Prince William's heartfelt message to England squad after World Cup dreams end

AnalysisWhy this England World Cup side has set the tone for a generation to come

England manager Gareth Southgate admitted that the World Cup third/fourth place playoff is a game no one wants to play in after his team lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semifinals in Russian Federation.

We imagine if - sorry when - England get through to the final, BA and other companies will have to up their game even more.

Mario Mandzukic scored a poacher's goal in the 109th minute, latching onto Perišić's flick to put Croatia ahead and into their first ever World Cup final.

But a second-half goal from Ivan Perisic and an extra-time victor from Mario Mandzukic ended England's dream of reaching the final and winning a second World Cup for their country. He said the players were "absolutely gutted" but the fans' reaction in the stadium after the game showed what they had achieved.

England will play Belgium in the third-place match on Saturday, so there's still a chance that Southgate and the team won't walk away totally empty-handed.

"It's been great to get to this stage but we wanted to keep going".

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In Moscow, Croatia fans said they were taken aback by their side's win.

Gary Lineker waved goodbye to Germany when they were knocked out the World Cup and now Scots are doing the same to England.

England's valiant effort also drew praise from Britain's Prince William, who said the team's performance gave fans "something to believe in".

"We salute you": It's pretty much a love letter from the Mail's sport section to Southgate and his team. I've looked at it every day since - and it was the first thing I looked at when we got back this morning.

The mutual appreciation between squad and fans was slightly marred by news on Thursday that Federation Internationale de Football Association had opened disciplinary proceedings against the FA following a report of possible discriminatory chanting by England supporters during the Croatia match.

"Pride of Lions": A more defiant back page insists, "We're coming home but with heads held high" and "our time will come".

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