Rafa Benitez gives his verdict on England's World Cup hopes


Rafa Benitez gives his verdict on England's World Cup hopes

The Three Lions have the chance to reach just the second major tournament finale in their history on Wednesday as they take on Croatia in a mouth-watering Luzhniki Stadium semi-final.

Elsewhere, fans were also filmed singing the song on nearby Nikolskaya Street, which has become the de facto meeting point for fans during the World Cup; this time inflatable planes were replaced by arm salutes signaling aircrafts.

'The hunger of players has been there for everyone to see, we are proud of the style they have played.

"Most of them weren't born when a lot of the stories we're talking about happened, so why as a coach would I try and put that at their door?"

The iconic Black Prince statue in City Square is now holding an England flag and its very own football.

The Croats needed extra-time and penalties for the second successive knockout game, beating Russian Federation last time, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see them tire at some point in this game. England has been craving a top title since it won the World Cup in 1966 and has a tremendous, unforseen opportunity ahead, with the weight of its country on its shoulders.

If I'm honest, I don't think there are many England players who would get into this Croatian team. "Now I want to go and see what's going on in Russian Federation", said one fan, Michael Roberts, 27, as he waited for his flight.

"I'm excited to see if Croatian fans are as excited as we are".

"Our country's been through some hard moments in terms of unity and football has the power to do that. It is a special feeling and a privilege".

That has also translated into huge support back home in football-mad England. "We are looking to keep breaking those barriers down".

"It's his quality that he's been showing for many years".

If you've been following the World Cup, particularly England's performance in it, perhaps you've heard the chant: "It's coming home, it's coming, football's coming home".

Southgate has worked on improving England players' psychology going into shootouts, while goalkeeper Jordan Pickford used information - detailing where Colombia's penalties were likely to go - that was written on a water bottle next to his goal.