England defender Kyle Walker could not hide the pain of the crushing 2-1 defeat by Croatia after extra time denied them a place in the World Cup final but he could take solace from restoring pride in the national team and proving critics wrong.
A gut-wrenching 2-1 loss to Croatia after extra-time denied England a shot at a second World Cup triumph, instead setting up a consolation game against familiar foes Belgium. We beat the European champions, a really strong team, but it isn't about this one match.
A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said: "We would certainly like to host a reception for the England football team who did so well in Russian Federation and that is something that we are going to talk to the FA about".
France advanced to their third World Cup decider in 20 years by taking top spot in Group C before winning their knockout stage matches against Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium, each without needing extra time. I hope on Sunday we can celebrate together. I guess I'm going with Belgium because I think the heartbreak might be a bit too much for England at this point?
"So there's a lot of motivation for us and of course Belgium have beaten us once already, so we'd like to redress that as well". "It won't be exactly the same starting eleven, but ideally, we want to make as few changes as possible". "It's about creating an environment to be best we can be, a professional culture".
"We have high motivation to perform".
"The players have to go through big matches and experiences to become a team that can win".
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He meets the Russian leader in Helsinki as the finale of a trip with earlier stops in Belgium, England and Scotland. Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last November, and with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month.
This tournament has been filled with surprises, and we could be in store for another one on Saturday.
He says, while the actual football team didn't seem to get carried away with its own hype, the English media did.
"I'm very happy that my pupil has done better".
For Belgium and their "Golden Generation", numerous key players should return for the 2022 World Cup, even if Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen will probably be gone by then.
"He didn't. He wanted to do what was right for the team, so it would be even more powerful for him if he wins the Golden Boot having made that sacrifice, in my opinion".
He used the example of the feel-good aspect of Germany's performance at the 2006 finals, where the hosts - with a young team like the current England crop - won over a nation despite losing to Italy in the semi-finals.