"I'm very proud of their mentality as well because I know it's not just that you are playing at a high level that you are going to score goals but with our state of mind we can climb mountains and that's what we've done so far". That evenness is why France is the team to beat in the mind of Jeffrey Marcus, publisher of the World Cup newsletter "The Banter".
England manager Gareth Southgate believes the best is yet to come from his maturing team - even though they are potentially 90 minutes from their first World Cup final since 1966.
18 of the 20 World Cups of all-time have gone to nations that aren't these four - have we ever seen such an open contest? But we will be ready because we have an extremely good state of mind and it is the semi-finals in the World Cup. We worked hard defensively. I've engraved the Queen's head on a blob of gold and The Last Supper but I'm really proud of my portrait of Harry Kane.
England manager Gareth Southgate says he knew that the negative press about Russian Federation leading up to this summer's World Cup would not turn out to be true.More news: Princess Charlotte, Prince George's hilarious expressions captured during RAF flypast
They would have had a tough time watching this tournament as previous champions and highly-fancied sides like Brazil, Germany and Spain have all been eliminated.
"We are excited about the future but we want to make the most of this opportunity as well".
"Two years ago, I remember what happened two years ago", he said.
Goal scorer Umtiti said the win had come on the back of the work of the entire team.More news: European Union official criticizes Trump over attitude toward allies
"A lot of pride", said the defender. "They worked in '98 and we worked today, we reached out target to get to the final, I'm very satisfied".
Croatia takes on England in the tournament's second semifinal match Wednesday at 2 pm ET.
"We're disappointed, we wanted to get into the final, we need to put this behind us and look forward to the next game".More news: Samuel Umtiti’s goal helps France edge past Belgium to enter third final
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