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Rafa Benitez gives his verdict on England's World Cup hopes

11 July 2018

Southgate is convinced the future is bright whatever the outcome.

"We were all happy, all hugging", Mbappe said.

Fellow fan Alex Klein, 28, added: "If we win, if we beat Croatia I'll, I'll probably cry, because to see England in a World Cup final is, is like a dream, a lifelong dream".

"The welcome of the Russian people has been top", Southgate said.

"They've got a good side, they've improved over the years, but I look at England at the moment and think we've got a fantastic side".

England will also be keen to avoid further penalty drama as they face a side who have won both of their knockout matches, against Denmark and then hosts Russian Federation, via shootouts.

Scott Ratcliffe and his 10-year-old son Eliott, who has broken up from school, were in the queue to pick up their Fan IDs, having arrived in Moscow on Tuesday.

These are the semi-final matchups at the FIFA World Cup (SCHEDULE)
The largest fan zone is in Zagreb's main square, where thousands are expected to watch the game on a giant screen. The manner of that performance instantly won over the home crowd and gave them a reason to cheer their team.

George Lee, 59, from Hull, also backed Southgate's young team to get to the final, predicting a 2-1 win. "And then we look forward to doing it all again on Sunday!" "It's been an enjoyable journey, and we want to keep it going".

He said: "We are really proud of the support we have received". Our supporters have had a long time of suffering in terms of football. They have real enthusiasm for these players, not only for the way they have played but also for the way they have conducted themselves.

"Our country's been through some hard moments in terms of unity and football has the power to do that. It is a special feeling and a privilege".

"This team is nowhere near the level they will be capable of, partly because of age and partly because over the years they'll have more big-match experience".

It is the nation's first semi-final in the tournament since 1990, when the Three Lions lost to West Germany on penalties.

"It was a song I couldn't listen to for 20 years, so it has a slightly different feel and it's nice to see people enjoying it slightly differently", he told a news conference at Luzhniki Stadium.

Rafa Benitez gives his verdict on England's World Cup hopes