Harry Kane has challenged England to ensure their World Cup adventure does not go down as a once-in-a-generation experience.
Kane became just the third man to captain England in a global semi-final in Moscow on Wednesday night, following in the footsteps of Sir Bobby Moore and Terry Butcher, but it proved the end of the road.
Croatia proved too strong over 120 nerve-shredding minutes and will go on to meet France in the showpiece, while England begin the process of picking over a tournament in which they comfortably over-delivered on expectations.
The Tottenham striker was not even born when England fell at the same stage in Italy 28 years ago and has no intention of allowing the next wait to last so long.
“This has got to be the start of something rather than the end of it,” he said.
“We have built a solid foundation over a two-year period with the manager and it is so important we carry this on and continue to show we can do well in these major tournaments.
“We have shown we can in this one, the aim now is not to have to wait another 20 odd years to get in another big semi-final. We must go again and try and achieve our dreams.
“In two years’ time, if we are at the Euros, the aim it is to go again. This will give us belief we can do it in the big tournaments.”
Kane is confident England are well placed to deliver, with manager Gareth Southgate sure to return to England an emboldened figure at the helm of a squad packed with young players who have more of their international careers in front of them than behind.
Just as importantly, the Three Lions are once again in the good graces of a nation which has revelled in their exploits just two years after reviling the manner of their defeat to Iceland.
“We know we have restored pride in the England shirt, back home as well, so we can hold our heads up high,” he said.