'We left everything out there,' says England manager Southgate

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic

"We were planning to leave, but now we have to stay until Monday", said Sinisa Pavlek, a Croat living in Germany, as he emerged from the stadium with a broad smile.

Though it was Mario Mandzukic who struck the killer blow to send England crashing out on Wednesday night, it was Perisic who was very much the hero for Croatia.

Southgate praised the passion and focus of his players and insisted that they are heading in the right direction. "(Our aim is to) build with a system now through the development teams where we've had a lot of success at junior level". We have always respected our opponents and we expect the same from them.

On average, every player from the four remaining teams has been tested four times since January, with some tested up to eight times.

Just when you thought you couldn't like the man any more.

"I don't think it's a factor", he said at news conference at the French training base on the outskirts of Moscow.

Southgate said: "We have high motivation to perform and finish with a medal at a World Cup, which only one England team have done".

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.

Ivan Rakitic has joked he will get a tattoo on his forehead if Croatia win the World Cup.

It wasn't the first time Southgate has argued England aren't a top side in world football. "It's about creating an environment to be best we can be, a professional culture".

Regardless of the result, England have already had a far more successful tournament than anyone saw coming and managed to unite the country behind the team for, arguably, the first time in decades.

"And they now see playing for England as enjoyment, fun and not feeling under siege. They have to use this experience for benefit and I know that what's happened over the last few weeks will make them a stronger team". We would be delighted if Modric won the MVP and the Golden Ball for being the best player at the tournament.

"Trippier is the obvious one because he's had to come off during the game and (Jordan) Henderson is also feeling his hamstring so we will just have to assess it".

Asked about his in-game chatter with VIP guests, Infantino said: "When we are here we don't speak about politics, we speak about football".

"I must say the support we've had from home and the feeling of support is huge".

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