Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has penned an emotional tribute to England coach Gareth Southgate after being eliminated from the World Cup by Croatia.

The Three Lions have suffered a 2-1 defeat against Croatia in the semi-finals after extra-time allowing the Blazers to face France at the final.

Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier’s early free-kick put Southgate side ahead of the Croatians but Ivan Perisic managed to equalise in the second half before the last whistle.

Juventus Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time goal has helped Croatia to book their place in the final of the tournament for the first time in the history.

Having reached the semi-final of the World Cup for the first time since 1990, Southgate is receiving credits from England fans and players including Marcus Rashford.

“You’ve brought belief and the love of football back. Thank you, boss, from the whole nation,” Rashford tweeted alongside a photo of himself embracing Southgate.

Apart from United attacker Rashford, all England players remain upset following the result last night, but all of them are remaining positive under Southgate’s leadership.

Three Lions captain Harry Kane twitted: “A lot of emotions today. First of all, I’m so proud of this team and staff for giving everything we could over a long period of time together. We have overcome so many challenges that have haunted England in the past…”

Jesse Lingard said: “Was an honour to represent my country at the world cup. The squad we have is a great bunch of lads who are willing to learn and give everything and we can hold our heads high. Thank you to everyone who supported our journey – we don’t stop here!”

England’s youngest player at the tournament, Trent Alexander-Arnold twitted: “Absolutely devastated that our journey is over! We enjoyed every moment as a nation, I’d like to thank all the staff and fans for being behind us.”

“It has been an honour to be a part of this special team. We will be back stronger.”

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Centre-back Harry Maguire said: “Devastated. Absolutely gutted. Thanks to the fans for your incredible support.”

Goalkeeper Jack Butland wrote: “Devastated to not be coming back here for the final on Sunday but this is just the beginning for this squad! To each and every @England fan, the support has been incredible and we can’t thank you enough! #ThreeLions.”

Forward Jamie Vardy posted: “Gutted….. Thank you to every one of you who have been there each step of the way! The support at each game has been incredible. Sorry, we couldn’t cross that final hurdle. Congrats to Croatia and good luck to you in the final. #England.”

England will face Belgium on Saturday for the third place play-off at Saint Petersburg Stadium.

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