England come up short against Belgium in third and fourth playoff


Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn believes England's run to the World Cup semi-finals has given them a great platform to aspire to greater heights.

Gareth Southgate has revealed his pride in the England team after the finished fourth at the 2018 World Cup.

Now, with the World Cup winding down and England players heading home to their various clubs, ready for the next domestic season, it's natural for fans to start thinking about the future.

On Sunday, the victor of four Champions League titles with Real Madrid will play the biggest match of his life against France and size will be the last thing on his mind.

"We are very proud of what we've done, but we're under no illusions as a team as to where we stand", said Southgate, after his side lost to Belgium for the second time in the tournament.

"I couldn't be happier with his contribution in the tournament and what he's done to help the team to achieve what we've done". Some of the players couldn't go again.

"When we were in Russian Federation, we received many messages that you believed this team would make history".

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But regularly, the game is used to give reserves game time in a tournament in which they might not have featured regularly.

"We've tried to play out and change the game to the way we want to play but there is still a lot of improvement to come".

While Cahill may have played his last game for England, Southgate says fellow defender Phil Jones was unlucky not to be in team in Russian Federation and "can be a part of what we want to do" going forwards.

"Now this group of players overcame that and that's historic; it took 32 years to be able to be in this position, so there's real satisfaction and real success". A couple of them may not want the same sort of involvement or may want to finish but it's only right they discuss that, rather than me. "All of them. And they should be proud of themselves because they've achieved an equal high in terms of tournament performance that any English team that's had to come overseas for a tournament has achieved", Southgate said.

"This is a historic game not just for the 13 or 14 players and the squad but also for everybody who is a Croat", Rakitic said at a news conference on Friday. "Simply, the players know what that is", Dalic said on Saturday.

"I think he's captained the team exceptionally well".

Les Bleus were deserved winners against Belgium on Tuesday, despite many pundits suggesting otherwise, but they were always in control of the game (xG: FRA 1.76 - 0.54 BEL).