Out of adversity, Modric and Croatia to play for World Cup

Kristopher Nichols
July 16, 2018

He used the example of the feel-good aspect of Germany's performance at the 2006 finals, where the hosts - with a young team like the current England crop - won over a nation despite losing to Italy in the semi-finals.

The way English supporters have embraced this team and their exploits in the last month has been nearly unprecedented, and with the vast majority of the squad still in their early to mid-twenties, there may be plenty more for their fans to enthuse about in the next few years. But they can not just expect to turn in up Qatar in four years and win the World Cup.

"We now have players who I think can stand on their own two feet in the Premier League", said Southgate.

"But on a personal level, and mixing with the people of Russian Federation, we couldn't have been made more welcome".

"There's always a balance of decisions you make that you're really pleased with and things you think, 'OK, how might we do that differently?'"

"If Croatia can win then we will all be able to dream of doing it", Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said on the eve of the game, spelling out that the dominance of the tournament by the larger, established footballing super powers could be at an end.

England returned to Birmingham on Sunday having emulated their best finish at a tournament on foreign soil.

You should be proud despite defeat, Croatia coach tells players
France took a 4-1 lead midway through the second half of the final and it was pretty much over from there. French forward Kylian Mbappe has been named the best young player in Russian Federation .

Britons Design Creative Trump Blimps to Protest His Visit
Sarah Elliott, chairwoman of Republicans Overseas UK, told CNN she did not think Trump would be fazed by the stunt. In the interview, Trump pledged to walk away from a major US-UK trade deal and launched a personal assault on May.

Isaiah Thomas inks deal with Nuggets, Jeremy Lin joins Hawks
Maybe these posts had an effect as it was reported soon after that he had signed a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets . Thomas averaged 15.2 points in 26.9 minutes per game with the Cavaliers and the Lakers last season.

"Gary has a desire to still be involved, and he's a player we really respect", Southgate said.

Those old Yugoslav teams were known as the "European Brazilians" for their neat technical moves that sometimes produced great play. That's the contrast from me from two years, from Iceland, to when we lost in the semi-final (against Croatia in Moscow). "We are here to enjoy the final and give our best".

Southgate this weekend made the same observation that I made 10 days earlier: that this England side are very like the vibrant young German team at the 2006 World Cup, a nation which was to go on and win the World Cup eight years later.

Football pundit Stan Collymore caused plenty of fuss at England's semi-final. "We have one more game left, and we have never been more motivated".

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku has four goals in Russian Federation, with the French pair of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe both on three. It's not club football, you can't go and buy players but for me the players who have been here have conducted themselves exquisitely.

Players such as captain Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and goalkeeper Thibault Courtois will likely be back in four years' should Belgium qualify for the next World Cup, but other key elements like Kompany, Marouane Fellaini, Jan Vertongen and Axel Witsel likely not. It's all very well winning these underage tournaments, but they need to play week in, week out. We would all have said we've been away a long time.

"We are a team in transition".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER