The summer of 2021 will always be looked back upon with a disappointment and sadness for England and Gareth Southgate.
Not since 1966 had the Three Lions won a trophy of note, and back at Wembley Stadium, England reached another final at last, but were undone in the Euro 2020 showpiece by a superb Italian outfit.
Losing on penalties has always been the national team’s Achilles heel, and unfortunately for the hosts, it was their undoing again, with all of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missing their spot-kicks.
However, their run to the final has yielded an unexpected bonus in the form of their rise up the FIFA rankings.
According to the Daily Star, England have risen to third in the latest rankings, ahead of World Cup holders, France, who have dropped down in fourth.
It represents their highest-ever placing in the rankings system, and equals their position from a decade ago.