Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

'It's coming home' - England hope to continue to sing

'It's coming home' - England hope to continue to sing

The phrase, "coming home" refers to disputed English claim to be the spiritual home of the modern football.

Prince Harry confidently predicted England will lift the World Cup as Gareth Southgate's men prepare for their semi-final against Croatia tonight.

John Stones hit the headlines for his two goals in England's 6-1 trouncing of Panama in the group stages of the 2018 World Cup, but the Manchester City defender has the chance to show off his defensive attributes again this evening when the Three Lions face Croatia, with the victor earning the right to face France in Sunday's final. But while the tournament was a huge success and is fondly remembered by most, it ended in misery for Southgate when he missed the decisive penalty in the shootout against rivals Germany.

Southgate's measured authority throughout the tournament has seen him light-heartedly tipped for political office on social media and he made what appeared a thinly-veiled reference to the societal splits over Brexit as he surveyed the joyous scenes which have taken place up and down the country.

"Football in particular has the power to do that. We know what it takes and in such moments you forget any fatigue you may feel", said the 29-year-old at Tuesday's eve-of-game press conference at Luzhniki Stadium.

"This generation has been underrated for a long time but they have shown their qualities when it matters, and they will go down in history as a great generation that has come close to the "bronze Vatreni" of 1998". That is special, to see them play the way they have and we have a really good opportunity to get to a final.

Yet, here he is fixing every nail in the coffin - the coffin that will bury the past - he is adjoining every English hopes again, preparing his players as they aim their fast shot at glory since 1966. We have emerging leaders. There was a lot of leadership in the group.

Midfielder Jordan Henderson said: "It's a special feeling to know people back home and here are enjoying the experience as much as we are". That is what these guys have done. He wants them to keep pushing, no matter where it ends.

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