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

"We've been having a really good time so far".

In the note, written in black pen, Southgate said: "Jim - The more I see, the more important it is that when "attacking this tournament" we tell our own story".

Celebrities, former players and royalty have been praising the England team for their "beautiful World Cup run", calling them "heroes" who have made the country proud.

England, meanwhile, "blew our chances", said 17-year-old Josh Ogunde after watching the 2-1 semi-final defeat with friends near Trafalgar Square in central London as the disappointed crowds streamed home.

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.

Croatia, a country of about 4 million people, came to a standstill as fans watched the game on screens in squares and cafes.

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While Croatia fans began celebrating into the night in wild scenes of fireworks and frivolity in capital city Zagreb, their England counterparts walked home leaving a deserted mess of empty bottles and unwanted flags.

That the nation will be backing them to gain revenge for the World Cup semi-final loss to France in 1998 is without question, as is the fact that there will once again be an army of fans decked out in red and white checks at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Croatian Cultural Society spokesman Goran Katich watched the game with fellow supporters at the Croatian club in west Auckland and said they were ecstatic when the final whistle went.

Croatia fans in NZ party at fulltime. "Everybody has come. It's the best feeling in a long time".

"Maybe (that was) a outcome of being ahead and being the least experienced team in the tournament with the chance to get to a World Cup final", he added.

England aren't exactly known for their success in penalty shootouts at a World Cup.

  • Sonia Alvarado