Southgate: World Cup win would be 'crazier' than 1966 triumph

Gareth Southgate's England is just two wins from lifting the World Cup, an achievement he feels would be even greater than in 1966.

England faces Croatia in its World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.   -  Getty Images

England manager Gareth Southgate has no doubt that winning the 2018 World Cup would result in his players being even more revered than those who guided the country to its last success in 1966.

Southgate's team has surpassed the expectations of most in Russia, reaching their its World Cup semi-final since 1990 despite the group being relatively inexperienced.

Of the 32 countries who began the tournament, only Nigeria and France have squads with a younger average age than England.

Yet, while some suggested prior to the World Cup that such a situation would be a hindrance, it has been anything but, and Southgate has been keen to get across that the players are on the precipice of untouchable status.

"We've talked, touched briefly, certainly, on the team which won [the World Cup in 1966], how they're still held and revered," Southgate told reporters.


"At the beginning we were working together with the lads and trying to sell them the vision of what's possible, what we're looking to achieve in the long term."

"We also feel we've had events on when we've been in camp when some of those guys [from the 1966 squad] have been in, when the road was named at St George's [Park National Football Centre, England's training base at home] after Sir Alf [Ramsey, the World Cup-winning coach in 1966]."

"I've met quite a few of those players and we know exactly how they're held and perhaps in the modern era that would be even crazier, [with] social media and everything else, the global thing is so much bigger."

England faces Croatia in its World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

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