How the British media reacted to England's World Cup exit

Luka Modric Mario Mandzukic

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Towering defender Harry Maguire has risen to cult hero status at the World Cup and he has had an army of family and pals following him around during the tournament.

The third-place match was dropped from the European championship by UEFA following the 1980 tournament but has remained part of the World Cup calendar despite complaints.

At least, England looked like they were poised to get back to their first World Cup final in 50 years and give the players a chance to bring the trophy home to one of the most soccer-crazed countries on the planet. Still, with England fielding the second-youngest squad all around at the World Cup this year, there's plenty for Southgate to take pride in.

In terms of team news, Thomas Meunier will return after missing the semi-final through suspension - but no injury problems have been reported.

Kieran Trippier's early free-kick goal had England dreaming of their first World Cup final since 1966, only for Ivan Perisic to level and Mario Mandzukic to strike in extra-time. Due to how the bracket was shaping up, it appeared as though neither team would want to win the match, as whichever team wound up winning the group would be placed into the "side of death" that was forming.

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And eight years previously, when Germany beat England 4-1 in South Africa, depriving them of reaching the final eight, the general consensus in the media appeared to be that England were outplayed.

And the Liverpool central defender says Croatia were physically fitter and mentally stronger than England. He should have played a much bigger role in midfield for England.

Romelu Lukaku will nearly certainly start as he needs two goals to overtake Harry Kane and win the Golden Boot.

But even though England are out, they've still had an fantastic tournament.

And because BA were clearly really going for it, customers were also given boarding passes with customer name "Football" and destination "Home", which we'd imagine might fetch a bob or two on eBay should England come out triumphant.

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