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Kyle Walker believes the current crop of England players have put meaning back into wearing the shirt.

The full-back has enjoyed an impressive tournament by helping England reach their first major final in 55 years as they face Italy on Sunday.

But he believes Gareth Southgate’s current generation have now set the standard for years to come.

Defender Walker said: “I think when you put on an England shirt – definitely in the past four years – it means something now.

“I have heard a lot of people talking about how England haven’t won a knockout game, England haven’t won a penalty shoot-out, England haven’t got this, England haven’t got that.

Kyle Walker is proud to be part of this current England team
(Image: Frank Augstein/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

“This group of lads – with the manager and the coaching staff – we just keep knocking them down and we have set the bar now for the future youngsters that are coming through.

“This is what our country wants and expects of us.”

Walker also paid tribute to the England fans for their part in beating Denmark and has called on them to put in one last effort to help the Three Lions get past the Italians.

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“These emotions and these types of games grab hold of you,” he said. “We want one more effort from the fans – because that 12th man is vital.

“I hear people complaining now that England have got an advantage playing at home. But we never complained when we played certain people in their back yard, it is just the rub of the green.”

Walker’s former Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane scored the winner in extra-time against the Danes, turning home the rebound, having seen his penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

The 31-year-old revealed he had a premonition that Kane might miss, but his own plan to score the follow-up and be the goalscoring hero of the night failed to become reality.

“For some reason, I’m never normally there on the edge of the box, I’m on the half-way line,” he explained.

“This time I felt I needed to be there. But Harry ran and took it and I am too busy looking up to see where the ball’s going, so I’m glad he got the rebound.”