Croatia final confirms Europe's World Cup dominance


England manager Gareth Southgate addressed his players and staff at their base in Repino yesterday following their crushing World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia.

Southgate says despite losing to Croatia, England remains motivated by the thought of achieving the nation's best World Cup finish since victory in 1966.

Fear of France hatching a plan to stop Modric: "We are not afraid that they will try to take Modric out of the game because we have other players".

Writing Croatia's name in the history books: "We'll be in the history books for being, along with Uruguay, the smallest country to play in the final".

"Players had run out of steam but that's partly their age - they're still physically maturing".

"I must say the support we've had from home and the feeling of support is huge".

Both Croatia and England had their local fans behind them with each side dressed head to toe in their team's colours. Everyone wants to play.

"I think in the first half we were really good and maybe we could have got another goal", Southgate told ITV.

"The cup feels so close we can nearly touch it but there is still a lot to do to get there".

"I don't know (if he wants to play)", England boss Southgate said of a striker now leading the scoring charts with six goals. That was just extra motivation for us.

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"There is a culture that exists now that any new player that comes in has to follow".

"If we had a parade, that would have been one part of the country".

"We were 20 minutes from a World Cup final - that is going to live with me forever, there is no doubt about that".

But it was much the same with the French team too, he added. I think when I was a player I had a very simplistic mindset.

"He didn't. He wanted to do what was right for the team, so it would be even more powerful for him if he wins the Golden Boot having made that sacrifice, in my opinion".

"Of course it's going to be a really hard task over the next 24 hours to get everyone mentally back to where we want them for a game like that. It's the same as if you were at a big club".

Croatia have been involved in 3 consecutive extra time sessions in their previous games.

"We know where we are", he said.

Outside the football stadiums, social media was another ground for the "It Is Coming Home" frenzy, as people took to hashtags and viral videos to express their support or "non-support" as the case may be for the Three Lions stride for World Cup glory.