Croatia identify England danger man for semi-final

Jamie Vardy's wife Rebekah Vardy poses in minidress on Instagram

England achieved something David Beckham's generation never managed: It reached the semifinals of the World Cup.

Yet the performances of Gareth Southgate's squad - the second youngest at the tournament - are being celebrated wildly back home.

Now a fully-fledged member of Spurs' starting XI, the 22-year-old has become a key figure for club and country, underlining his importance with a back-post header to round off England's 2-0 quarter-final win over Sweden in Samara and set up a last-four meeting with Croatia in Moscow.

Whether or not there was some cake to celebrate from his team-mates, it is the special bond developed between the group, nearly verging on that within club sides, which has so far proved key to England's progress.

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Luka Modric celebrates after scoring his penalty in the shoot-out win over Russian Federation . "We believe in ourselves. Should England overcome Croatia on Wednesday night, it will be the country's first major tournament final in 52 years.

"It's felt like a good holiday we've been on - and we're enjoying every moment of it", said the Manchester United left wing-back.

After the Iceland game, we knew that things needed to change. Even at Wimbledon, the home of lawn tennis, updates of England's goals were spread by fans watching or listening to the match on their cell phones.

"We're excited for Wednesday now - looking forward to it and we're trying to prepare as much as we can".

Man of the moment Harry Maguire, who scored his first global goal against Sweden, takes to the oche.

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Modric might not find it quite so amusing, despite shaking Dele by the hand after the game and calling Tottenham's 5 million pounds (NZ$9.6m) signing "a little bugger". I think he wanted to keep that shirt but he was polite about it.

It proved to be a match too far for the Swedes, who advanced further than they ever did with Ibrahimovic - the team's star for more than a decade - by being compact and hard to break down. Two years is a long period, it's been a long process since then.

They began solidly against England in a slow and sloppy start to the game that resembled a pre-season friendly at times, only to be outdone by a goal Sweden isn't used to conceding.

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