Sheffield United fans react as Harry Maguire scores for England

Sergio Cunningham
July 8, 2018

The Swedish ambassador to the United Kingdom has given a masterclass in how to be a gracious loser after he was praised for his classy response to England beating his team in the quarter final of the World Cup.

Headers from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli either side of half-time did the damage in Samara as England secured just their third ever World Cup semi-final, sending fans far and wild into dreamland. "I have to say, over the last 25 years of watching England, when England are winning we drop deep and protect, when we're losing we get desperate", he told ITV .

For this reason, it's interesting to see what another nation thinks of England's chances of going all the way this summer, and what better country to look towards than Italy, their own team sitting out for the first time in 60 years after they failed to qualify.

"They are as much of a reason we are where we are".

Southgate heralded the Everton stopper's man of the match display, highlighting him as integral to the brand of football he wants England to play.

But there appeared to have been an influx of Three Lions supporters compared with the uncharacteristically low turnouts of previous games against Tunisia and Colombia. We want to keep seeing those videos.

"We don't have renowned, world-class players yet but we've got lots of good young players who are showing on the young stage that they can be fearless on the ball, try and play the right way, have shown some mental resilience".

Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties to set up England semi-final
The match started at a high tempo, with Russian Federation not giving the Croats space and time to play in the middle of the park. Mario Fernandes (Russia) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

"Of course, when you sit and think about the people who've got to this point before, people I hugely respect and admire, it's hard to put that into perspective, really".

They can go kind of under the radar, but there is no question they are a good team.

There had been suggestions of a surge in online interest in the game after England beat Colombia on penalties in the round of 16. "I have every respect for Mr. Southgate". I promised myself I would not support any European team in World Cup, but during the group stages two teams really impressed me in France and England.

"We'd like to bring it home", said England defender John Stones on Thursday.

It's insane. I think it is actually coming home!

"I don't know what it is, but sometimes I get a feeling for certain things".

"So, I think right OK, it's impossible to please everybody all of the time but you've got to just believe that you're making decisions for the right reasons".

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