Top 5 England’s Biggest Losses In Football History

Today, I will be sharing with you some of the biggest England defeats in football history. The England national football team has been kicking it on the international stage since way back in 1872.

They’re under the watchful eye of The Football Association (FA), which bosses football in England and hangs out with cool cats like UEFA and FIFA.

England won the World Cup in 1966, right in their backyard, and they’ve made it to the World Cup 16 times, with fourth place as their best finish in ’90 and 2018. Despite the team’s success, they are not without some defeats that were alarming, but then this loss should not cover their success.

In this post, you will learn about England’s biggest loss in football history which will include:

  • England’s biggest loss since 2000
  • England’s biggest home loss
  • England’s biggest defeat since 2020

And lots more. That said, here are the top 5 England biggest loss in football history:

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  1. Hungary Vs England ( 7 – 1 )
  2. Scotland Vs England ( 5 – 1 )
  3. Yugoslavia Vs England ( 5 – 0 )
  4. Brazil Vs England ( 5 – 1 )
  5. England Vs Hungary ( 3 – 6 )

Let Grandpa take you on a ride learning about England’s biggest loss.

1. Hungary Vs England ( 7 – 1 )

On May 23, 1954, Hungary clashed with England in an international friendly football match that would go down in history.

Hungary, then considered the world’s number one team and Olympic champions, faced England, known as the birthplace of football and the self-proclaimed “Kings of Football.” This match was a much-anticipated rematch after Hungary’s 6-3 victory over England at Wembley Stadium in 1953.

England entered the game hoping to prove that their previous loss was a mere abnormality. However, Hungary displayed their footballing mastery, delivering a crushing blow to England with an astonishing 7-1 triumph.

To this day, it remains England’s biggest defeat. The match was played at Budapest’s Nepstadion, drawing a crowd of 92,000 supporters. England’s lineup included notable players such as Billy Wright, Gil Merrick, Tom Finney, and Ivor Broadis.

Right from the start, Hungary dominated the game, leaving England chasing shadows. Hungary’s Mihály Lantos, Ferenc Puskás, and Sándor Kocsis netted goals in the first half, outclassing England.

The second half mirrored the first, with Hungary’s dominance continuing again. Kocsis scored his second, followed by goals from Nándor Hidegkuti, József Tóth, and Puskás. However, Ivor Broadis managed to salvage a consolation goal for England, but the damage had been done.

The final scoreline, Hungary 7 – England 1, stands as England’s biggest defeat in their history of football.

2. Scotland Vs England ( 7 – 2 )

The Scotland vs England match on March 2, 1878, holds a place in football history as one of England’s biggest defeats.

The match took place in the 1st Hampden Stadium, this international friendly match witnessed a thrilling clash between the two neighboring nations, captivating an audience of 15,000 fans.

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The encounter, officiated by referee Willie Dick, showcased the immense footballing talent and rivalry between Scotland and England.

In a surprising turn of events, Scotland emerged victorious with an impressive scoreline of 7-2. Scotland’s dominance was outstanding performances of players like John McDougall I, who netted three goals, John McGregor, William Muir MacKinnon, and Henry McNeil, who each added a goal to Scotland’s tally.

Their attacking balance proved too much for the English defense to handle, as they found the back of the net with accuracy.

England, while facing a challenging task against a formidable Scottish side, managed to score two goals to salvage some pride.

John George Wylie and Arthur William Cursham were the goal-scorers for England, displaying moments of brilliance amidst a tough outing.

3.   Yugoslavia Vs England ( 5 – 0 )

The Yugoslavia vs England match on May 11, 1958, stands as a chapter in England’s football history, marking one of their biggest defeats.

This international friendly, held at the JNA Stadion in Belgrade, drew a crowd of 55,000 fans, eager to witness the clash between these footballing nations.

In a stunning display of attacking abilities, Yugoslavia secured an emphatic 5-0 victory over England. The goals came from the prolific boots of Milos Milutinovic, Aleksander Petakovic (who scored three goals), and Todor Veselinovic.

Their clinical finishing and team play left England struggling to cope with their opponents’ pressure. The Yugoslavian team, set up by Tirnanic’s tactical brilliance, outclassed England in every aspect of the game.

From the opening whistle to the final moments, Yugoslavia’s dominance was evident, with their goals coming at crucial intervals. England found themselves unable to find a breakthrough against Yugoslavia’s sturdy defense.

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The defeat served as a wake-up call for England, exposing the need for tactical improvements and approach to the game.

4.   Brazil Vs England ( 5 – 1 )

The clash between Brazil and England on May 30, 1964, at the iconic Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro is one of England’s biggest losses.

Brazil’s footballing mastery under manager Aymore Moreira was hotter than it is now. Their attacks resulted in goals from Rinaldo (twice), the late Pelé, Julinho, and Roberto Dias, proving their technical ability.

England’s Jimmy Greaves managed to score a solitary goal, but it was a mere consolation in the face of Brazil’s overwhelming dominance.

The match exposed the stark difference in skill and tactics between the two teams, leaving England to question their approach to the game.

5.   England Vs Hungary ( 3 – 6 )

The match between England, and Hungary took place on November 25, 1953, and it is known as the Match of the Century. Hungary emerged victorious with a big 6-3 win as this defeat stands as England’s biggest home loss.

Right from the start, Hungary showed class. In the opening minute, Nándor Hidegkuti unleashed a powerful shot, beating England’s goalkeeper Gil Merrick and setting the tone for the match.

The rigid English WM formation proved inadequate against Hungary’s fluid tactics.

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Hidegkuti and Ferenc Puskás repeatedly lured English players out of position, allowing their technically skilled teammates to bypass their markers. England center-half Harry Johnston, in particular, struggled to mark Hidegkuti.

Despite England’s ability to create chances, except Stan Mortensen’s goal in the 15th minute, Hungary’s dominance remained unyielding.

Hidegkuti scored again in the 20th minute, followed by Puskás’ iconic “drag-back” goal just four minutes later, leaving England’s captain Billy Wright futilely chasing a space.

Puskás struck again in the 27th minute from a deflected József Bozsik free-kick, firmly establishing Hungary’s supremacy.

Although England showed signs of life with Robb’s denied goal and Mortensen’s second goal in the 38th minute, Hungary’s 4-2 halftime lead accurately reflected their overall class.

Bozsik added another goal in the 52nd minute, further extending Hungary’s advantage to 5-2. Hidegkuti completed his hat-trick with a volley in the 55th minute, making it 6-2.

England managed to convert a penalty through Ramsey after Robb was fouled by Hungary’s goalkeeper, but their efforts fell short.

Hungary’s solid defense kept England at bay, and the match concluded with a final score of 6-3, underscoring Hungary’s dominance.

Media coverage of the game emphasized the impact of Hungary’s style of play: “The English team was competent by British standards except at inside forward, but on the evidence of this afternoon this standard will not long be good enough for England to retain her position in the high places of the football world.”


England has faced some heavy defeats in its football history, and the biggest loss came in 1954 when Hungary defeated England 7-1, followed by Scotland’s 7-2 victory in 1878.

Yugoslavia secured a 5-0 win over England in 1958, while Brazil triumphed 5-1 in 1964. Hungary’s 6-3 victory over England in 1953 stands as their biggest home loss.

However, it’s important to recognize England’s overall success and contributions to the sport, including their 1966 World Cup win.