Godspeed England and thank you for reigniting that loving feeling | Sachin Nakrani

Unburdened by hype and narcissism, Gareth Southgate and his side have the qualities that make it easy to once again get behind the national team at a World Cup

A World Cup is upon us, which means it’s time to look forward as well as back. Forward to a glut of football over the next few weeks – some of it great, some of it poor, all of it compelling – and back to previous tournaments, acting as they do as signposts in our lives. We remember how they shaped our summers as well as ourselves and, as is the case with most things, the first World Cup tends to mean the most.

Related: ‘On the pitch there was a divide’: tales behind England’s World Cup failures

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