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The sentiment comes after the Croatian team has had a Cinderella-story tournament, in which they beat many teams they were expected to fall to.

It was fantastic to be a part of it, and seeing them all so happy has been one of the stand-out moments of my time in Russian Federation.

"I am Brazilian but I love Croatia since I was 5 years old!" "They underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake".

Meanwhile the England men's U20's team achieved World Cup glory after beating Venezuela 1-0 a year ago. "It's not a waste of time; it's a game we want to play".

With Trippier and Ashley Young under pressure, England's midfield began to be stretched with Jordan Henderson taking on an unmanageable workload and Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli more preoccupied with helping out the defenders than asking questions of Croatia's backline. "Finals here we come - if we are nothing else we are resilient, us Croatians!"

Tesco ice cream buying manager Sonia Morland said: "The rare combination of Mediterranean weather and England progressing to the last four of the World Cup has created a contagious feel-good factor that is sweeping the country". Since then I've been following all the matches in Croatia to this day!

Southgate has become something of a national treasure after breathing new life into the team following the disastrous performance at Euro 2016 in France.

"It's hard to say (what went wrong). Mistakes were always going to happen but I think to be a top team you have got to play in that style". Since 2014 he strives like never before and leaves all his love for Croatia on the pitch!

'I'm not sure it was ideal by any means, ' said Southgate.

Youth development: Croatian players' children took to the field after their semi-final win. But, for 31 of the 32 teams that qualify for the World Cup every for years, the tournament ends in disappointment, and that's especially true for the teams that lose in the semifinal.

"The victory over Argentina, the extra time!" This shows character and is what makes me proud. "I can't ask more of him as a captain or as a man over the last three weeks".

Frenchman Lloris, whose side face Croatia in the final, is favourite to win the prestigious award but whatever happens, the England keeper leaves Russian Federation recognised as one of the best in the business.


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