Gareth Southgate

England manager Gareth Southgate says winning the World Cup would make his players even bigger heroes than the 1966 generation because of the impact of social media and the globalisation of football.

Southgate’s men meet Croatia in the semi-finals on Wednesday after ending a 28-year wait just to reach the last four by cruising past Sweden in the quarter-finals.

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“I’ve met quite a few of those players and we know exactly how they’re held and perhaps, in the modern era, that would be even crazier.

“Social media and everything else, the global thing is so much bigger,” Southgate told Britain’s daily newspapers.

Southgate admitted he had used the high esteem in which the 1966 team — featuring Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore — are still held as an inspiration for his players.