IT’S clear our footballers never read Shakespeare who once said ‘This England never did, nor never shall, lie at the proud foot of a conqueror’.

For we were well and truly conquered by Croatia in the World Cup semi-final and they in turn were left dead on their feet in the final showdown with France.

The Three Lions then lost the third-place play-off to Belgium so literally nothing came home, except a new-found admiration for Kieran Trippier.

Still on a positive note fourth out of 32 is nothing to be sniffed at and was way more than even the most ardent England fan was expecting. Harry Kane also waltzed off with the Golden Boot with six goals.

But you can’t shake the feeling that with the cards falling to reveal what was tantamount to a full house with Tunisia, Panama, Colombia, Sweden, Croatia and France the path to immortality that England missed a trick – their best chance to win a World Cup since 1966.

Optimists among you will point to the fact that this is a young team but winners France have the most outstanding emerging talent in Kylian Mbappe and had equally as young a squad with an average age of 26. Only Nigeria with 25.9 years could better that.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe, 19, won the gong for the best young player of the tournament and totally outshone his club-mate Neymar who had a stinker.

The Brazilian spent over a QUARTER OF AN HOUR on the floor rolling around, having hissy fits and showing he’s yellow as mustard but without the bite.

Brand Neymar has undoubtedly been damaged by his antics in Russia. Instead of a brave man ready to take on the mantel of the world’s best we saw a timid boy who if he was melted down, couldn’t be poured into a fight.

Croatia captain Luka Modric deservedly took the Golden Boot for best player – taking his country to a historic first final. The fact the midfield maestro couldn’t clamber over that final hurdle was sad enough to bring a tear to a glass eye.

THE HAZARD lights are flashing at Stamford Bridge with less than a month to go before the new Premier League season.

New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has the difficult task of trying to persuade a raft of his top stars to stay as Europe’s big guns circle.

Star playmaker Eden Hazard and stopper Thibaut Courtois are not just fluttering their eyelashes at Real Madrid but sending them full-on declarations of love for the city and the club.

And key midfielders Willian and N’Golo Kante are being furiously pursued by Barcelona and PSG respectively. Any bids for the fab four would be as welcome in west London as a porcupine at a nudist colony.

Hazard, Golden Glove winner Courtois and Kante — three certs for the World Cup team of the tournament — might not be impressed by Sarri’s CV as they ponder their futures.

Remember the Blues did not qualify for the Champions League – the stage where superstars strut their stuff and their new gaffer has not won a single trophy of note.

Former Atletico keeper Courtois’ young family still live in Madrid, while Hazard is seen by many as the natural successor to 33-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo who has joined Juventus for a staggering £99m.

Roma keeper Alisson is mixed in with this as he could pip Courtois to the post and be Real-bound – or he could be his replacement in London or a much-needed No 1 in Liverpool.

It is not all bad news for the Blues as midfielder Jorginho has arrived in a £57m deal from Napoli.

But if he turns out to be a replacement for fan favourite Hazard then the rumblings of discontent will be as noisy as a bunch of skeletons dancing on a tin roof.

AND finally Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber are the new Kings and Queens of Wimbledon.

Neither are as popular as eight-time SW19 champion Roger Federer or Serena Williams – who was going for a joint record 24 Grand Slam titles – but I doubt the Serb or German care.

Federer and Williams both suffered shock losses in the later rounds but my biggest upset at Wimbledon remains when I dropped my ice cream and glass of Pimm’s on the same shambolic day.

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