Harry Maguire: the remarkable rise of England’s unlikely new hero

Harry Kane praised for response to Ben Williams

He was rewarded with two Leicester player of the year awards - from the players and the fans - but his rise to unlikely World Cup hero would not have been possible without Gareth Southgate.

"We knew set plays would be key", Maguire said.

Meanwhile, five of England's goals have been headers, also tying the record for a single World Cup since 1966.

Harry Kane is brimming with pride at leading England's unexpected tilt at World Cup glory and wants to inspire the next generation by going all the way to the final.

Croatia have needed penalties to get through the last two rounds against Denmark and hosts Russian Federation whereas England swept Sweden aside.

But Dalic accepted the late finish of Croatia's quarter-final, coupled with extra-time exertions against Denmark, will pose his squad a physical challenge ahead of Wednesday's semi-final in Moscow.

- Why has World Cup been full of surprises?

The heartwarming story spread quickly, and England striker Harry Kane gave Ben a special shout-out on Twitter, calling the child an inspiration.

He said: "You could always see that Harry had something about him. We've learned from our mistakes, we've made things right and we've seen the way the country has got behind us". The agile defender has shown himself to have good speed with strong technique on the ball and a confidence going forward, all the while serving as a capable part of England's three-man rearguard.

Three of England's goals have come from the penalty spot, all converted by Kane, and the team won a penalty shootout for the first time at a World Cup to beat Colombia.

"I think without a doubt it's a success as it is now, without a doubt", said the Leicester defender.

He added: "For all that the many wonderful people have done for him across the NHS, we will never be able to express how thankful we are".

Wilkinson was immediately better at football than Beckham, showing the then Manchester United midfielder up dreadfully.

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