56 years and 14 World Cup editions later, the wait continues, and after yesterday, you can add another 4 years to the figure.
England agonizingly dropped out of the World Cup once again, on this occasion, through a 2-1 defeat to holders France in the quarter-finals.
The game was a tense watch and things even got frenetic on occasions.
France grabbed the lead during the 17th minute through Aurelien Tchouameni, and the score stayed 1-0 up until halftime.
In the second 45, the Three Lions looked more astute offensively and eventually won a penalty after a tackle on Bukayo Saka.
Up stepped the characteristically clinical Harry Kane, who slammed the ball hard into the left corner and drew England level.
However, another twist awaited.
France’s leading goal-scorer in Oliver Giroud left his mark on the game by heading in Les Blues’ second, a goal that eventually clinched the game.
And just a few minutes later, England received their chance to level things through another penalty, with Harry Kane taking charge again.
Unfortunately, the nerves got to the English skipper who flashed his pen high above the bar and unknowingly sent France through in the process.
Following the full-time whistle, the Englishmen dropped to the turf in dejection, and images of the scenes really sum up England’s night.
However, if there’s one image that perfectly encapsulates English emotions, it’s this one featuring Jude Bellingham.
His hands kept against his face, jaw-dropping from disillusion, his eyes popping out in bewilderment, its shock and awe personified.
The culprit behind his stupefaction is one man and one man only, Wilton Sampaio.
The Brazilian ref took charge of the game and was mostly inconsistent with his decisions, often awarding 50/50 calls in France’s favour.
Even the incident for the second penalty was initially deemed to be clean by the ref, who only changed his mind after being asked by VAR to have another look.
The foul itself occurred after Theo Hernandez barged into Mason Mount’s back without any intention of winning the ball, denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity in the process.
Normally, this would be considered a red card offense, but Sampaio wasn’t having any of it.
After completing the check and granting the penalty, he went against expectations and deemed Hernandez to be worthy of only a yellow card.
Naturally, the men in white were surprised by the decision, perhaps none more so than Bellingham who looked absolutely stunned.
Aside from finding his shock to be pretty relatable, fans online felt that his expression looked incredibly similar to an iconic painting, and it’s pretty easy to see why.
The painting they likened his expression to is a classic named ‘The Scream’.
Created by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, the painting is actually a pop-culture staple, and often the template for thousands of memes.
Drawn in the proto-expressionist art style, it depicts a panic-stricken creature with a blood-red backdrop created using swirling lines.
Intended to be a raw symbol of human anxiety, fans online found the creature’s expression to be eerily similar to that of Bellingham’s from the picture.
They even edited Bellingham into the painting to produce a somewhat modern rendition of the classic. And we can’t help but say, he looks right at home.
Users also pointed to the fact that the painting sold for $120m in an auction, and drew a parallel with Bellingham’s current evaluation, which is currently placed at about $130m.
The World Cup may have slipped but at least England gave us some real meme material on the way out.