Southgate supports England parade decision

Lionel Messi with his head in his hands as Croatia beat Argentina 3-0

"If we win, we can look back on it with a lot of pleasure, and that is what it is all about". We can't complain too much. I said this in the group stages and I'm thinking, quarter-finals England will get knocked out.

"What the players are going to experience is close to what we experienced in 1996 and in '66".

"We were 20 minutes from a World Cup final and then in extra-time about 10 minutes from penalties to get into the final".

"They coped brilliantly with that".

The two sides must pick themselves up and dust themselves down after suffering the crushing disappointment of semi-final defeats to play for the modest prize of third place in a fixture often criticised as pointless. "There is an energy and connection back".

There are also no public celebrations planned despite the Three Lions' impressive achievements in Russian Federation, which could yet see them become the most successful team since the 1966 champions. "We want to keep those standards right to the end". "You're disappointed because you lose the semi-final, and it's very hard to see the opportunity of playing another game as a positive", he said.

Southgate said: "It was not my decision but I agree with the decision".

"It won't be exactly the same starting XI, but ideally we want to make as few changes as possible".

"The support we've had from home is vast".

"This is history in the making, we've been waiting for this for so long". The country has united behind football.

"Everyone at The Football Association, especially St George's Park, has done a fantastic job working with the England squad and building the team ethic that took them to this level".

Useful facts: The final is upon us and who would have predicted that Croatia will be part of the final two with the likes of Germany and Brazil that were tipped to win this title.

"We're proud and we hope that, come our matches in September, that warm feeling about global football will be there again. This is something all of us have in us, and it will be in us to the very last moment". "There is a balance to all of that".



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