Southgate tells England stars: ‘Be bigger than 1966 heroes’

World Cup: England fans 'dare to dream' after win over Sweden

Almost 20m tune in to England quarter-final win

But this gamble has paid off, with England now contesting a World Cup semi-final against Croatia on Wednesday night.

The only previous England goalkeepers to appear on such a stage were Gordon Banks - the World Cup victor from 1966 - and Peter Shilton, a veteran of 125 global caps who was 40 when he played in the 1990 World Cup semifinal loss to West Germany.

With waistcoat sales in Marks & Spencer - the official suit supplier to the England national team since 2007 - increasing by 35%, and eBay noting a 25% increase in searches for waistcoats, the Southgate effect hasn't been confined to England's performances on the pitch at Russian Federation 2018.

"I videoed it to look at the players, the matches and I guess as a young player you wanted to see the best players, the level they were playing and see what you could learn from it".

"It's all there, it's all apparent and we've just got to prepare them as well as we can for the game". The penalty shootout win was the first ever for England at the World Cup.

"We've talked, touched briefly, certainly, on the team which won [the World Cup in 1966], how they're still held and revered", Southgate told reporters.

On Wednesday, his England players will face Croatia in Moscow for a place in the nation's first World Cup final since Sir Bobby Moore led the side to become world champions for the only time in their history.

"I think we are just enjoying the journey, that's definitely helped us, everything we've done has been based on enjoyment", he added.

"Pickford, for me, is sort of the prototype of what a modern goalkeeper should be", Southgate said. "Like I did with most rounds, with a curry and a beer".

The couple, who live in Rutland, have been married for 21 years and were renewing their vows in Yorkshire on Saturday, but Nadine - who wore a full wedding dress for the ceremony - wasn't going to let that stop her from supporting the team. If you'd have said we could be in the semi-finals, play Croatia, would you want that?

England's recent tournament failures created an nearly hostile dislike of the team, with fans frequently criticising the attitude of the millionaire players who failed to deliver.

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