Euro 2012

Euro 2012 Slideshow

Greece's goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias attends a training session in Wroclaw on June 11, 2012, on the eve of their Euro 2012 football championships match against the Czech Republic

Greece's goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias attends a training session in Wroclaw on June 11, 2012, on the eve of their Euro 2012 football championships match against the Czech Republic (AFP Photo/ARIS MESSINIS)

Greece's goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias attends a training session in Wroclaw on June 11, 2012, on the eve of their Euro 2012 football championships match against the Czech Republic

FILE - In this Sunday, July 1, 2012 file photo, Italy's Mario Balotelli reacts after the Euro 2012 soccer championship final between Spain and Italy in Kiev, Ukraine. The best coaches in Italy emigrate. The stadiums around the country are falling apart. The lingering problems affecting Italy's domestic league might just be the reason for the country's failure to qualify for next year's World Cup. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)

FILE - In this Thursday, June 28, 2012 filer, Italy's Mario Balotelli celebrates his second goal during the Euro 2012 soccer championship semifinal match between Germany and Italy in Warsaw, Poland. The best players in the world go elsewhere. The best coaches in Italy emigrate. The stadiums around the country are falling apart. The lingering problems affecting Italy's domestic league might just be the reason for the country's failure to qualify for next year's World Cup. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

FILE - In this Thursday, June 28, 2012 filer, Italy's Mario Balotelli celebrates his second goal during the Euro 2012 soccer championship semifinal match between Germany and Italy in Warsaw, Poland. The best players in the world go elsewhere. The best coaches in Italy emigrate. The stadiums around the country are falling apart. The lingering problems affecting Italy's domestic league might just be the reason for the country's failure to qualify for next year's World Cup. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File )

Sean St Ledger interview: Playing with Kaka, Taylor Swift rumours... but running out for Solihull in FA Cup now tops the lot

Sean St Ledger has scored for Ireland in a major tournament, played alongside Kaka and even been linked romantically with Taylor Swift, but he sounds almost giddy with excitement as he talks about making his debut for Solihull Moors on Sunday. “I know what some people will say,” explains the 32 year-old. “They’ll go: ‘It’s only Solihull and they’re in the Conference - what are you doing dropping down to their level?’ “But that doesn’t matter to me. This is such a personal achievement, signing for someone again. I’ve missed football so much.” It is over two years since St Ledger last played a competitive game, scoring an own-goal in Colorado Rapids’ 4-1 loss at Portland Timbers in October 2015. Since then a debilitating knee injury led specialists to recommend retirement. St Ledger refused to listen, ploughing his own money into private treatment and rehabilitation. He has lived like a professional despite not having a club, training alone in a bid to salvage his career. He signed a short-term deal with Solihull, his local team, on Monday, and Sunday’s FA Cup first-round tie at Wycombe will in some ways mean as much to him as scoring for the Republic of Ireland against Croatia at Euro 2012. BREAKING | #SMFC sign experienced defender @seanstledger12 on short-term contract until January. https://t.co/CJ1zSGfkEFpic.twitter.com/MZFnN35SAR— Solihull Moors FC (@SolihullMoors) October 30, 2017 “I just thought: ‘I want to play again’,” he says. “I want to get back to as high a level as possible but I’ve proved to myself I could get back from the injury. “Have there been times when I’ve wondered if this is all worth it? One hundred per cent. There have been times when my knee has swollen for no reason and I think it’s best that I move on and accept it. But I’ve always felt that when things have gone against me I have dug in and been quite dedicated. “There have been low times when I’ve said to my girlfriend that I don’t actually know what to do. You do get lonely. Most of my friends are in football. They ask what I’m up to and I’ll say I’m just doing rehab. I’ve missed the day to day, hanging out with the lads. You miss that when you come out of football for such a long period.” The enforced absence has also made St Ledger realise he hadn’t made the most of his time at Preston and Leicester, where he won the Championship. Sean St Ledger (left) during his Leicester days Credit: GETTY IMAGES “There were times I wasn’t as professional as I should have been,” he adds. “I took being a footballer for granted.  When I left Leicester [in 2014] I thought I would get a club quite easily. I wasn’t that old, had a heap of experience. I went to Ipswich on loan but I struggled to get a club that season. That was when it started to really hit home that I had started to mess around during the three years at Leicester when I had a great opportunity. “If I had known they were going to win the Premier League I probably wouldn’t have messed around as much as I did!” Instead he went to America and signed for Orlando City, spending a year playing with former World Player of the Year Kaka. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought I would play with someone like Kaka,” he says. “He was unbelievable, the humblest guy considering what he has won in the game. I used to walk in a quarter of an hour before training and he’d have been in the gym with his personal trainer already. His quality was unbelievable.” St Ledger: "#SMFC is a good place for me." Read @seanstledger12's first interview after joining The Moors. https://t.co/NBNbUSmikp. pic.twitter.com/xWshpetoY4— Solihull Moors FC (@SolihullMoors) October 30, 2017 There was also a rumour linking St Ledger with Swift after they were photographed together - “right place at the right time, but not true” he says - before he moved on to Colorado and then back to England, where he has been trying to find a club. He did so this week and he has had a swift reintroduction to the mad world of football. Less than 24 hours after he signed for Solihull the club’s manager, Richard Money, quit after just 28 days in charge. “I’ve never come across anything like it,” laughs St Ledger. “I’m in a Whatsapp group with the lads and one of the boys asked if anyone knew what was going on. Then someone else posted the club’s tweet saying he’d resigned. It’s crazy - I still don’t know the reasons why he left. “I’ve been getting messages on Twitter asking if it was my fault and what I’d done - but I can promise I’ve not done anything wrong!” This is one opportunity St Ledger is going to make the most of.

Sean St Ledger interview: Playing with Kaka, Taylor Swift rumours... but running out for Solihull in FA Cup now tops the lot

Sean St Ledger has scored for Ireland in a major tournament, played alongside Kaka and even been linked romantically with Taylor Swift, but he sounds almost giddy with excitement as he talks about making his debut for Solihull Moors on Sunday. “I know what some people will say,” explains the 32 year-old. “They’ll go: ‘It’s only Solihull and they’re in the Conference - what are you doing dropping down to their level?’ “But that doesn’t matter to me. This is such a personal achievement, signing for someone again. I’ve missed football so much.” It is over two years since St Ledger last played a competitive game, scoring an own-goal in Colorado Rapids’ 4-1 loss at Portland Timbers in October 2015. Since then a debilitating knee injury led specialists to recommend retirement. St Ledger refused to listen, ploughing his own money into private treatment and rehabilitation. He has lived like a professional despite not having a club, training alone in a bid to salvage his career. He signed a short-term deal with Solihull, his local team, on Monday, and Sunday’s FA Cup first-round tie at Wycombe will in some ways mean as much to him as scoring for the Republic of Ireland against Croatia at Euro 2012. BREAKING | #SMFC sign experienced defender @seanstledger12 on short-term contract until January. https://t.co/CJ1zSGfkEFpic.twitter.com/MZFnN35SAR— Solihull Moors FC (@SolihullMoors) October 30, 2017 “I just thought: ‘I want to play again’,” he says. “I want to get back to as high a level as possible but I’ve proved to myself I could get back from the injury. “Have there been times when I’ve wondered if this is all worth it? One hundred per cent. There have been times when my knee has swollen for no reason and I think it’s best that I move on and accept it. But I’ve always felt that when things have gone against me I have dug in and been quite dedicated. “There have been low times when I’ve said to my girlfriend that I don’t actually know what to do. You do get lonely. Most of my friends are in football. They ask what I’m up to and I’ll say I’m just doing rehab. I’ve missed the day to day, hanging out with the lads. You miss that when you come out of football for such a long period.” The enforced absence has also made St Ledger realise he hadn’t made the most of his time at Preston and Leicester, where he won the Championship. Sean St Ledger (left) during his Leicester days Credit: GETTY IMAGES “There were times I wasn’t as professional as I should have been,” he adds. “I took being a footballer for granted.  When I left Leicester [in 2014] I thought I would get a club quite easily. I wasn’t that old, had a heap of experience. I went to Ipswich on loan but I struggled to get a club that season. That was when it started to really hit home that I had started to mess around during the three years at Leicester when I had a great opportunity. “If I had known they were going to win the Premier League I probably wouldn’t have messed around as much as I did!” Instead he went to America and signed for Orlando City, spending a year playing with former World Player of the Year Kaka. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought I would play with someone like Kaka,” he says. “He was unbelievable, the humblest guy considering what he has won in the game. I used to walk in a quarter of an hour before training and he’d have been in the gym with his personal trainer already. His quality was unbelievable.” St Ledger: "#SMFC is a good place for me." Read @seanstledger12's first interview after joining The Moors. https://t.co/NBNbUSmikp. pic.twitter.com/xWshpetoY4— Solihull Moors FC (@SolihullMoors) October 30, 2017 There was also a rumour linking St Ledger with Swift after they were photographed together - “right place at the right time, but not true” he says - before he moved on to Colorado and then back to England, where he has been trying to find a club. He did so this week and he has had a swift reintroduction to the mad world of football. Less than 24 hours after he signed for Solihull the club’s manager, Richard Money, quit after just 28 days in charge. “I’ve never come across anything like it,” laughs St Ledger. “I’m in a Whatsapp group with the lads and one of the boys asked if anyone knew what was going on. Then someone else posted the club’s tweet saying he’d resigned. It’s crazy - I still don’t know the reasons why he left. “I’ve been getting messages on Twitter asking if it was my fault and what I’d done - but I can promise I’ve not done anything wrong!” This is one opportunity St Ledger is going to make the most of.

29-year-old Nuri Sahin, pictured during a Euro 2012 match against Germany, announced he was leaving the Turkish squad "to give way to a newer generation"

29-year-old Nuri Sahin, pictured during a Euro 2012 match against Germany, announced he was leaving the Turkish squad "to give way to a newer generation" (AFP Photo/ODD ANDERSEN)

29-year-old Nuri Sahin, pictured during a Euro 2012 match against Germany, announced he was leaving the Turkish squad "to give way to a newer generation"

29-year-old Nuri Sahin, pictured during a Euro 2012 match against Germany, announced he was leaving the Turkish squad "to give way to a newer generation"

FILE - In this June 22, 2012 file photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrates during the Euro 2012 soccer championship quarterfinal match between Germany and Greece in Gdansk, Poland. Germany won 4-2. Merkel is favored to win a fourth term in Germany's Sept. 24, 2017 election. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer, file)

Portugal v Holland - UEFA EURO 2012 Group B

File photo of Bert Van Marwijk. Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Carl Recine

Portugal v Holland - UEFA EURO 2012 Group B

File photo of Bert Van Marwijk. Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Carl Recine

FILE - In this Sunday, June 24, 2012 file photo Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon clenches his fists after England's Wayne Rooney, on the ground, missed a chance during the Euro 2012 soccer championship quarterfinal match between England and Italy in Kiev, Ukraine. England striker Wayne Rooney announced his immediate retirement from international football on Wednesday Aug. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

Another red card for Wayne Rooney as he is sent off against Montenegro in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

Another red card for Wayne Rooney as he is sent off against Montenegro in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

SERIE A 2017-18: Guide to promoted teams in Italy's top tier

FILE - In this, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010 file photo, Italy's Gianpaolo Pazzini, during a press conference following a training session ahead of Tuesday's Euro 2012 soccer qualifier against Serbia, at the Coverciano sports center, near Florence, Italy. Pazzini who is now hired by Hellas Verona is preparing with his team for this weekend's opening of the Italian league season.(AP Photo/Lorenzo Galassi, File)

FILE - In this, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010 file photo, Italy's Gianpaolo Pazzini, during a press conference following a training session ahead of Tuesday's Euro 2012 soccer qualifier against Serbia, at the Coverciano sports center, near Florence, Italy. Pazzini who is now hired by Hellas Verona is preparing with his team for this weekend's opening of the Italian league season.(AP Photo/Lorenzo Galassi, File)

On this Day: Spain win Euro 2012

Spain retained the European Championship by beating Italy 4-0 in the final

On this Day: Spain win Euro 2012

Spain retained the European Championship by beating Italy 4-0 in the final

On this Day: Spain win Euro 2012

Spain retained the European Championship by beating Italy 4-0 in the final

Euro 2012: England lose to Italy

… and highly…

Euro 2012: England lose to Italy

Ashley Young fires in his penalty against Italy…

Euro 2012: England lose to Italy

Ashley Cole walks away after his spot kick is saved by Gianluigi Buffon

Euro 2012: England lose to Italy

… leaving him to reflect on another England quarter-final exit

Euro 2012: England lose to Italy

… which Gianluigi Buffon saves…

Euro 2012: England lose to Italy

… and Cole begins the long walk back to the halfway line

Euro 2012: England lose to Italy

Ashley Cole slides in to deliver his fateful spot-kick against Italy…

Euro 2012: England lose to Italy

… which he hits firmly…

Looking back at a quarter-century of England's penalty kick shootout woes

It's a tale as old as time: England losing in a penalty shootout.

England bowed out of the 2017 Under-21 European Championships to Germany in heartbreaking fashion Tuesday, taking a 2-2 draw into penalty kicks before losing a 4-3 shootout. The win sends the Germans to the final. But this is not a new feeling for the English. This narrative has been played out before. In honor of England's continued failures from 12 yards away, here's a look back at some recent history from the senior team.

World Cup 1990: England vs. West Germany

It all started over 25 years ago when West Germany took down England in the semifinals. The two teams battled back and forth in the shootout, trading goals until the Germans finally pulled away. Stuart Pearce couldn't convert and Chris Waddle shot far over the crossbar to mark the end of the team's tournament run.

Euro 1996: England vs. Germany

Days after a shootout victory in the quarterfinals, England once again faced a pesky German team in a semifinal match. As the host country, England faced the pressure and expectations of a nation. A failed attempt by Gareth Southgate sent the squads into sudden death, where Andreas Molle would send the Germans onward once again.

World Cup 1998: England vs. Argentina

This classic, which featured an iconic red card for David Beckham, saw a promising opportunity for England to take a shootout. After drawing 2-2, the teams traded goals and a second-attempt save for each in the shootout. Argentina would take the penalties 4-3, though, and take the quarterfinal.

Euro 2004: England vs. Portugal

Six years later, another 2-2 draw sent England back to a quarterfinal shootout. Although Beckham missed the first shot, his squad scrambled back into the match and tied the score 5-5. That's when Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo stepped up and blasted the ball into the back of the net, sending the English on their way.

World Cup 2006: England vs. Portugal

Another year, another shootout, another quarterfinal. This time, a 0-0 draw that featured a Beckham injury sent England to penalties. Portugal missed two of its first three, but England failed to take an advantage, with both Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard missing their opening attempts. The Portuguese took a lead, Jamie Carragher missed and Cristiano Ronaldo finished the 3-1 Portugal shootout victory.

Euro 2012: England vs. Italy

England looked to win the quarterfinal match in penalties after a goalless draw. Goals from Gerrard and Wayne Rooney put the team up 2-1, but everything quickly collapsed. The Italians would net three unanswered penalties and eliminate England in familiar fashion.

U-17 Euro 2017: England vs. Spain

The final of the Under-17 European Championship in May 2017 went to Spain by way of a devastating penalty shootout. The young England team, which was leading with just seconds to go, couldn't come through at the end of its 80-minute match.

U-21 Euro 2017: England vs. Germany

The most recent shootout disappointment goes to the Under-21 team, which fell to Germany on Tuesday. It was a feat in and of itself to make it to a shootout in the semifinal against a talented German side, but once again England's tournament ended in defeat.

To be fair to the English, the team did snag a shootout victory over Spain in the 1996 Euro quarterfinals. But that joy was squashed four days later against Germany.

This article will inevitably be updated after the 2018 World Cup.

FILE PHOTO: An arrival area is seen in Boryspil airport outside Kiev

FILE PHOTO: An arrival area is seen in Boryspil airport outside Kiev, Ukraine, March 21, 2012. Borispol will be Ukraine's main air hub during the Euro 2012 football championship. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo

Two women walk by the Euro 2012 football fanzone near the Palace of Culture in the center of Poland's capital Warsaw.

Warsaw museum spotlights remains of destroyed city

Two women walk by the Euro 2012 football fanzone near the Palace of Culture in the center of Poland's capital Warsaw

FILE - In this Saturday, June 16, 2012 file photo Russia's Andrei Arshavin, right, leaves the pitch as Greek players celebrate their 1-0 win during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group A match between Greece and Russia in Warsaw, Poland. Kuban Krasnodar's fans hoped signing Andrei Arshavin would herald long-awaited success for their club. The local governor hoped for a pre-election boost. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

A year before World Cup, Russian clubs battle financial woes

FILE - In this Saturday, June 16, 2012 file photo Russia's Andrei Arshavin, right, leaves the pitch as Greek players celebrate their 1-0 win during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group A match between Greece and Russia in Warsaw, Poland. Kuban Krasnodar's fans hoped signing Andrei Arshavin would herald long-awaited success for their club. The local governor hoped for a pre-election boost. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

A year before World Cup, Russian clubs battle financial woes

FILE - In this Saturday, June 16, 2012 file photo Russia's Andrei Arshavin, right, leaves the pitch as Greek players celebrate their 1-0 win during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group A match between Greece and Russia in Warsaw, Poland. Kuban Krasnodar's fans hoped signing Andrei Arshavin would herald long-awaited success for their club. The local governor hoped for a pre-election boost. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

A Curious Calm in Italy's Drama

ROME, ITALY - JULY 01: Italian fans react as they watch the UEFA EURO 2012 final match between Italy and Spain on a big screen at the Circus Maximo on July 1, 2012 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images)

Czech Republic International Frantisek Rajtoral Confirmed Dead After Tragically Taking His Own Life

​Czech footballer Frantisek Rajtoral has died at the age of 31, ​via BBC Sport. Rajtoral played 24 times for his country and was apart of the team that reached the Euro 2012 quarter finals. The defender was plying his trade at Turkish top-flight club Gaziantepspor in 2016, having spent seven years with Viktoria Plzen, where he won the Czech league twice. The 31-year-old was reportedly found dead at home after Gaziantepspor alerted authorities to his absence on Sunday. Tributes have been...

Czech Republic International Frantisek Rajtoral Confirmed Dead After Tragically Taking His Own Life

​Czech footballer Frantisek Rajtoral has died at the age of 31, ​via BBC Sport. Rajtoral played 24 times for his country and was apart of the team that reached the Euro 2012 quarter finals. The defender was plying his trade at Turkish top-flight club Gaziantepspor in 2016, having spent seven years with Viktoria Plzen, where he won the Czech league twice. The 31-year-old was reportedly found dead at home after Gaziantepspor alerted authorities to his absence on Sunday. Tributes have been...

FILE - In this Thursday, June 7, 2012 file photo, Czech Republic's Theodor Gebre Selassie, left, and Czech Republic's Frantisek Rajtoral attend a training session a day ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group A match between Russia and Czech Republic in Wroclaw, Poland. Former Czech Republic defender Frantisek Rajtoral, who won the domestic league title four times before joining Turkish club Gaziantepspor, died on Sunday April 23, 2017. He was 31. The Czech football federation said in a statement that Rajtoral had “committed suicide in Turkey.” (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, File)

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 20, 2012 file photo Czech Republic's Frantisek Rajtoral, left, and Milan Petrzela attend a training session a day before the Euro 2012 soccer championship quarterfinal between Czech Republic and Portugal in Wroclaw, Poland. Former Czech Republic defender Frantisek Rajtoral, who won the domestic league title four times before joining Turkish club Gaziantepspor, died on Sunday April 23, 2017. He was 31. The Czech football federation said in a statement that Rajtoral had “committed suicide in Turkey.” (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)

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