Fans thank England for 'making nation dream'

AnalysisWhy this England World Cup side has set the tone for a generation to come

Self-confessed football fan and president of the FA Prince William, 36, shared a rare personal message on Twitter last night after England narrowly missed out on a spot in the 2018 World Cup final.

"When they come up against a decent team, I think it's inevitable that they were going to struggle tonight".

However, Kane has not added to his tally since that Colombia match during the round of 16 and Neville is adamant England's star striker picked up an injury during the clash against the South Americans and has been playing hurt ever since.

Their performance in reaching the semi-final, where they lost 2-1 to Croatia after extra-time, was England's best World Cup run for 28 years.

Although football did not come home in the shape of the World Cup trophy after all, Gareth Southgate's team won widespread praise for their exploits on the field and their charm offensive off the pitch.

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In their other appearance, in 1966, in London, they entered popular folklore by beating West Germany, an achievement that many fans have long thought they would never see again.

In capital Zagreb, more than 10,000 people gathered in the central square to watch the match despite rain. The fans were awesome, " Kane said. It will be a really hard task to assess everybody over the next 24 hours and get them mentally back to where we want them to be for a game like that, but that will be the challenge.

Eric Amsalem, a 48-year-old Croatian fan with his face painted in the colours of the national flag said: "It's a small country. Croatia deserved to win", Mark Burcher, 50, said.

Theresa May has said she wants to honour England's World Cup team with a reception at 10 Downing Street in recognition of their achievements.

The front pages are in stark contrast to how England's performance was portrayed in 2014, when the team were knocked out in the group stages - the first time since 1958.

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