Saint Petersburg, Jul 13 England manager Gareth Southgate hopes his team can ride the momentum generated by their run to the World Cup semi-finals and follow the path Germany took to the top of worldwide football.
"But we do it for ourselves as well".
"If I was in charge of the FA, there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup". I can see what we have achieved, albeit when you are so close you look back at what we might have done. We will push them to play our game.
"The players are incredible". They are a pleasure to work with. But I think we are better. We would be delighted if Modric won the MVP and the Golden Ball for being the best player at the tournament. "We're here to improve every time we play", he continued. We want to be challenging for semi-finals and finals. "Those friendlies were a huge help so that now here we are about to play the final". But that's football. Maybe those things spurred us on but we were already sufficiently motivated to try to make the final and make our people happy. We will carry one another.
"I think now is the time for us to be strong as a group and take the time to reflect on the performance a little bit over the next couple of days".
"There's a lot of motivation for us".
Kieran Trippier joined his teammates for training on Friday in St. Petersburg despite being forced off during extra time in Wednesday's semifinal loss with what Southgate called "a sort of nerve problem tied into cramp".
Roberto Martinez's Belgium, who were beaten 0-1 by France in the last-four stage, topped Group G ahead of England after an Adnan Januzaj goal proved to be decisive. If he had a different mindset, he'd have been insisting he played in the game.
"I would definitely leave my football boots behind on Monday if that was the price I had to pay to win for my country, to win for Croatia", said Rakitic, according to Telegraph Sport.
It would be a momentous achievement for captain Kane, albeit scant consolation after falling short of the World Cup final.
"The reality is that none of us know if that's as good as it gets", Southgate answered.