FIFA World Cup

England players given parking spots

The German-owned supermarket chain has reserved spots for the Three Lions, ensuring the likes of Gareth Southgate, Harry Kane, Jordan Pickford and Kieran Trippier can shop hassle-free in their hometowns.

Kane's image adorns a space at Lidl's Chingford store, just a few miles from where the World Cup Golden Boot winner went to school, while manager Southgate can find his own parking spot in his hometown of Crawley.

Croatia greeted by 550,000 fans

Despite the undoubted individual quality available to coach Zlatko Dalic, few expected Croatia to go as far as they did in Russia.

Croatia's preparations for the tournament were by no means perfect, considering Dalic was only appointed as the replacement for the sacked Ante Cacic last October with one last qualification group game to go.

He ultimately led them into the play-offs and then to Russia, where they picked up three wins in the group stage – including a brilliant 3-0 triumph over Argentina.

France 4 Croatia 2

Following a tournament packed with thrills and drama, the final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium lived up to what preceded it from the moment Les Bleus hit the front through an 18th-minute own goal by Mario Mandzukic – a cruel role reversal for Croatia's extra-time hero in the semi-final win over England.

Zlatko Dalic's side had started the stronger and levelled through a fine Ivan Perisic strike before the Inter player was harshly adjudged to have handled in the box, as VAR made its first impact upon a World Cup final.

Belgium 2 England 0

Having fallen one match shy of a maiden final appearance in Tuesday's slim 1-0 defeat to France, the Red Devils' vaunted golden generation lifted themselves off the canvass to improve upon the fourth-place finish managed by Enzo Scifo, Jan Ceulemans and company in 1986.

Meunier was the unlikely hero early on as his close-range finish in the opening exchanges denied England what would have been their best tournament result since lifting the trophy 52 years ago.

Brussels homecoming for Belgium

The Red Devils missed out on a first World Cup final appearance after Samuel Umtiti's solitary goal helped France to a slender semi-final win on Tuesday.

Roberto Martinez's side now face England - who they beat 1-0 in the group stages - on Saturday in the play-off to determine third and fourth place in the tournament.

And it has now been revealed the game will be followed the next day with an event starting at the Royal Palace and finishing in the capital's iconic Grand Place.

Mandzukic hails final 'miracle'

Kieran Trippier and Ivan Perisic scored in regular time, before the Juventus forward lost his marker in the 109th minute to net the winner and his second goal of the tournament.

The win puts Croatia into the decider against France on Sunday and Mandzukic, 32, said his country showed great courage in the come-from-behind win.

"This is a miracle. Only great teams can be as brave as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England. We've played our hearts out throughout the tournament," he said.

Croatia 2 England 1 (aet)

England made an electric start with Kieran Trippier's early goal and for a large period of the game looked good value to book their passage to the final for the first time since 1966, but Croatia somehow battled through their apparent jadedness to tame the Three Lions, Mandzukic landing the decisive blow.

Gareth Southgate consistently downplayed the euphoria in his team in the build-up, and for a while England gave every indication they were going to take charge of their own destiny, as Trippier found the net with a delightful free-kick in the fifth minute.

'Kane more than a goalscorer'

Kane is the highest scoring player at the World Cup with six strikes to his name, leading the Three Lions to an unexpected semi-final against Croatia.

But five-time FIFA Women's World Player of the year Marta highlighted there is more to the Tottenham striker's game than simply putting the ball in the net.

''I was convinced before the World Cup that Harry Kane would have a good tournament – and he has not failed me," Marta wrote in The Guardian.

Thai survivors unable to attend WC

The 12 boys and their coach were trapped after heavy rain in northern Thailand on June 23 but their rescue has now been completed.

However, ex-Navy SEAL diver Saman Kunan died during the rescue effort.

It had been suggested the boys, members of the Wild Boars Football Club, could be invited to watch the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

Governing body FIFA confirmed it will meet the Football Association of Thailand but the team will not be able to attend the game.

Walker praises England 'family'

For the first time in 28 years – and only the third time in history – an England team will be present in the last-four at football's global showpiece, Gareth Southgate's team having seen off Sweden in Saturday's quarter-final.

Croatia stand in the way of the Three Lions and a place in the final, the two nations going head-to-head in Moscow on Wednesday to earn the right to face France or Belgium.

England's progress is a long way from their group-stage exit at the last edition of the World Cup in Brazil, and their shock defeat to Iceland in the Euro 2016 round of 16.