Dan Davis

Who would have expected us to be here? England are in the World Cup semi-finals and take on Croatia for a place in our first final since 1966. We all know what happened that year and it’s hard not to get carried away again.

It’s a mixture of unsung heroes and seasoned England veterans that have seen us breeze into the final four, aside from a nervy showing against Colombia. Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson have played their part superbly, but have also been expertly supported by less experienced players.

Gareth Southgate has stressed the need for defenders comfortable on the ball, and Leicester’s Harry Maguire has been crucial for building attacks. Kieran Trippier has also expertly justified replacing Kyle Walker at wing back. Jordan Pickford, whose trio of saves against Sweden proved his worth as the Three Lions’ first choice goalkeeper, has spectacularly defied his critics.

We have come to accept, even anticipate, failure at the biggest tournaments. But everything feels different this time. A young, determined squad and an England manager the nation has quickly warmed to is a rare combination for us.

If England supporters had been told we would reach the semi-finals this summer, we would have never believed it. But this is the opportunity of a lifetime for this squad and winning the tournament is now almost a reality.

They have already won over the nation again, now let’s hope they can go all the way and bring football’s greatest trophy home.