The latter belief was confirmed on Sunday when Roy Hodgson's side were eliminated in the first shoot-out seen at Euro 2012, with Italy shrugging off their own unimpressive record from 12 yards to progress to the final four.
Italy now take on Germany in the semi-finals, while Spain face Portugal, and with both games featuring two of Europe's strongest sides, Poland and Ukraine may well play host to more spot-kick drama.
We thought it would be pertinent to look at the respective records of the four teams involved at the semi-final stage, with statistics confirming the prevailing wisdom that Germany are the team to be avoided should 120 minutes not produce a winner.
As our infographic below shows, Germany have only ever failed to score with two of their 28 penalties in major tournament shootouts, giving them a conversion rate of 93 per cent.
Uli Hoeness failed to score in the final of Euro '76 before Antonin Panenka chipped a winner down the middle for Czechoslovkia, while Uli Stielike missed against France at the 1982 World Cup.
Italy do not fare well by comparison having scored with 72 per cent of their attempts, yet the Azzurri also have more experience having been involved in two more shoot-outs.
The second semi-final might be a closer affair if it gets to penalties: Both Portugal and Spain have a conversion rate of 75 per cent from shoot-outs.
However, while Portugal have won both of their shoot-outs - against England at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup - Spain have only won three of theirs.
The reigning world and European champions used to struggle from 12 yards but their most recent shoot-out saw them defeat Italy in the quarter-finals at Euro 2008, paving the way for Spain to begin their domination of international football.
All four countries of course have a superior record to England, who lag far behind, as our infographic below demonstrates.