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His side face Belgium in Saturday's third-place play-off in St Petersburg after Croatia dashed hopes of a first World Cup final appearance in 52 years.

The Three Lions' gaffer was asked if England's run at this tournament could be "as good as it gets" after drawing a fairly straightforward path to this week's semifinals.

"But when you've got to this point, and we've played as well as we have, you want to take those opportunities in life".

"What the players are going to experience is close to what we experienced in 1996 and in '66".

Aiming a shot at the second World Cup triumph, Gareth Southgate's wards fell short despite taking a fifth minute lead through Keiran Trippier. We've had a lot of success at junior level, now with the seniors. "He was number three in the world and on Sunday I will be number two at least".

AFTER THEIR extra-time defeat by Croatia, Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore has paid tribute to the England team for having reached their first FIFA World Cup semi-finals in 28 years. I'm sure that we'll recover and we'll be fine - this is the World Cup final and there are no excuses. That's probably where we are.

"It will be a match they will be ready for and I don't think extra time or penalties has been or will be a handicap for them", said Matuidi.

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England's players had been criticized for their recent tournament showings after a group stage exit in the last World Cup and being knocked out of Euro 2016 by tiny Iceland.

England's previous best result came in 1990, when its side - featuring the likes of Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne - lost in the playoff to hosts Italy.

You have to cope with expectation if you want to play for England. "It's the same as if you're at a big club". The players can associate playing with England with enjoyment, fun and not being under siege and feeling everything is against them. "There's an energy and connection that's back".

'If the score is level after extra time, penalty kicks will be taken to determine the victor in accordance with the procedure described in the Laws of the Game'.

"I think a physical part of that is going to have a huge bearing", Southgate said. "We're here to improve every time we play", he continued.

Suker, now the president of the Croatian Football Federation, netted six goals in seven matches.

Steven Gerrard has praised England's national football team for doing better than his "Golden Generation" ever could. We know where we are.


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