"Against the very best teams, we've come up short, but we've had a wonderful adventure and some experiences that will stand this group of players and staff in really good stead for the future".

With his team 2-0 ahead against Nigeria, Kalinic was called upon by coach Zlatko Dalic to come on as a substitute in their first Group "D" match at Kaliningrad on June 16 and instead said he had a had a back problem, prompting Dalic to introduce Schalke FC forward Marko Pjaca for Mario Mandzukic instead. "But today shows, and some other games show, that there is still room for improvement", said Kane.

And the fact he has played arguably the best football of his career this summer, and could end Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's Ballon d'Or duopoly, suggests he views his legal woes either as trivial by comparison or simply another obstacle to be overcome.


Kane failed to find the net in England's final three games of the tournament, but still remains on course to win the Golden Boot thanks to his six goals against Tunisia, Panama and Colombia.

Back home Sir Geoff Hurst, the 1966 World Cup final hat-trick hero, said: "We should be proud of our boys". "Today was always going to be a really hard game", he added. We, players, like this kind of challenges, and we're ready to finish everything on a high note. This is the level we've got to stay at now. I think the feeling after the Euros [in 2016] was the team was over, but the feeling is not that now.


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