Ivan Perisic injury scare ahead of World Cup final

Croatia England FIFA World Cup Russia France Belgium

The last month has seen an epic ride for Gareth Southgate's young team at the four-yearly showpiece in Russian Federation this time, and pride in the footballers has well and truly been restored.

The World Cup in Russian Federation has thrown up some stunning twists, turns and shocks, so it's perhaps fitting that its final game will feature the smallest nation to appear in the last stage of the tournament since 1950.

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

Southgate has become something of a national treasure after breathing new life into the team following the disastrous performance at Euro 2016 in France. Tonight in the end we weren't quite there but the team will be stronger for that'.

"Many of our players have come of age on the worldwide stage". We have three days to prepare ourselves.

They will meet a French team which eased past Belgium 1-0 in their semi-finals, and which boasts a population difference of around 62 million people more than Croatia.

Boys rescued from Thai cave expected to be released Thursday
They were found nine days later, and the complex rescue took several days to plan and more than 100 volunteers to complete. Some of the rescued football team cry as they're told the news a diver died during the preparations for their rescue.

"I am immensely proud by the way the players have played and we can see by the reaction of the supporters, they felt the same".

"If you want to play for England you have to cope with that".

Southgate and his players have been hailed back home after reaching the last four for the first time since 1990, and for bringing together a nation bitterly divided over Brexit.

"We, as a team, have made incredible progress and probably got to a stage where at the start of the tournament we would have considered a success". "There's a long way for us to go".

That's proved to be the case, although they have relied on large part on grit and determination to see them through the knockout stages, beating Denmark and Russian Federation on penalties before seeing off England in extra time. For the majority of this tournament we have tried to be as positive as we can be and be fearless. I'm not looking for eight years by the way but internationally you have to wait every two years.

Mandzukic's scored at 109th-minute that sent his country to the final.

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