Gary Lineker: ‘The adulation at home will make them feel a bit better’

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The BBC presenter and member of the Italia 90 squad says England are on the verge of being ‘exceptionally competitive’

Gary Lineker says he felt like a German on Wednesday evening inside Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium as he willed England to reach penalties, so confident was he in their ability to cope with the pressure of a shootout.

As part of the Italia 90 team which suffered the agony of a penalty shootout defeat when England had last reached a World Cup semi-final 28 years ago, it was an unsettling sensation for Lineker to be hankering for spot-kicks again. Against Colombia in the last 16, they won a penalty shootout for the first time at a World Cup with only Jordan Henderson having his effort saved and Jordan Pickford making a vital save.

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Written by Martha Kelner in Moscow
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