England coach Gareth Southgate claimed that it is the spirit within the England camp that sets his team apart from their competitors as the Three Lions booked a place in the semi-finals.
Following their 4-0 win over Ukraine, England reached their first Euro semi-final in 25 years.
A brace from captain Harry Kane and two headers from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson ensured England’s qualification to the semi-final stage of the tournament. It was England’s 5th consecutive clean sheet of the tournament and they are yet to concede a goal in the tournament.
“We gave a fantastic performance, not only the players that started, but the players who came on kept the momentum going,” Southgate told a news conference.
“I am also actually thinking about the players who I left out of the squad and who didn’t get on the pitch.
“They have been such a massive part of what we are doing. It is so difficult to keep a group of this size involved, happy, feeling valued. And yet those guys have been phenomenal in how they have sacrificed themselves for the group.
“We are in the semi-finals because of that spirit. Of course, the quality of our play is important, but I have seen lots of nations go out because they don’t have the spirit of these boys.”
England will face Denmark in the semi-finals, who seem to have risen from the ashes after their nightmare of a start to the tournament against Finland. They are the real underdogs of Euro 2020 and a lot of neutrals are rooting for them after what happened to Christian Eriksen.
Gareth Southgate has his eye on the trophy, which will be the first ever for England. It will also be England’s first ever final appearance at the European Championships if England beat the Danes.
“We still have a long way to go,” Southgate added. “Before the end of tonight’s game, I was already thinking about the next challenge.
“That’s the one for us, we have never been to a European Championship final, and it is another opportunity for us to make history.”