Gareth Southgate sends message to England with his shoes ahead of Euros semi-final


England boss Gareth Southgate is keeping his feet on ground — complete with an inspirational motto on his trainers — ahead of the team’s semi-final against the Netherlands.

The coach wore the footwear with the message “anything is possible” as he joined Harry Kane on the pitch in Dortmund to get an early look at the venue.

The words are a nod to Southgate’s book where he talked about his path from shy schoolboy footballer to success on the pitch, and how he overcame his own challenges including his penalty miss in the semi-final of the 1996 Euros.

His trainers also had 100 written on them — a reference to the game against the Swiss in the quarter-final which was his 100th game as England manager, eight years after stepping into the role temporarily when Sam Allardyce was forced to resign.

Thousands of England fans have been scrambling for flights and accommodation in the last few days, with about 40,000 expected to descend on Dortmund to join a similar number already in Germany. The exodus has driven up the price of hotel rooms and tickets for the match into the thousands of pounds.

ITV bosses are hoping for a bumper audience for Wednesday’s game kicking off at 8pm after almost 17 million tuned in to the BBC on Saturday to see England come through on penalties against the Swiss.

Gareth Southgate’s trainers (The FA via Getty Images)
Gareth Southgate’s trainers (The FA via Getty Images)

Southgate says his players are ready to make history after topping their group in unconvincing fashion before beating Switzerland to get to their third semi-final in four major tournaments. An appearance in the final would be England men’s first on foreign soil.

He said: “This is now the chance to make history, which we’ve enjoyed doing. A chance to get to a first final not held in England. We’re trying to break new ground. That’s difficult and it’s complicated, but the players have responded brilliantly and resilience has been built.”

The England manager walks around the pitch with Harry Kane (The FA via Getty Images)
The England manager walks around the pitch with Harry Kane (The FA via Getty Images)

Sir Keir Starmer has revealed his advice to Gareth Southgate on leading a team to success. The Prime Minister said he hoped officials will keep him updated about England’s Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands as he attends a major international summit. He will be with world leaders including Dutch counterpart Dick Schoof at the Nato summit in Washington when England plays tonight.

After last week’s landslide election victory, Sir Keir said his advice to Southgate was simply: “Win! And I’d remind you, England have not missed a penalty under a Labour Government in 2024.”

He added: “I understand our phones are all taken off us, when we go into the council, so I’ve no doubt we’ll be passed lots of notes with really important information about the summit, and one or two of those notes hopefully will be an update on the score, because I’m not going to be able to get it otherwise.

“I’ve sent a message to the team, obviously I wish them well, I want them to win, and let’s hope they can do it.”