Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

England fans celebrate World Cup win over Sweden at IKEA

England fans celebrate World Cup win over Sweden at IKEA

After some well-earned downtime following the battling win over Sweden to secure a place in the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 28 years, it was back to work for Gareth Southgate's squad in Repino.

"We've talked briefly on the team which won".

"Probably one big difference is that we had four genuine world-class players in Gordon Banks, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves (who did not play in the final)".

"The progress of the England team in the world cup is very exciting for people across the country".

"We've played well, we've played well in the games".

Ibrahimovic was the one to float the idea, with the enigmatic Swede eager to see his countrymen get one over on the Three Lions. "Remaining grounded as a captain also helps to generate team spirit if your leader is popular".

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Before the tournament the groundwork was put in at England's tranquil, rural St George's Park training centre and once in Russian Federation, they have been ensconced in the quiet lakeside resort of Repino, 45 kilometres outside of St Petersburg.

Even after being drawn in a favourable group this time around, few thought they would still be active in the final week of the World Cup but Hurst believes they could be crowned champions.

As the hysteria back home following Saturday's quarter-final win proves, so are the rest of us - and long may it continue, well, for at least another week.

England have managed to improve as a national squad under Gareth Southgate, who is leading the team in their first global tournament since the 2016 European Championship, where former manager Roy Hodgson's contract ended following a 2-1 loss to Iceland. That's the only word I can describe it because we're all a family.

"Until five or six years ago I was bit vain, and in a way glad that in 1998 we set the bar so high that it was hard to even contemplate, let alone jump over it".

"We are hungry for more and we want more and hopefully we can show that on Wednesday".

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