Kieran Trippier believes England have progressed since their 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat and is relishing Wednesday night’s Euro 2020 clash with Denmark.
The 30-year-old’s free-kick had the nation dreaming of reaching a first major tournament final since 1966, only for Croatia to turn things around and snatch a 2-1 extra-time win in Russia.
It was England’s third major tournament semi-final loss since lifting the World Cup and Gareth Southgate’s side have the opportunity to end that hoodoo against the Danes on Wednesday.
“I think from the two years the team has changed a lot and we are in a position now where we just want to create our own history. That’s all we want to do,” Trippier said.
“There are only maybe six or seven of us from that World Cup team, we have got so much good young talent now.
“It is there for everyone to see the attacking players we’ve got and I think we’ve taken that step forward from 2018.
“The Nations League we were in the semi-final and now we are playing Denmark – we have made a real good progression over the years.”
Wednesday’s semi-final opponents have been brought together by distressing circumstances after Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in their opening game.
Southgate said Denmark were “riding a wave of emotion” into the semi-final, when Eriksen’s former team-mate at Tottenham Harry Kane will present Denmark captain Simon Kjaer with a signed England ‘Eriksen 10’ shirt.
Trippier, another former team-mate of Eriksen, said: “We were on the coach, before the Croatia game. We saw it on the screens.
“It’s just important that he is here with us. He’s getting better, he’s making progress. It’s just hard to put into words because I have played with him. I was close with Christian.
“The most important thing is he is getting better. I messaged him. I didn’t do it straight away, I messaged him through social media.
“This is the time to give him privacy, with his family and his children. We just want him to make progress in his recovery.”
In the latest Sky Sports Football Euros podcast, Peter Smith is joined by Ben Ransom, Nick Wright and Gerard Brand to preview England’s Euro 2020 semi-final with Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday.
Will Gareth Southgate go to a back three? What threats do Denmark pose on England’s watertight defence? What can England learn from October’s Nations League defeat against the Danes? And has Raheem Sterling been the overall player of the tournament so far?
Plus, we preview the other semi-final as Italy face Spain on Tuesday night at Wembley.