Croatia without five star players 48 hours before World Cup final

Lionel Messi with his head in his hands as Croatia beat Argentina 3-0

Image Lionel Messi with his head in his hands as Croatia beat Argentina 3-0

However, Southgate has a contract until 2020, which could be extended until beyond the 2022 World Cup, giving England stability.

"We've had a lot of success at junior level, now with the seniors".

Germany, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal and Argentina currently occupy the top five slots in the rankings but Southgate said that the pressure is now on England to rise up to the very top. That's probably where we are.

Harry Kane looks set to claim the Golden Boot as the World Cup's leading scorer, but the Tottenham star rarely looked like adding to his six goals against Croatia.

"If I was in charge of the FA, there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup".

"They coped brilliantly with all of that".

It relates to the chanting of "no surrender" by England fans and other potentially discriminatory songs. But when you've got to this point and played as well as we have. you want to take these opportunities in life.

"I would like to see him play the final so on Sunday we both have a great day", he said.

"They can now associate playing with England with enjoyment and fun and not being under siege. There is an energy and connection back".

Southgate was criticized following a 2-1 extra time loss to Croatia for failing to impact the game with his substitutions.

"You'll always analyze every decision you make", Southgate said. Little was expected from England in Russian Federation, but they have overachieved by going so far and Southgate is the man credited with the turnaround in fortunes. Perhaps we had played as well as we could have done.

"We felt the best way to be successful in this tournament was to play that system. Many of these players have come of age and I couldn't be prouder of them".

"But if we had a parade that would have been one part of the country and we represent the whole country as well".

"There's plenty of room for improvement, which the players are up for". Belgium and England face off in the third-place match after losing in the semifinals.

The possibility of a public celebration in the team's honour had been raised in response to their unexpected run to the final four, the nation's best performance in 28 years. I don't think anyone could have given any more. After 62 matches, two remain to challenge for the title. We've been through brilliant experiences this time. We have this togetherness, this unique unity - not just in football.

Southgate, part of the England team beaten in the semi-finals of Euro 96 when he missed the decisive penalty against Germany, reflected with pride and optimism on Russian Federation 2018.

His Belgian counterpart Roberto Martinez was similarly unenthused about the game after his side were beaten 1-0 by France on Tuesday.

"I am feeling 100 per cent that we will win that is my hope", said Walter Brasic.

"Everyone who has been around the Belgium team has performed in an incredible manner". You can't put it into words. To try to finish third in the World Cup doesn't happen often.

However, with many fans having already booked their tickets for the semi-finals, as well as the final in many cases, there still remains a sizeable South American presence at the World Cup.

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