ones — the ones they grow up to be). It also made me think of 1990. The 1966 World Cup was English football’s greatest moment, but the 1990 World Cup sparked one of the more stirring debates about national essentialism to take place in England that decade.” Grantland


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