Why Elland Road was one of the highlights of the summer for England boss Gareth Southgate

England boss Gareth Southgate.
England boss Gareth Southgate.
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England boss Gareth Southgate has hailed the Elland Road atmosphere as one of the highlights of the summer for the Three Lions.

Southgate, who saw his side reach the World Cup semi-finals in Russia, brought his side to West Yorkshire in the final warm-up fixture before the quadrennial tournament earlier this year.

Elland Road boasted a sell-out with 36,104 in attendance and despite a summer in which England surpassed many expectations by reaching the final four of the competition Southgate highlighted the visit to Leeds as one of his most treasured memories.

“I think Leeds was one of the best moments of the summer for us,” Southgate told Sky Sports. “The atmosphere created up there was brilliant."

The Three Lions visited Elland Road for the first time since 2002 with the FA deciding to take the national team on the road away from their Wembley base and was deemed a major success.

The 48-year-old said in June following the game: "The atmosphere within the ground was brilliant. There was a little bit of good-natured teasing of the Manchester United lads which is to be expected - booed in, applauded off.

"(It was a) brilliant atmosphere and the passion for England up here that shone through, didn't surprise me. It is a wonderful football club with great support and Yorkshire is a brilliant county who love their sport.

"It was a great experience for us and a really good send-off."