Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

Selfless Raheem Sterling proves his worth to England despite semi-final defeat

Selfless Raheem Sterling proves his worth to England despite semi-final defeat

The score was tied 1-1 in the 109th minute when the burly striker latched onto a ball from Ivan Perisic and burst into the six-yard box to lash a shot past England keeper Jordan Pickford, breaking English hearts and sending the Croatian team and its fans into ecstasy.

The players in question, midfielders Dele Alli and Eric Dier, and forward Raheem Sterling, were seen wearing branded ankle support socks over their official Nike-branded socks during England's 2-0 quarter-final win over Sweden.

He said: "It was a tough, 50-50 game".

"It hurts, it hurts a lot". It's a young team, the majority of the players will play in the next World Cup with more experience at club level.

"They'll be the best team we've played in terms of what they're capable of doing with the ball, and what their individuals are capable of, definitely", he said (via Sky Sports). It shows we can be up here.

"We showed again that we were not exhausted - we dominated the game mentally and physically". We have to carry that on.

England can soothe itself with realistic hopes of World Cup success in the near future.

Croatia, the first team in 28 years to come from behind to win a World Cup semifinal match, will play France for the title on Sunday in its biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent nation in 1991.

Right now, individual awards may mean little to Kane - but his manager, England boss Gareth Southgate, believes the entire team can feel proud of what they accomplished in Russian Federation.

Although Walker said there was a feeling it was "written in the stars for you to go to the final and hopefully do something special" when Kieran Trippier scored a terrific free-kick after five minutes against Croatia, he acknowledged that their opponents were a totally different proposition in the second half and wished them well in the final. "But now it's got a good foundation, so we just need to build on that and make sure we build an empire from it". But the team will be stronger for it.

"I don't think you can put it into words... the feeling this comes once in a lifetime, if not two lifetimes".

England will return to their Repino base near Saint Petersburg ahead of Saturday´s third place play-off against Belgium, a repeat of their final group match.

England's match in Moscow on Wednesday night will be for a place in the World Cup final against France on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium, but Southgate believes his side will not face an easy route to get there.

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