SWEDE dreams are made of this – England WORLD CUP semi-finalists.

Nobody can disagree Gareth Southgate’s team deserved it – unless you’re a blind man call Sven Svensson!

The superb Harry Maguire thundered in a great header after half hour, which was not only his first international goal, but the springboard to a 2-0 victory against Sweden.

If Raheem Sterling wasn’t as potent as puff powder in a hurricane it would have been over by half-time. The Manchester City man’s decision making is as bad as Donald Trump’s – babies in cages anyone?

But the diminutive frontman’s pace does scare defenders rigid as they have no idea what he’s going to do – unfortunately for England fans and Raheem neither does he.

After all the effort he puts into getting in good positions surely Sterling is set to score a worldie or see one go in off his bum! Let us hope he is saving that for the final. His bravery in never hiding deserves a reward and we all want to see the value of Sterling rise in this current Brexit climate!

English people currently feel like they’re living in some kind of utopian parallel universe– the sun has been shining for weeks and our footballers are bringing us joy. It’s plain weird but oh so wonderful.

Dele Alli headed in No 2 on 59 minutes and then Jordan Pickford further pushed his claim to be the GK in Team of the Tournament with three stunning saves.

So the Three Lions march on to Wednesday night’s semi-final where they will play Croatia – the furthest they have got for 28 YEARS!

My only fear is with all the Tottenham players in the squad we go all Spursy – the London side having fallen at that hurdle a record seven times in a row domestically in the FA Cup.

But the ying to that yang is Jordan Henderson who has not ended up on the losing side in any of his last 30 England matches (W23 D7), the longest unbeaten run of any Three Lions player in history.

Despite this the Liverpool skipper has as many critics as fans. Never mind lad, you can’t make everyone happy – you’re not a jar of Nutella.

France are still the favourites to win in Russia having put in a strong, professional performance to see off Uruguay 2-0. But they have a much tougher semi-final against Belgium who won a thriller 2-1 against Brazil.

Their clash has some interesting Premier League sub-plots with big Manchester United pals Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba up against each other; Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois tasked with keeping out Chelsea club-mates Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante and Spurs stopper Hugo Lloris seeing his defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen on the opposing side.

But back to our game and Luca Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic are the Croat dangermen – oh and Dejan Lovren although he’s more of a danger to his own side!

Whatever happens in Moscow this week, Gareth Southgate and his men can come home with their heads held high and looking forward with real excitement to Euro 2020.

The glory is not in never failing – but in rising every time you fall.

AND finally Maria Sharapova crashed out in the first round at Wimbledon – losing in straight sets to fellow Russian and world No 138 Vitalia Diatchenko.

The exit of the 2004 champion and drugs cheat – banned for 15 months for taking meldonium in June 2016 – was the first time Sharapova had lost her first match at SW19.

Critics will point to karma as many feel her blonde good looks helped smooth her path back into tennis despite her arrogance, lack of apology for dragging the sport’s good name through the dirt and acceptance that she did anything wrong.

Still Sharapova really is as pretty as a picture. I for one would love to hang her. 

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