"At the beginning we were working together with the lads and trying to sell them the vision of what's possible, what we're looking to achieve in the long term".
The website for a fan park in London's Hyde Park crashed as tens of thousands tried to snap up one of 30,000 tickets to watch the match.
They were just 44 minutes away from reaching the final when Suker scored first early in the second half but a Lilian Thuram double won it for eventual champions France.
It will, of course, take a lot more than mastering the Lotus Position to help the Three Lions get the better of Croatia in Moscow on Wednesday night.
So to be here now, leading this team out, I'm so proud.
"They are all pampered, they're all headphones and you can't get anything out of them", said former player turned analyst Chris Waddle. Football can unite. We can feel the energy and support from home, and that's a privilege'.
And no matter what happens on Wednesday, Southgate insists their World Cup run is merely the beginning of what he believes will be a fruitful legacy. "It is a special feeling and a privilege".More news: N. Korea aims to hide key parts of nuclear program
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Croatia finished top of Group D by beating Nigeria 2-0, Argentina 3-0 and Iceland 2-1, but needed penalty shootouts to get past Denmark in the last 16 and Russian Federation in the quarter-finals. "It's a massive game against Wales but we're confident of getting a win and a place in France next year".
But Boss Southgate admitted he could not listen to Three Lions after his penalty shoot-out miss in the Euro '96 semi-final - the year the anthem was first released.
England's progress in Russian Federation has revived the Three Lions anthem - which includes the line "football's coming home".
"It's nice to hear people enjoying it again, anyway".
After winning back-to-back penalty shootouts to reach their second-ever (1998) World Cup semifinal, Croatia's tank will be closer to empty than any of the four sides still competing in Russian Federation, but Modric believes they can dig deep once more and qualify for the final.
England's captain has been his country's saviour at the World Cup, and now leads the tournament's goal-scoring charts with six goals in four games.