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Stats show World Cup brought families together despite England heartbreak

A survey showed that supports spent twice as much time with their families during the World Cup compared to any other time of the year.

England defied the odds to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990 after a surprisingly positive showing in Russia this summer.

Gareth Southgate’s men weren’t given much hope heading in to the tournament as the majority of supporters felt progress from the group was achievable but another last-16 knockout defeat was likely.

As expected, England eased through the group stages thanks to wins over Tunisia and Panama and the defeat to Belgium turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the draw suddenly opened up for the Three Lions in the bottom half of the draw.

A nervy penalty shoot-out victory over Colombia in the last-16 set-up a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over Sweden in the quarter-finals to ensure England were safely through to the last-4 for the first time in almost 30 years.

With Croatia standing in England’s way of the final, supporters began to believe that football was ‘coming home’ with 94% of fans hopeful that Southgate and his men could bring home the trophy.

It wasn’t to be as England narrowly missed out on a place in Sunday’s final after losing 2-1 in extra-time to Croatia last week and France went on to lift the trophy with an impressive victory at the weekend.

However, despite the semi-final disappointment, there has certainly been a lot of positives to take away from this summer’s World Cup, both on and off the pitch.

A study conducted by Vanquis Bank with 1,000 UK World Cup fans discovered that families spent twice as much time together during the tournament than at any other time while over half of the respondents said they had more to look forward to during the World Cup.

Over a quarter of pensioners said they felt ‘less lonely’ during the tournament, a third of respondents reported feeling closer to strangers and 27% said they had made new friends as a result of engaging in World Cup festivities.

So while there will be a lingering feeling of ‘what if’ following the defeat to Croatia, there is no doubt the England team has brought families and the entire population closer together over the past month.

Football can be criticised for a lot of things, but there aren’t many sports that can unite a nation the way football can and Southgate’s England team should be praised for bringing back a sense of national pride to the country this summer.

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