England V. Croatia, Winner Will Play France

Thursday, 12 Jul, 2018

After joining Federation Internationale de Football Association in 1992 and then UEFA in 1993 following the break up of Yugoslavia, Croatia made an instant impact at their first World Cup finals when they reached the 1998 semi-finals.

The striker - who remains the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final - said the players have the chance to become immortal.

"Then they asked me if I was OK".

Only two years ago, Maguire was following England as a spectator at Euro 2016, and numerous friends who were with him then have been back in the stands to follow him this time around.

They return to Moscow for the game against Croatia, having played in the Russian capital in the last 16 against Colombia, albeit at the smaller Spartak Stadium.

Midfielder Jordan Henderson said: "It's a special feeling to know people back home and here are enjoying the experience as much as we are".

"We had a little less composure with the ball in the second half, and maybe that was a effect of being ahead with the least experienced team in the finals, with an opportunity to get to a World Cup final".

But he is wary of a France team which has improved steadily throughout the World Cup and looked solid defensively against Belgium's considerable attacking prowess on Wednesday. Not what's happened in the past. "We wanted to win it all", Kane said.

Neither team came to Russian Federation being heralded as favourites but they have produced performances throughout the competition which have shown they were underestimated by the pundits.

In their quarter-final clash with Russia, the Croats showed a different side, being willing to slug it out with the Russians for 120 minutes before keeping their cool and winning the shootout in such a partisan atmosphere.

"Most of our players were not at the Euros".

The former West Ham United equalised for England against West Germany in the 1966 final - before clinching the game with two goals in extra time.

"We felt we were good enough but have fallen just a bit short".

Prime Minister Theresa May said the team had "a great journey that's made the country proud".

The flag fever's now spread to Rochford where Sarah Lindores told us "we managed to source 288 flags and 30 big flags and we just asked the community to come out and help us. the response we had was just fantastic".

Amid a couple of puns, there were plenty of kind words for Southgate in particular, as well as for the impact England's exploits had at home.