Croatian players celebrated wildly in the Russian capital while in the Croatian capital Zagreb, tens of thousands of fans poured onto the streets and squares, singing, letting off flares and waving red-white-and-blue flags.
But he lamented England's failure to take full advantage of what appeared an unusually easy route to the final, avoiding most of the heavyweight teams in Russian Federation.
It's the second time the two teams have met at the tournament and the second time that the outcome of their match will be relatively inconsequential. It said: "The more I see, the more important it is that when 'attacking this tournament" we tell our own story. We can be proud and we'll be back.
England will play Belgium in the third-place play-off match on Saturday before coming home to what is expected to be a hero's welcome.
Unlike the Olympics, where winning third place comes with a bronze medal and some sense of accomplishment, at the World Cup it's only a brutal reminder of how close you came.
In their other appearance, in 1966, in London, they entered popular folklore by beating West Germany, an achievement that many fans have long thought they would never see again.
Southgate, for his part, is committed to continuing the overhaul of the England squad and prior to the World Cup name-checked several young players who he has his eye on. We will want to give a performance of huge pride. "I don't think realistically we expected to be here".
Cristiano: "I said that Cristiano would stay because that's what I wanted, but I didn't know anything". "We are going to play England in the League of Nations (in October) and we don't have a proper stadium to play that game".
"We, as a team, have made incredible progress and probably got to a stage where at the start of the tournament we would have considered a success".