Manager Gareth Southgate believes England has a “really special opportunity” to make the country happy when they meet Denmark in their Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday.
Southgate’s side advanced to the last four after a 4-0 quarter-final triumph over Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.
They will now travel to Wembley, where they last competed in the men’s Euros semi-finals 25 years ago.
Southgate stated, “England matches bring families and communities together.”
“The opportunity to bring happiness and create fantastic nights for our supporters, our nation, is a very special one that you have when you play with England,” he told BBC sports editor Dan Roan.
“They’re matches where you remember where you were, and some of the best responses you receive are people appreciating how the players have been – that they feel they can connect with them – they should be extremely proud of that.”
England would reach the final of a major tournament for the first time since winning the 1966 World Cup if they win on Wednesday.
When asked what reaching the final would mean to him, Southgate replied, “It’s what it means to the country really.”
“Being a coach is similar to being a parent in that you’ve passed the point where it’s all about you and now it’s all about what you pass on to others.”
“We are better prepared for this semi-final in that we’ve lived it before,” he said, referring to the team’s experience reaching the last four of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“And while that does not determine whether you win or lose a football game, there are a number of elements that we are aware of and have dealt with previously that might help you prepare better.”
“So, for example, after the win in Rome, the celebrations were at a particular level, whereas in Russia, it needed a lot of emotional energy to get through the first knockout game and the quarter-final.”
“Everyone was calm about what was going on in Rome, and we understood we hadn’t accomplished everything we wanted yet, so those things are what prepare you for a major match like this.”
‘Hurt’ has the potential to motivate England. Maguire –
Three years ago, England was defeated 2-1 by Croatia in the World Cup semi-final in Moscow.
Manchester United defender Harry Maguire stated that the team “has to make sure” that the same result does not occur on Wednesday.
Maguire stated, “The motivation is there.” “It stung a lot to lose the World Cup semi-final.”
Maguire, who has started England’s last three games after recovering from an ankle injury, believes Southgate’s squad has progressed greatly since the World Cup.
“I believe we are in a far better position than we were,” he stated.
“We’ve learned a lot from that experience.” In that time, we’ve played a lot of major games and spent a lot of time together on the training pitch, in friendlies, and in qualifications. Every game we play, we feel like we’re becoming better.
“There are a lot of contrasts in the ideals that we’re asking from each other in this tournament, from the first game to the Ukraine game.” Of course, we’ve made progress, but we still have a long way to go.”
“We want to write our own chapter in history,” Trippier says.
Kieran Trippier, whose free-kick goal in the 2018 World Cup semi-final gave England supporters hope early on, says he has “no regrets” and is now focused on demonstrating the team’s growth since then.
“We’ve arrived at a point when we basically want to make our own history.” All we want to do is that.
“From the World Cup team, there are probably just six or seven of us.” We have a lot of promising young talent.
“Everyone can see our offensive guys because it’s there.” I believe we’ve made progress since 2018.”
When Atletico Madrid takes on Denmark on Wednesday, the player stated that he will not be affected by the event.
“I’m not a nervous person… I’ve played in a lot of huge games lately, so I’m really looking forward to the semi-finals. You’re not just viewing the place; you’re seeing the entire country.
“Everyone is buzzing, and it’s just fantastic to see grins on everyone’s faces, and it’s good to see them all smiling again after a year and a half.”