Croatia Beat England To Enter World Cup Finals For The First Time

France v Belgium – World Cup 2018 – Live TV Coverage on BBC One, BBC iPlayer

The Croatians become the smallest nation to contest the World Cup final since Uruguay, who won the tournament in 1950 when the nation had a population of around 2.4 million.

The Duke of Cambridge shared a personal message on Kensington Palace's official Twitter page encouraging Gareth Southgate and his team of Lions to "hold [their] heads high". We have three days to prepare ourselves.

"All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying: 'OK, today we will see who will be exhausted.' They should be more humble and respect their opponents more".

Proud England fans praised the World Cup team despite their loss against Croatia last night.

He added on Thursday afternoon: "To see scenes we've witnessed over the past month means everything to us as players and staff".

Striker Marcus Rashford posted: "Really tough right now but this team's special. we'll be back".

"This is an incredible achievement for us - it's a dream come true after such a long time".

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"To celebrate, Pizza Hut Delivery is excited to gift our old acquaintance Gareth Southgate free pizza for life - something we hope he can share and enjoy with his team upon returning to the United Kingdom!"

"But I've said all along we're not ideal, we're not the finished article". It has been an honour to be a part of this special team.

Goalkeeper Jack Butland wrote: "Devastated to not be coming back here for the final on Sunday but this is just the beginning for this squad!" Thank you to every one of you who have been there each step of the way!

The Croatians overcame an even bigger demographic difference in the quarter-final, beating Russian Federation - a nation of around 145 million - on penalties. But there's something I want to say.

Kieran Trippier's early free-kick had England dreaming of a first major final since 1966, only for Ivan Perisic to level and Mario Mandzukic to strike in extra-time.

"Against the very best teams, we've not managed to get the wins".

"There are a lot of positives to take from this tournament".

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