England national team head coach Gareth Southgate said after his team’s 2-0 defeat here Saturday against Belgium in the third-place match that the Three Lions had enjoyed a great experience at the 2018 World Cup.
Southgate said he had tried to inspire his players ahead of the third-place game, adding that he very proud of his team despite the second straight defeat.
England’s championship hopes came to an end with a 2-1 extra-time loss to Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.
“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. I couldn’t ask any more of any of the players,” the English coach said of his young squad.
He particularly underscored the strong efforts of center-back John Stones, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and striker Harry Kane.
“In the end we are very proud of what we’ve done. We’re under no illusions as to where we stand as a team; we’ve finished in the final four but we’re not a top-four team yet,” the coach acknowledged.