England holds its breath as World Cup semi-final looms

Luka Modric

GETTY THREAT Luka Modric could sink England in Moscow

The names of Sir Alf Ramsey and his players - still the only 11 Englishmen to play in a World Cup final - will be recalled forever and their stories told whenever the nation's landmark moments in sport are revisited.

The number of signatories to the petition, on the United Kingdom government and Parliament website, means it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.

"I think Raheem has been fundamental to the way that we have played - his movement, the positions he takes up, his pressing of the ball, his work-rate for the team, the winning of free-kicks and corners, his speed to stretch teams".

Southgate said he was convinced that win or lose on Wednesday, his team have a bright future after decades of English under-achievement on the global stage.

England manager Gareth Southgate is not about to change his team's approach for tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) World Cup semi-final against Croatia, saying he wants the "same again" from his young side.

"We're going into a semi-final but it just seems like it's the next step on the journey", Southgate said. Supporters of team England cheer during a gathering in the city centre.

"This is a really big day for Croatian sport and football", Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said before leaving for Russian Federation.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she had exchanged football shirts with Plenkovic when they met on Tuesday.

Vrsaljko says that he expects the match against England to be completely different than the games against Denmark and Russian Federation.

The victor will take on France in Sunday's showpiece, while the loser will be forced into a play-off for third place against Belgium.

Prince William, the president of the FA, said: "A new generation is enjoying the magic of this World Cup run".

Despite the much-vaunted attack of teenager Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, France's defence proved the difference as they shut down Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku and they showed they will be hard to beat on Sunday.

France coach Didier Deschamps said he was delighted to have the chance to bury the pain of the Euro 2016 final, which his side lost on home soil to Portugal.

Before the second-round victory against Colombia, England had not won a knockout game at a major tournament since 2006, with the nadir arguably the defeat to Iceland at the European Championships just two years ago.

Either way, they face their biggest test yet this World Cup and in the biggest game of their careers. That's a rather stressful way to win a game, both for the fans and the players, so they'll be hoping to win this one in regulation and send their squad to the finals for the first time.

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