Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

West Ham United must wish they had got Harry Maguire now

Harry Maguire of England celebrates after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Colombia and England at Spartak Stadium If Maguire was not playing against Sweden this weekend he would probably be in Samara watching from the terraces with his parents Credit Getty Images
Kristopher Love | 11 July, 2018, 06:08

Paul Pogba dedicated France's World Cup semi-final win against Belgium to the 12 boys who survived a harrowing ordeal trapped underground in Thailand.

The English national team bagged a World Cup trophy in 1966, and reached fourth place in 1990, held in Italy. We have seen it through the tournament as some of the favourites really struggled. "As an England fan you want to see good football and the team being ruthless in both boxes and they certainly have been that". In 2017, after France had reached the final of Euro 2016 where they were beaten 1-0 by Portugal, Deschamps signed a new contract until 2020.

England did not have an overly hard route to the semi-final but they have overcome every obstacle they faced with some solid performances.

Stones told England's "Lion's Den" podcast: "I've been through some tough patches when I was younger - when I was 14 or 15 I had to play with the age below and it took its toll".

Maguire is now an England hero, after his performance in Russian Federation, where he has been one of Gareth Southgate's star players. Belgium beat Japan and pulled off a stunning upset of Brazil to make it to the semi-final match. They have so far scored the most goals in the tournament.

Croatia went undefeated winning Group D, including a convincing 3-0 hammering of Argentina, then beat both Spain and Russian Federation in matches that lasted 2 hours each and both went to penalty kicks. It was a match at the highest level played with undeniable quality. "Their midfield players in particular are some of the best in the world, so we know their strengths".

A Sheffield United supporter by the name of Matt Benton pledged on Twitter to have the former Blades local hero Maguire inked on his torso if Maguire found the net against the Swedes.

All we can say is that for two of these four sides that answer will come sooner rather than later, as today (*producer jump zoom*): one of these nations is going home.