United Kingdom papers salute 'Pride of Lions' after England exit

England

England may have looked "confident" during their World Cup campaign but Croatia were the ones to "dominate" in Wednesday night's match, setting them up for a final against "formidable" France.

England remain in the tournament and still have to play the third place play-off - dubbed "the game no-one wants to play" against Belgium at 3pm on Saturday, July 14. They are a top-drawer team with fantastic players. It will be a really hard task to assess everybody over the next 24 hours and get them mentally back to where we want them to be for a game like that, but that will be the challenge.

"This will hurt for a while but we can hold our heads up, it's been a fantastic journey but we've got to learn from it and take what we can".

This is an England team which has inspired a level of belief and excitement among the country's population which hasn't been seen in more than 20 years, and it has not gone unnoticed among the squad.

Southgate also paid tribute to Croatia, who have shown incredible resilience to make the final after winning two knockout games by penalty and the other deep in extra time.

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"England we're proud of you, that's all I've got to say".

England have been eliminated from the World Cup right at the penultimate stage, and Croatia are now through to Sunday's finals instead.

"I don't think realistically we expected to be here". I'd be amazed if he doesn't come out and something emerges about his fitness. There are a lot of things that have been hugely positive for us. "He's given absolutely everything for the team", Southgate said.

"Heartbreak": The i Paper leads with an image of a dejected Harry Kane at the end of a semifinal that "started so well" only to end "in gut-wrenching despair" and concurs that England will "still return as heroes".

"We were not creative enough, having just two efforts on target, and in the second half England were overrun in midfield by Modric and Rakitic". "The only time it happened in Belgian football was in 1986, when we finished fourth". He's captained the team brilliantly throughout this tournament.

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