‘England use their heads’: The world’s media reacts to England reaching first World Cup semi-final since 1990

"The traditional lack of confidence that surrounds England at World Cups has already transformed into optimism in Russia," wrote Globo in Brazil

Ed Malyon
Sports Editor
Sunday 08 July 2018 15:43
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BoxPark Croydon celebrates Harry Maguire goal

"It's Coming Home" was the headline Marca chose. Not in Spanish, mind.

The very English catchphrase that has passed from mouth to singing mouth in England has travelled overseas and there too they are wondering if this young squad of Three Lions can do the unthinkable.

"An empire returns" was the headline in Spanish sports daily AS. "England use their heads," a fine play on words from Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy.

"Southgate has succeeded in accentuating England's virtues (set pieces) and hiding their defects (lack of fluency in attack)," concluded Guillem Balague in AS, impressed by the England manager's diligent work behind the scenes and acknowledgement of their own weaknesses.

"England completely controlled this encounter and mastered an opponent that was too timid," recalled L'Equipe, who reserved as much disappointment for Sweden as praise for England.

"Kane can relax, this England can win even when he isn't scoring," wrote Fabio Bianchi, Gazzetta's man in Samara. "The Lions have shown solidity and class" he said, heaping praise on Maguire's impact and also that of Jordan Pickford.

"England have a goalkeeper and they have a striker. With this they can go to the end of the world," wrote Alberto Barbero after Pickford's brilliant display had kept Sweden at bay.

"England have a powerful air force," Barbero added in Marca in a theme that appeared all around the world.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung, a Munich-based newspaper, focused on Alli's "mischievous smile" as he headed England's second past Robin Olsen rather than across goal where clubmate Harry Kane was waiting so intently.

World Cup 2018: England fans celebrate across the world as they beat Sweden to reach semi-finals

As ever, the Germans were sticklers for accuracy as England fans' songs confused their man in the stadium:

"The Three Lions made it clear that their gaze has gone beyond the quarter-final in Samara.

"The supporters in the stands repeated in a continuous loop that they were already on their way to Moscow. The chant included an ambiguity, because both the semi-finals on Wednesday and the final on 15 July take place in the Russian capital."

In Brazil, a country still processing their own disappointment, Globo was struck by the new-found hope in this English team.

"The traditional lack of confidence that surrounds England at World Cups has already transformed into optimism in Russia. Feeding the dream of being champions for a second time."

"England are one of the teams who know where they came from and where they want to go," said Argentina's La Nación.

They came from a place of only hope, but they now travel to Moscow with expectation. The semi-finals await.

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