Gareth Southgate has singled out three England players for their displays at the World Cup

England v Croatia: Semi Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Before the World Cup, England would have been more than happy with simply reaching the quarter-final stage.

As it turned out, they were one game away from reaching only a second final in their history - and manager Gareth Southgate admits that he'll never get over that.

“We are twenty minutes from a World Cup final and 10 minutes from a shootout for a place in the World Cup final,” said the England boss. “That is going to live with me forever, there is no doubt about that.

“I’m conscious I had to raise everybody yesterday but I’m up watching the game at four o’clock this morning.

“You will always have in your mind that it was a massive game to be involved in and to be so close is tough.”

And it is tough - they were so close to history - but that shouldn't take away from their fantastic achievement.

Coming into the tournament without any recognised global stars, England still managed to go further than they've managed for 28 years.

And while Southgate was full of praise for his squad, he did single out three of them in particular.

“I think we’ve really got a huge amount out of this group of players and they deserve massive credit," he said.


“If I look at [Jordan] Pickford, [Harry] Maguire, [Kieran] Trippier - they had a handful of caps each coming into the tournament and they have all performed unbelievably well.

“As so have many others who don’t have huge experience so I am hugely proud of what they have done.”

Pickford, Maguire, and Trippier came into the tournament with well under 20 caps between them, yet all three were among the standouts for England - Pickford and Trippier can each lay claim to being the absolute best.

But it's been a brilliant summer for everyone with England - here's hoping this is just the start.

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