Jude Bellingham told England fans to ‘stick with us’ in a final message as the glum-looking Three Lions began their journey home after their World Cup tournament ended in crushing disappointment following Harry Kane’s penalty miss in 2-1 loss to France.
Leaving Qatar this morning, Bellingham gave the final message to fans as he signed t-shirts before boarding a coach to the airport.
This morning Gareth Southgate was seen with his arm around Kieran Trippier as they walked out of the Souq Al-Wakra hotel, while other players carried their bags to their bus.
The manager was seen travelling to meet FA staff in Doha before the journey back. The squad are expected to arrive back at Birmingham Airport at 6.30pm on Sunday evening.
Some may join family for a holiday, or head to a training camps, before heading home, it is understood.
Gareth Southgate’s men were utterly devastated at the final whistle yesterday and Kane was inconsolable, sinking to his knees and hiding his face in his hands in a futile attempt to prevent the tears from streaking down his face.
There were similar scenes in the stands of the Al Bayt stadium as the wives, girlfriends and families of the despairing players looked on, wiping tears from their eyes before embracing their fallen heroes who sauntered off the pitch in search of solace.
England’s Gareth Southgate (left) and Kieran Trippier outside the Souq Al-Wakra hotel, Qatar
The Three Lions are packing their bags as they prepare to fly home from Qatar today. Pictured Harry Maguire makes his way to a coach outside the Souq Al-Wakra hotel, Qatar
Kalvin Phillips (left) and James Maddison hug as they board the coach to the airport
Kalvin Phillips waves outside the Souq Al-Wakra hotel, Qatar, following the team’s defeat
John Stones gives a thumbs up while looking serious as he heads home with the team
England players leave the team hotel after losing to France in the quarter final on Saturday
Jude Bellingham watches on as his teammates board a coach to the airport to go home
Jude Bellingham takes photos with fans outside the Souq Al-Wakra hotel, Qatar
Declan Rice gives a thumbs uo outside the Souq Al-Wakra hotel, Qatar
England’s Luke Shaw (centre) outside the Souq Al-Wakra hotel, Qatar, following the defeat
The squad are expected to arrive back at Birmingham Airport at 6.30pm on Sunday evening. Pictured, Trent Alexander-Arnold makes his way to a coach
Harry Maguire waits on a coach outside the Souq Al-Wakra hotel, Qatar, following England’s loss to France on Saturday
James Maddison (left) and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford outside the Souq Al-Wakra hotel
Kalvin Phillips has a straight face as he makes a thumbs up when leaving the hotel in Qatar
Manager Gareth Southgate wore navy blue branded kit as he made his way to the coach
Southgate, wearing a ‘3 Lions’ t-shirt, leaves his hotel in Doha on Sunday morning
Southgate shakes hands as he packs up and leaves Qatar following his team’s loss yesterday
James Maddison (left) and Kyle Walker head home following England’s defeat to France
James Maddison (right) hugs Kyle Walker as the team make their way back to England
Left, John Stones leaves the hotel as well as Declan Rice, right, each carrying their bags to head home
Jude Bellingham waves outside the hotel as the team leaves Doha following yesterday’s match
Raheem Sterling makes his way onto the coach to the airport in Doha
Jude Bellingham gives a thumbs up as he boards the coach to the airport
Gareth Southgate (left) and Kieran Trippier talk as they leave their hotel
Southgate looked down as he and Kieran Trippier made their way to the bus to the airport
John Stones carries his bags to the coach as the team leave the country and return home
John Stones prepares to board the coach to the airport in Doha as they head home
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (left) and James Maddison (right) leave the hotel
Kyle Walker carries his bags as he and the team head back to the UK today
Harry Kane was devastated at the full time whistle having missed a critical penalty
England’s Harry Kane looks dejected after the match as England are eliminated from the World Cup while French players celebrate
England’s Harry Kane and manager Gareth Southgate look dejected after the match as England are eliminated from the World Cup
After last night’s loss the team are due to leave Doha today and are expected to arrive back in the UK this afternoon
All the while England fans in Qatar and back in Britain were stunned, scarcely able to believe the result when just minutes earlier it looked as though their star striker was going to fire the Three Lions into extra time.
Southgate has said that he needs time to reflect after last nights loss as to whether he will continue being England’s manager.
His contract runs until after Euro 2024.
‘These tournaments take a lot out of you and I need time to reflect,’ he told the BBC.
‘We’ve done that after every tournament and that’s the right thing to do.’
This morning Gary Neville, former England full-back, said he would ‘love’ Gareth Southgate to remain as manager of the team.
‘I would love Gareth to stay on for another two years and beyond that, whether as the coach or in a role in the FA designing the future,’ Neville told ITV.
‘England, in the last 10 years, have won youth tournaments, won the women’s Euros last summer and reached the men’s Euros final. We’re playing well and have good technical players.
‘England are in a pretty good place, let’s be clear about that. We’ve gone out of tournaments in disgrace and wondered what the hell the future is. We have a great future and he is a big part of that.’
Southgate has said that he needs time to reflect after last nights loss as to whether he will continue being England’s manager. Pictured after yesterday’s defeat
Harry Kane of England is consoled by Gareth Southgate, manager of the England national football team
Jude Bellingham of England is consoled by Gareth Southgate, manager of the England national football team, after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter final match between England and France at Al Bayt Stadium on December 10, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar
Gareth Southgate consoles his captain as England crash out of the World Cup
Harry Kane of England is dejected at full time during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter final match between England and France at Al Bayt Stadium on December 10, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar
The sentiment was echoed by former England striker Alan Shearer who said he had ‘no doubts’ that Southgate should remain in post.
‘He has had success in a way. I know we haven’t won a trophy but you have to look at the bigger picture,’ he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
‘We have missed a great opportunity but that is through no fault of anyone’s. The decision Gareth made were very good’.
Last night the teams went into half time tied at 1-1, but Les Bleus managed to claw their way in front when their all-time top scorer Olivier Giroud scrambled in front of Harry Maguire and guided an excellent ball from Griezmann in at the near post.
France’s lead looked like it was going to be short lived when substitute Mason Mount was bundled to the floor in the box and was awarded a penalty.
But Kane, having scored an assured spot kick minutes earlier, saw his second effort soar miles over the crossbar, sending the Three Lions crashing out of the World Cup at the quarter final stage.
Gareth Southgate’s men were heartbroken, the players listing helplessly around the pitch in utter dejection while the French contingent erupted into wild celebrations.
Southgate made a beeline for his captain Kane, who looked as though he could scarcely believe the result.
England’s captain had sunk to his knees at the final whistle and his teammates requested TV cameras to turn their focus elsewhere.
Jude Bellingham meanwhile collapsed to the turf in tears and was also consoled by his manager and Jordan Henderson.
Sasha Attwood consoles her boyfriend Jack Grealish after England’s disappointing quarter-final loss to France
England’s Harry Kane, Jordan Pickford and Kieran Trippier look dejected after the match as England are eliminated from the World Cup
England’s Jordan Henderson and Jude Bellingham look dejected after the match as England are eliminated from the World Cup
Southgate showed true sportsmanship in defeat by congratulating France captain Hugo Loris, while the remainder of his players fought through tears to salute and applaud their fans.
The England manager told the BBC that the manner in which his team went out of the World Cup after a battling performance was ‘cruel.’
He said he would sit down with the Football Association to discuss his future as Saturday night ‘is not the night to make decisions.’
He added: ‘I just said to the players… I don’t think they could have given any more. They have played really well against a top team. We win and lose as a team. We have let a couple of goals in and missed a few chances.’
On Kane, he said: ‘He has been incredible for us. He has been so reliable in that situation and we wouldn’t be here without the goals he has scored for us.
‘We came here to try and win the tournament and we had the belief that we could.’
England midfielder Jordan Henderson told reporters after the game: ‘It is hard now to sum it up, it is hard to find the right words.
‘I thought we gave everything in the game, we were disappointed to go 1-0 down but we showed the character and mentality to keep going and find the equaliser.
‘We gave it everything and unfortunately it wasn’t our night.’
He said of Kane’s penalty miss: ‘We know how many penalties Harry has scored for us, how many goals he has contributed to even get us here.
‘He will be stronger for this in the future. He is a world-class striker and our captain, he will bounce back.’
England fans in the Al Bayt stadium insisted that they were proud of the team but devastated by the loss.
Jordan Pickford’s partner Megan wipes tears from her eyes as England crash out of the World Cup
Rebecca Cooke, girlfriend of Phil Foden, cries after the match England v France, FIFA World Cup 2022, Quarter Final
Jude Bellingham of England with his family at full-time England v France, FIFA World Cup 2022, Quarter Final, Football, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar
England fans react after watching England lose against France
England fans at BOXPARK Croydon in London react to England’s defeat following a screening of the FIFA World Cup Quarter-Final match between England and France
The Prince of Wales sent a personal message to the England team, saying he was ‘gutted’ for Southgate and the players, adding: ‘We are all so proud of you.’
After the game, William tweeted: ‘Gareth, Harry and the whole England squad and staff, gutted for all of you.
‘You put so much into this tournament and we are all so proud of you. Heads held high and on to the next one!’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said England deserved to win the game and the result was ‘absolutely gutting’.
Former striker Wayne Rooney, who is now tied with Kane as England’s all-time top scorer, tweeted: ‘Absolutely gutted for the lads but proud of the way they’ve played this tournament and they should be proud.
‘Congratulations to Harry on equalling the record – he’ll be on his own soon and couldn’t think of anyone better to take over. Keep your head up, Harry.’
Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick when England won the World Cup final in 1966, tweeted: ‘Proud of every single player and the way they have played. Sometimes the heart just doesn’t get what it wants on the night.’
Former England striker Michael Owen tweeted: ‘So proud of this team. Massive future ahead of them. We were the better team but that’s football. Well done – we’ll win it soon.’
About half the population of England is believed to have watched the thriller on ITV – 21.1 million at home and 5.8 million in pubs and restaurants.
Expectant fans packed bars across England to give pubs their busiest day in three years, and some 48 million pints were expected to be sunk.
England’s Declan Rice looks dejected at the final whistle
England’s Jude Bellingham reacts during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022
France players celebrate after the match as France progress to the semi finals