England securing a World Cup semi-final spot for the first time in 28 years dominates the headlines as the papers – and nation – dare to believe that football might just be coming home.
“Prince Harry!” declares the Mail on Sunday Sport after Harry Maguire headed home his first international goal to kick off the scoring in England’s 2-0 victory over Sweden.
On the inside back pages, it leads with the headline “History maker”, hailing manger Gareth Southgate for achieving what so many thought was impossible before the start of the tournament.
The Sunday Express Sport looks ahead to England’s next hurdle – Croatia – as Southgate looks to outdo predecessors Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson in going a step further in the competition.
Its frontpage, meanwhile, perfectly sums up the mood of the country with the headline “Happy and Glorious” on top of a picture of England’s other goal scorer Dele Alli.
In a similar vein, “Hope and glory” tops the Sunday Times’ back page, its writers calling it a “comfortable victory” in Samara.
“Here we Cro!” cries the Star Sport next to a picture of an ecstatic Maguire and a “roaring” Southgate.
A full-page picture of Maguire’s fists clenched in celebration dominates the front pages of the nationals, with the Sunday People, Sunday Mirror and The Sun on Sunday all choosing the image to portray the country’s delight.
“Yeeess!” screams The Sun on Sunday, while the Sunday Mirror hails Maguire and his team-mates as “Semi-gods”.
The Sunday People attempts to contain its excitement with the headline “Keep calm and Harry on”, but quickly backtracks: “Who are we kidding… we’re playing Croatia in semis!”
Meanwhile in Sweden, their dumping from the competition has not escaped the Stockholm headlines either.
Remaining gracious in defeat, “Thanks for the party” reads the headline of the Sydsvenskan daily newspaper underneath a picture of a downcast Swedish team clapping as they walk off the field.
“Bye bye, Sweden”, says Dagens Nyheter, however the paper manages to remain upbeat, adding: “It’s not the end of Janne Andersson’s national team, it’s not even the beginning of the end, it’s just the end of the beginning.”
- Press Association