10 things that didn't exist when England were last in a World Cup semi-final

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Published by Josh Kerr at 12:14pm 11th July 2018.

It’s well documented just how historic an occasion England reaching the World Cup semi-final is.

Today's game against Croatia in Moscow will be just the third time the Three Lions have played in such a fixture and the first since 1990.

A lot has happened over the past 28 years, so here is a look at what's changed since that iconic night all those years ago:

1. Social Media


Perhaps one of the most obvious examples of how the world has changed, these days with the right combination of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram you can pretty much follow the whole tournament without turning the TV on. 

2. Flat screen TVs

Cathode Ray Tube TV

On the note of TVs, whilst we're now used to HD, Ultra-HD and 4K, back in 1990 things were very different. Screens were smaller, tellies were fat and there were only five channels.

3. Aqua Vale

Aqua Vale - outside

It's a familiar sight in Aylesbury these days, but Aqua Vale was still over a decade away from opening when England were last in a World Cup semi. We were still using the Reg Maxwell!

4. Catchup TV

Catchup TV

Nowadays you can watch and rewatch every kick, flick and trick from the world’s premier football competition. Back in the 90’s your only option would be to tape it on VHS, but you'd have rewind before you could watch it. 

5. England's 2018 World Cup Squad

World Cup

The Three Lions’ squad is one of the youngest at the tournament, so it’s no wonder then that only seven of Gareth Southgate’s 23 man squad were born before that semi-final against West Germany in Turin. 

6. (New) Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium

Although Wembley was the home of English football long before 1990, back then England’s home matches happened under the twin towers, rather than the arch. After a long redevelopment the new Wembley opened in 2007. 

7. VAR

Assistant Referee

A bit like catchup TV in a way, VAR (Video Assisted Referee) was introduced for the first time for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It’s certainly been a talking point… 

8. Mix96

Mix96 sign

That’s right, not even Mix96 was around back then! Mix hit the airwaves in 1994 - just before the next tournament.

9. Smartphones


We seem to be addicted to them these days but when Sir Bobby Robson’s team were strutting their stuff at Italia 90, text messaging hadn’t even been invented - let alone the iPhone.

10. Playstation


One of the most successful brand of games consoles in the world, the original Playstation was still more than four years away from hitting the shelves and it's great rival the Xbox didn't arrive in Europe until 2002.

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