England finish World Cup prep with win over Costa Rica

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Gareth Southgate's side fly to Russian Federation at the start of next week to start fine-tuning their preparations ahead of their opening Group G game in Volgograd a week on Monday. Having been given some extra time off following Real Madrid's Champions League final victory over Liverpool, Ronaldo made his 150th worldwide appearance for Portugal. Both have skippered their country during Southgate's reign, but the need for two attack-minded central midfield options means one of them looks set to fall by the wayside.

Marcus Rashford got his chance to shine on the global stage just a week out from the World Cup, as England took on Costa Rica at Elland Road on Thursday evening, and boy did he deliver.

"I thought his link-up was good".

"The way that I play the game I was getting picked out more with passes and I just felt more comfortable at England".

England's final game of the Group stages of the World Cup is against Belgium on Thursday 28 June at 7 pm.

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The pivotal part of the match was the second-set tiebreaker in which both men played superbly - and both had chances to end it. In fact, on Friday's semi-final, his forehand speed was more than 10 kph faster than it had been throughout the tournament.

Sterling moved to North London at the age of five with his mother, and his abundant talent on the football field soon became recognised as he was snapped up by Queen's Park Rangers and then Liverpool as a 15-year-old.

That has created a new atmosphere around the England squad, according to Welbeck, and they are relishing the chance to impress on the worldwide stage.

He told PA Sport: "I think he's been a little bit harshly treated, dipping in and out of the team has not helped him". "It will always be there because it hurts so much. Every time we meet up with the squad there's great camaraderie, it's a very enjoyable environment to be in and I'm really excited for the coming weeks". To keep striving and keeping wanting more, to keep improving.

"We could go through 11 of those on the basis of what we saw tonight - and that's critical because we won't progress on 11 players chosen in the first game".

But Linekar dismissed suggestions that England's repeated failure is due to a collective inability to withstand pressure, pointing instead to poor youth development programmes over the past several decades. That's what's best for the England national team and us as individuals. You can see his ability to hold people off, his speed of feet, his strength when he is running with the ball. Raheem Sterling heads to the World Cup off the back of an outstanding season with Manchester City, but his struggles to translate club form on the worldwide stage are well documented. "Take each game as it comes, and you never know what will happen".