First some comprehension questions to help you understand what it's about. As always, try and predict the answers, even before you read the text itself:
- In the opinion of the writer, what has defined England's sense of itself since 1588?
- What helped to undermine this sense of itself in the 20th century?
- Before, when England qualified for the final phase of a football competition, what was the reaction of the English tabloids and press in general?
- In the opinion of the writer, was this a reasonable reaction?
- What has changed since England got through to the final phase of the Eurocopa? What has been the reaction of commentators and football pundits this time round?
- Who does most of the press think England will not be able to beat?
- What's the difference between the Spain from last year's World Cup in South Africa and this year? What does Spain do better now?
- In the opinion of the writer, what are English footballers seriously missing? And what other thing do they also need to acquire?
And we'll publish model answers to the comprehension questions tomorrow via newsletter - so if you want to keep up-to-date with those, why not subscribe now?