They did us all proud, every single one of them.
England devastatingly crashed out in the World Cup semi-finals after a defeat to Croatia in extra time.
After the result, Gareth Southgate did his best to comfort his visibly distraught players.
The waistcoat wearing god went round to all his players, putting his arm around each of them and giving a reassuring word in their ear.
Southgate’s reaction showed the immense team-spirit he has already created during his short reign as boss.
Not only was the reaction of the manager admirable, the England players also showed how much they care.
They showed how much they felt this defeat.
They showed how much this hurt them.
Before the tournament, many were questioning this young squad on their enthusiasm and desire to play for their country.
Nobody however can question that anymore.
England’s players left everything on that pitch against Croatia and did their nation proud.
The Three Lions even finished with ten men as Kieran Trippier pulled his groin after running himself into the ground.
The reaction of the England players was a stark contrast to what we saw after Belgium’s semi-final defeat to France.
Vincent Kompany and co seemed to amble about the pitch, showing little emotional response to their loss.
Belgium’s undoubted talent cannot be questioned, however you can act suspicious of their reaction to the result.
As a fan, I know the reaction I would rather see. The England one.
Nobody can doubt how much Southgate’s squad are feeling this.
You can however question Belgium’s response.
Football might not be coming home, not this time.
The players however are, and they are coming home as heroes.
Thanks for the journey.