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20 Years Ago Today, Mike Bassett’s England Punched Their Ticket To The World Cup In Brazil

20 Years Ago Today, Mike Bassett’s England Punched Their Ticket To The World Cup In Brazil

From winning the Mr Clutch Cup with Norwich City to taking England to the World Cup semi-finals, Mike Bassett became a national treasure.

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz

Mike Bassett made history as England manager on this day in 2001 when his side remarkably secured their place in the World Cup tournament in Brazil.

Mike Bassett: England Manager was released in 2001 and followed the story of Ricky Tomlinson's character, who became Three Lions boss after winning the Mr Clutch Cup with Norwich City.

While England only needed one win from three World Cup qualifying matches, the underdog Bassett faced an uphill task in achieving that result.

The former Norwich boss, who was no-nonsense and loved to play a classic 4-4-2 formation, was on the back foot after he lost his first two matches in charge.

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And when the Three Lions went into their final qualifying match against Slovenia, Bassett needed his men to secure a win to guarantee their place in the World Cup.

England were held to a draw and it looked all over for the Three Lions boss, only for other results to work out in their favour.

Luxembourg managed to shock Turkey with a 2-0 victory and send England through to the tournament on goal difference.


Just like that, Bassett's men were heading to Brazil!

But before that happened, the England team needed to hype up the nation and recorded their official World Cup song with the help of Atomic Kitten and Keith Allen.

Bassett and the boys defied all the odds and progressed to the knockout stages of the competition, sweeping aside opposition teams like Romania and France.

But England suffered heartbreak in the semi-finals when they lost to the host nation and were sent packing home.

While the Three Lions didn't defy the odds and win the competition, Bassett emerged as a national treasure for England fans.

And hey, at least the legend of Bassett continued when he received his own TV show, Mike Bassett: Manager, in 2005.

Mike Bassett, forever in England fans' hearts.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, England