Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Regrets mixed with pride as England fans digest World Cup heartbreak

Regrets mixed with pride as England fans digest World Cup heartbreak

"Now I want to go and see what's going on in Russian Federation", said one fan, Michael Roberts, 27, as he waited for his flight.

A first World Cup final since 1966 and a showdown with France agonisingly slipped away.

The team has already grown remarkably in just two years, and that growth seems certain to continue.

Deschamps, who also led France to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup, has not always enjoyed universal praise for his work with France but Lloris believes the man who wore the armband he now calls his own with distinction has found the ideal tactics for the knockout rounds of this competition.

Lady Elsie Robson also claimed that the former manager would be willing Gareth Southgate and his team to win the tournament "with every fibre of his being".

Alas, it was not to be.

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The England manager's waistcoat has formed a major talking point in England's run to the World Cup semifinal, sparking a waistcoat craze across the United Kingdom.

He said: "I think Croatia have a better side". But right now, the signs are all looking good. Look at the other teams they'll be up against. Many of these players have come of age on an global stage. Harry Kane, the captain, is just 24.

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

Jordan Henderson has been one of England's best players in Russian Federation, but he was asked to do the job of two men at times.

England learned that lesson in its opening 2-1 win over Tunisia in Volgograd. But the squad that England fielded in 2018 seemed like a completely different team, despite comprising numerous same players.

"Then they asked me if I was OK".

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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. The waistcoat-wearing coach has transformed England's prospects, and he seems sure to stick around.

In addition to touching on England's preparations for the nation's biggest game in almost three decades, Southgate took the time to praise World Cup hosts Russian Federation.

The FA, the governing body of English football, already have 2022 firmly in their sights.

Three Lions has become the anthem of England's World Cup campaign but Southgate said that such was the pain of his penalty shoot-out miss at Euro 96, when the song was first released, that he could not bear to listen to it again.

And the team is already eyeing up the road ahead. "We restored some pride back into the shirt, which was an important thing for us to do".

His friend Joe Carter, 43, from York, added: "We really thought it was going to be different - this was our chance". We have to carry that on.

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