On July 30th, 1966, the English national football team made history, winning a monumental match against West Germany to win their first FIFA World Cup title. The game was a nail-biter in the truest sense of the term: the German squad took the lead just 12 minutes in, with a goal from playmaker Helmut Haller. England fired back six minutes later, with a goal from Geoff Hurst. Just like that, one of the closest, most exciting, and all-around greatest World Cup finals was underway.

The excitement, of course, continued throughout. England's Martin Peters gave the Three Lions the lead at 78 minutes, and it looked as if the goal might give football's birth country their first ever World Cup win. But when West Germany's Wolfgang Weber equalized 11 minutes later, in what might have otherwise been the final moments of the match, the game kicked into legendary status as it barreled into extra time.

Those extra 30 minutes would make Geoff Hurst one of English soccer's foremost icons, netting two goals to give England a triumphant 4-2 victory. He remains the only person ever to score a hat trick in a World Cup final-made all the more special by the fact that 1966 remains England's only World Cup title.

A Half-Century Later 

This July, a half-century will have passed since England's World Cup win and Hurst's history-making performance. Unsurprisingly, the arrival of 1966 has already brought a good deal of reflection on that World Cup-and that game, in particular-from the soccer press.

The celebration will run all year, too. The National Football Museum is teaming up with the FA to host exhibitions on the 1966 World Cup. The exhibits will be presented both at Wembley Stadium-where the final match of the tournament was played-and at the National Football Museum building in Manchester. According to the Manchester Evening News, the exhibits will include "a raft of new objects, photographs, and film," including the game ball from the final and the tournament trophy. For English soccer fans, the exhibits will be like going to heaven.

Euro 2016: A Chance at Another Major Trophy?

While exhibitions, think pieces, and reflections will offer fitting celebration for the 50-year anniversary of England's World Cup win, it's possible that the current English national football team could offer the most fitting celebration of all: a victory at the 2016 European Championship.

Understandably, some fans are skeptical about England's chances at Euro this summer. The Three Lions may hail from the country where soccer was born, but the team's track record at major tournaments is admittedly mixed. Indeed, England have only reached the World Cup semi-finals once since their 1966 win (in 1990, when they finished fourth). To date, the English national team has never won a European Championship.

Despite these damning statistics, though, there is some optimism among English soccer fans that the Three Lions could pull off a miracle to mark the 50th anniversary of 1966's magical World Cup win. England were arguably the best team on the field during the Euro 2016 qualifiers, winning all 10 of their games, scoring 31 goals, and only conceding three. Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck also both put up impressive goal tallies for the qualifiers, with Rooney netting seven and Welbeck scoring six.

England certainly have a sterling base of talent at the moment. In addition to Rooney and Welbeck, Harry Kane, Theo Walcott, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling, and Jack Wilshere all scored two or more goals in the qualifiers. Add a top goalkeeper (Manchester City's Joe Hart) and a solid crew of defenders (Gary Cahill, Kieran Gibbs, Nathaniel Clyne, etc.) and England should have a shot at the Euro title.

Do you think Euro 2016 could be England's for the taking? Or will the football team's recent string of disappointing performances in major tournaments continue for another year? Mark the 50th anniversary of the Three Lions' 1966 World Cup triumph and root for the current English squad with a new England shirt from Soccer Box!