But after all the crowds had departed Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, there were still a few people left taking in the full weight of the experience. One of them was Gareth Southgate, the head coach and manager of the English soccer team. In a moment captured by cameras, Southgate — a former player himself who ended up managing the English national team for his first World Cup this year — shared a tender embrace with his wife, Alison, in the empty stands.
“At the moment we all feel the pain of defeat,” Southgate told press after the big loss on Wednesday. “I don’t think realistically we expected to be here. But once you’re here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life. The dressing room is a difficult place at the moment.” Still, with England fielding the second-youngest squad all around at the World Cup this year, there’s plenty for Southgate to take pride in. “I’m remarkably proud of the group of players,” he added.