Regrets mixed with pride as England fans digest World Cup heartbreak

Thursday, 12 Jul, 2018

The Three Lions manager has sported a navy blue Marks & Spencer one throughout England's run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russian Federation, which has led to increased sales and more Google searches for the item back home.

"You did us proud": The Star pays tribute to England's "brave lions", even though they came up short on a "night of raw emotion".

England's run to the World Cup final would be, on paper at least, one of the easiest since Federation Internationale de Football Association began ranking worldwide teams in 1993.

"We salute you": It's pretty much a love letter from the Mail's sport section to Southgate and his team. "I don't think realistically we expected to be here".

This time around, we could see the stars play, or we could see some more reserves to get some guys some minutes, and that makes picking here hard.

Eric Amsalem, a 48-year-old Croatian fan with his face painted in the colours of the national flag said: "It's a small country".

Croatia, a country of about 4 million people, came to a standstill as fans watched the game on screens in squares and cafes.

In a sea of England jerseys, there was one lone Croatia shirt in the packed pub - two Croatian fans in total, who embraced in a hug after their momentous win.

"But equally we want to be a team that's hitting quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals - that was what we've aimed to do in the long term and we've proved that is possible".

"A kick in the Balkans": The Metro references Croatia as England's tormentors with a pun but insists Southgate's men are "still our heroes".

"Hold your heads high": The Telegraph focuses on the positives of England's run and Kane's insistence that "this is just the start".

"That speaks volumes in itself".

Chris Treloar, 34, said: "I'm absolutely gutted, especially with the way the goal went in".

Jason Kay, 49, also from Coventry, simply added: "See you in four years' time".

"We have the chance to do something better, and hopefully we can do it on Sunday".

Nick Branch, 35, joked: "I'm a West Ham fan so I'm used to disappointment".

"I've been to lots of failures and I thought this was the time".