Recent major finals have been particularly low scoring, as back to the last World Cup final all five WC, Euro, Copa America and African Cup of Nations finals have finished goalless after 90 minutes.
Heading into the third place playoff against Belgium, before most of the players get four weeks off, ITV’s panel discussed what England needed to do to become genuine contenders at Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.
Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku has four goals in Russian Federation, with the French pair of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe both on three. England’s progress accelerated in Russian Federation but teams like Belgium and France are still on a different level. On Saturday, things will be a little different. Download the mobile app or go to FoxSportsGo.com to stream the match, but you’ll need access to a username and password for a pay TV service.
“There’s a lot talked about [in terms of] relationships between our two countries”, the England boss said.
“He hasn’t been successful in scoring but he works so very hard for the team and for us that’s super”.
“He always stayed back after training and would shoot and ask, and ask politely, ‘Do you want to go in goals?’ or whatever”.
“Our players and the (Serbian) federation could maybe ask the Croats to give us football lessons”, someone else commented.
“I think all of us deserve this”. We don’t kid ourselves at all. We are really just living the dream now.
“We’re proud and we hope that, come our matches in September, that warm feeling about global football will be there again”. Now Southgate will hope to build on this campaign, and make his team genuine contenders to win Euro 2020, where a number of games – including the semi-finals and final – are being played at Wembley.
Just as he has done throughout this tournament, Southgate struck exactly the right note as he bade it farewell.
“There’s a lot talked about relationships between our two countries, but on a personal level and mixing with the people of Russian Federation, we couldn’t have been made more welcome”, the England manager said. “We are here to enjoy the final and give our best”.
Dalic told a press conference: “Tomorrow is the World Cup final”.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic made no secret of which team he backed in Croatia’s World Cup quarter-final against host nation Russian Federation.
Dalic compared Croatia’s run in Russian Federation to that of a fellow Mediterranean country that surprised the football world at UEFA EURO 2004. Of course he wouldn’t.
Loyalty and a team-first ethic run through the national team from Croatia, which gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and has only a few players younger than the country itself. “I root for him”, Rakitic said.
Actually, it has been about him.