England hailed as heroes after World Cup heartache

Tanya Simon
July 12, 2018

The Three Lions' Russian adventure ended on Wednesday with a 2-1 semi-final defeat to Croatia, although they will stay in the country for the third-place play-off on Saturday.

They had only previously been in the World Cup semi-finals in 1966, when they won the title on home soil, and 1990 so Southgate said he was trying to balance his pride in his young team with remembering how rare such chances are. "I don't think realistically we expected to be here. It's going to hurt for a while, of course, but we can hold our heads up high".

"We were louder, they were carrying us, they picked us up when we were not in control of the game", Dalic said of the supporters.

We imagine if - sorry when - England get through to the final, BA and other companies will have to up their game even more.

Cristiano Ronaldo pens farewell letter to Real Madrid fans
I am leaving but this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu I will continue to feel as something that is mine wherever I go. Manchester United chose not to sign Ronaldo due to their interest in his Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale.

The Three Lions fought bravely but came up just short in extra time as Croatia snatched a late victor to book their spot in Sunday's final with France.

"We were planning to leave, but now we have to stay until Monday", said Sinisa Pavlek, a Croatian living in Germany as he emerged from the stadium with a broad smile on his face. "The dressing room is a hard place at the moment". "Many of these players have come of age and I couldn't be prouder of them". It's clear to everybody the progress that's been made in terms of the level of performance and togetherness of the group. "We've proved to ourselves and our country that is possible".

"All played out": Southgate hugs Pickford amid the mass of gloomy England players and staff, but the i Paper sport section leads on Kane's words rallying his teammates to use the experience as fuel for future tournaments.

"I'd need to look back again at it". "There was a period of the game in the second half where we didn't have that controlled possession, and the game became too end to end with us not building in the way we have been. I can't ask more of him as a captain or as a man over the last three weeks".

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