England boss Gareth Southgate

England take on Croatia in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday

"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.

A report in the Daily Mail suggests there is no rush to get the deal finalised immediately, but Southgate is in a strong position, and could more than double his wages with a new contract and rising stock.

Though captain Luka Modric has been very much Croatia's star man throughout their run to the final of the tournament, it is Perisic who is most capable of providing the offensive spark capable of unlocking a French defence which has only conceded four goals at this summer's tournament.

And despite all 23 of his players training on Friday ahead of this match, Southgate was keeping his cards close to his chest with regards selection for Saturday. We are up against players of a high quality and with lots of experience.

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"They coped brilliantly with all of that". We've raised expectation. I don't see a problem with that because we've also raised belief in the players. "Players can now associate playing for England with enjoyment, fun and not feeling under siege as if everything is against them". "There is an energy and connection back". Our aim is to build with a system now through the development teams.

"It was disappointing seeing them lose against Croatia, but now we've got the play-off with Belgium so we might travel down to Saint Petersburg for that". "We want to finish the tournament well", he added.

He said: "It's nice to be appreciated but it's about the team".

"It's not actually my decision, but I agree with it. For them to still be singing when we're seeing friends and families, chanting our names and singing the manager's name, is completely different", he said. "That's the most important thing, in fact".

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Southgate believes there is room for development in this emerging England team, who went into the tournament sitting joint-12th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings.

"Trippier is the obvious one because he's had to come off during the game and (Jordan) Henderson is also feeling his hamstring so we will just have to assess it". "Thank you boss from the whole nation", the 20-year-old said on Twitter with a picture of himself embracing the England coach.

"The feeling we have is we're proud and we hope that - come our matches in September - that warm feeling about worldwide football will be there again". First of all I'm so proud of this team and staff for giving everything we could over a long period of time together.

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