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Belgium squad handed hero's welcome on World Cup return

16 July, 2018, 08:45 | Author: Delia Walker
  • Man United and France midfielder Paul Pogba previews the 2018 World Cup final

The Belgians will be disappointed not to have gone all the way in Russian Federation, but their best ever finish at a finals says a lot about their accomplishments this summer.

If Croatia are successful at the Luzhniki Stadium, then the Barcelona man has contemplated commemorating the occasion with the obscure tattoo, although would have to seek permission first. The whistle had long gone on their World Cup campaign, the team bus was nearly full and a low-key party was awaiting back at their hotel 20 miles north of St Petersburg in Repino. I have a free space on my forehead. I think he has captained the team exceptionally well, he has led the culture we are trying to create.

Victory in Saturday's third place playoff over England in St Petersburg ensured a best ever tournament return for the Belgians but they are likely to be long haunted by a nagging sense they might have done so much better.

For Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, it's about leaving Russian Federation with a warm feeling and playing attractive football to inspire the next generation.

"We have to just constantly try to evolve and improve". He came here to help the team and contribute.

Southgate's squad flew back to Birmingham on Sunday afternoon after becoming only the third English team to reach the last four.

Many England fans had been hoping to give their World Cup heroes a warm welcome upon their return from Russian Federation.

"We are in the World Cup final, that was the influence of the coach", the 32-year-old said.

'These players made history back in Belgium and that's all that matters.

Russia World Cup 2018
Southgate Tube station has changed its name

"We won't let each other go no more".

"Talent can take you far but sometimes not far enough and these players showed they wanted to play as the team".

Some of the players not feeling well, so it may be a few substitutions.

"But we've had a wonderful adventure and some experiences that will stand this group of players and staff in really good stead for the future".

Southgate became a national hero: many Brits wore his signature waistcoat in his honour and some even took it upon themselves to rename Southgate station after the manager by writing "Gareth" above the station's Tube sign. "They have to recognise that and be very proud of what they've done".

Speaking in an interview with Sporting Bet, Cottee said: "There's always a chance Maguire could leave, as we all know money talks".

"Equally, the game against Belgium was a reminder to us that, although the second half was probably one of our best performances in the tournament, they had some outstanding players that made a difference on the day, and that's the level that we've got to get to".

"So the defeats have, I think, been hugely important for our development as well".



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