2018 FIFA World Cup Semi-finals: Croatia 2 - 1 England

Gareth Southgate: Inspiration for England, Even in Defeat

Tributes pour in for England's coach following a heartbreaking World Cup loss to Croatia.

“You’ve brought belief and the love of football back. Thank you boss from the whole nation.” That tweet, by player Marcus Rashford to his coach Gareth Southgate, summed up what a lot of English fans are feeling this morning following their team's World Cup semifinal loss to Croatia. England's journey in this World Cup may be over, and the cup may not be "coming home" after all, but the team's performance has still left many fans extremely proud — especially about Southgate's leadership throughout the tournament. Following the match he was given an incredible reception by fans, and many heartfelt thank-you's on social media. Here, photographic evidence from the last match of why he's known as a good sportsman and inspirational leader.

APPLAUSE ALL ROUND Fred Lee/Getty Images APPLAUSE ALL ROUND "He has been majestic," said former England player Rio Ferdinand about Southgate to the BBC. GIVING ASHLEY YOUNG A HAND UP Anadolu Agency/Getty Images GIVING ASHLEY YOUNG A HAND UP

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A COACH AND HIS CAPTAIN, HARRY KANE Shaun Botterill/Getty Images A COACH AND HIS CAPTAIN, HARRY KANE "It will hurt for a while," Kane wrote in a tweet. "We can be proud and we’ll be back. Thanks for all your support. #ThreeLions." SOUTHGATE COMFORTS JESSE LINGARD The Asahi Shimbun/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images SOUTHGATE COMFORTS JESSE LINGARD FEELING THE PAIN MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images FEELING THE PAIN A TENDER MOMENT WITH HARRY MACGUIRE Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images A TENDER MOMENT WITH HARRY MACGUIRE "At the moment we all feel the pain of the defeat," Southgate said following the match. "The dressing room is a very difficult place at the moment." COMFORTING DANNY ROSE... Jean Catuffe/Getty Images COMFORTING DANNY ROSE... ...AND JORDAN PICKFORD KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images ...AND JORDAN PICKFORD THANKING THE FANS FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images THANKING THE FANS "I’m remarkably proud of a group of players who have really advanced, and no one could have given any more," Southgate said. "The way they’ve represented their country has been exemplary." EMBRACING JORDAN HENDERSON Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images EMBRACING JORDAN HENDERSON CONGRATULATING THE WINNERS VI-Images/VI-Images via Getty Images CONGRATULATING THE WINNERS PICTURE OF RESPECT Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images PICTURE OF RESPECT “The biggest thing is that when you see the supporters at the end and their reaction, that tells you what the players have given, not just tonight but over the whole period." — Gareth Southgate THANKING THE FANS Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images THANKING THE FANS From England Twitter: "To everyone who supported us. To everyone who believed this time was different. To everyone who wasn't afraid to dream. To everyone who knows this is only the beginning. Thank you. We hope we made you proud." AND A HUG FROM HIS WIFE ALISON Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images AND A HUG FROM HIS WIFE ALISON

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