Ivan Perisic injury scare ahead of World Cup final

Ivan Perisic injury scare ahead of World Cup final

Bilic, who was part of the 1998 World Cup side which won bronze in France, was a pundit on ITV on the United Kingdom during the tournament and last night he was in his element when his countrymen ended England's hopes.

It was England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990 and Gareth Southgate suggested his players "came of age" despite losing to Croatia.

But he lamented England's failure to take full advantage of what appeared an unusually easy route to the final, avoiding most of the heavyweight teams in Russian Federation.

While we didn't see Southgate plop down on the field to mourn the loss like some of his players did, photographers did capture an extremely touching post-game moment he shared with his wife Alison in the stands.

"I am immensely proud by the way the players have played and we can see by the reaction of the supporters, they felt the same".

Gareth Southgate acknowledges the England supporters after the loss to Croatia
Gareth Southgate acknowledges the England supporters after the loss to Croatia

"To become a winning team there are hurdles you have to overcame - and we've surpassed many of them. I feel there'll be an affinity and something we can build on".

"We have two days to prepare". Defeat to Belgium in the group stages gave England an "easier" route in the tournament.

"It won't be exactly the same starting XI, but ideally we want to make as few changes as possible". Considering that before the tournament people weren't even really that bothered about England being in the World Cup, let alone thinking they might actually win it, to play in this match is pretty special.

"But I've said all along we're not flawless, we're not the finished article. It's a big stepping stone from two years ago".

The side led by Luka Modric booked their place in the World Cup final for the first time in the country's history and are now assured of going at least one step further than Davor Suker's "Generation of 1998".

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