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On the 31st day..

A traditional 3rd Place humdrum affair yesterday. In truth both sides put out strong sides and it was reasonably fast paced, but Belgium are irresistible on the break, and we failed again to make the most of our possession around their penalty box, specifically in the second half.

Oh well.. still, it was a very enjoyable journey and there is plenty of hope for the future with youngsters like Joe Gomez, Ryan Sessegnon, Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden amongst others still to come. Loftus-Cheek and Eric Dier were good today, and Trippier, Pickford, Maguire, Stones and Henderson all return home with their stock high. Kane appeared to try too hard after the group games, but it is hard to knock a Golden Boot winner, which he is sure to be. Lukaku got no closer to him yesterday.

I will be looking forward to inaugural Nations League, which now proceeds the qualifying for the 2020 Euro’s, to hopefully continue the bond Southgate and his young players have established between the countries football team and it’s people.

Onto today, the 31st day of a wonderful World Cup, and the 64th and final game. France are clear favourites and have pace, and a dynamism about them as well as Mbappé, who has sprinklered stardust on the Finals.

I woke yesterday morning to a text from an old mate of mine in Chicago who is Croatian. Overnight the Croatian FA released 1,200 tickets and he managed to snaffle won during the night, and flew last night to land in Moscow this morning. He returns via Casablanca on Monday, and for that reason, as well as my normal penchant for the underdog, I’m hoping Luka Modric can lead Croatia, and it’s four million people to victory and become the 9th winners name engraved on the 18-carat gold trophy.

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