England can end their gargantuan 53-year wait for silverware in June when Gareth Southgate’s men take part in the inaugural UEFA Nations League Finals over in Portugal, where they will be joined by the hosts, along with Switzerland and Netherlands.
The unrelenting drama, thrills, and spills of England’s memorable run through to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup last summer then carried over into the group stages of the Nations League, as The Three Lions somehow recovered from an opening defeat to Spain and dour draw against Croatia to secure top spot in Group A, following a stunning 3-2 victory in Sevilla, then a dramatic late comeback at home to Luka Modric and co at Wembley.
England will now lock horns with Holland, rejuvenated since the appointment of Ronald Koeman, on 6th June and if successful they will face the victor of Portugal vs Switzerland in the Final - defeated teams contest in a third-place play-off match.
So, what would happen if England, whose one and only trophy remains the 1966 World Cup, were to go all the way and became the first ever country to lift the coveted 71cm-tall sterling silver Nations League trophy?
Well, for starters, there would be surreal scenes of absolute delirium over on these shores. Reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup was an epic achievement considering the age of the squad and years of crushing misery, but winning a trophy - even though it’s not the World Cup or European Championship - would spark jubilation.
Pubs would run out of booze, most of which would be hurled in the air after Harry Kane bagged the winner, while “Football’s Coming Home” and “Southgate You’re The One” will be blasted out from all corners, and let’s not forget another staggering soar in the sale of waistcoats.
As well as all the above England would bag €10.5m in prize money, including the ‘€2.25m solidarity fee for all League A teams and €2.25m as a bonus for winning a League A group,’ as quoted on UEFA.com.
But, what would a Nations League victory mean that England are assured of a place in the next major tournament, the 2020 European Championships?
Unfortunately not. England’s Euro 2020 campaign gets underway this week against the Czech Republic, while Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Kosovo also feature in the five-team Group A. The top two teams progress automatically for next summer’s showcase spectacle.
However, in the admittedly unlikely scenario that England fail to finish first or second in what appears to be a relatively straightforward qualification Group A, they will have another opportunity to progress via the qualification play-offs, as they won their Nations League group.
The play-off system incorporates 16 countries, determined by performances in the Nations League, who are split into four groups. Each four-team group features a semi-final and final, with the four final winners grabbing a spot at Euro 2020.