Smallest nation, lowest ranked team: Croatia creates many new records

England beat Croatia 5-1 the last time they met in 2009

Image England beat Croatia 5-1 the last time they met in 2009

But after the game many fans were sobbing while others looked to the future with confidence after their once improbable dreams of a first World Cup final in more than 50 years were dashed by Croatia.

As the World prepares to say goodbye to the 2018 World Cup on Sunday, all eyes are fixed on France and Croatia who are set to compete on the biggest stage for the World's biggest trophy.

Fans across England have hailed Gareth Southgate and his players for a stirring World Cup journey, after their heartbreaking semi-final defeat.

The Three Lions fought bravely but came up just short in extra time as Croatia snatched a late victor to book their spot in Sunday's final with France.

England will play Belgium in the third-place match on Saturday, so there's still a chance that Southgate and the team won't walk away totally empty-handed.

They lost a semi-final to eventual winners Spain in 2010, but bounced back to become world champions in Brazil four years later.

In the seaside city of Split, fans wearing red and white checked Croatian shirts gathered in the bars, cafes and squares in the late afternoon sun, singing songs in anticipation of the night ahead.

Gary Lineker waved goodbye to Germany when they were knocked out the World Cup and now Scots are doing the same to England.

Meanwhile, Marcelo Brozovic set a World Cup record against England for the most running in a match. But once you're here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life.

"People were talking... English journalists, pundits from television", Modric told ITV.

"But we will do that and we'll make sure we are ready as a group to go again because the group have huge pride in their performances, in the way that they work".

"We have two days to prepare". "I don't think realistically we expected to be here". David Platt got on the scoresheet for England.

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