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World Cup 2018: What happened the last time England reached the semi-final

Bobby Robson, Paul Gascoigne and John Barnes Image copyright BBC/Getty/Allsport

Did you hear? England are in the semi-final of the World Cup.

The last time England were in this position was back in 1990, so this is the first semi-final many people have seen in their lifetimes.

The vast majority of the current squad weren't even born at the time.

There will be a lot of references to that tournament in the build up to Wednesday's game, including clips of a (now vintage) penalty shootout knockout, Gazza crying and John Barnes rapping.

So here's a cheat sheet.

Love had the World in Motion

The last time England were in the semis, no-one was chanting "football's coming home" in the streets.

That's because the song wouldn't come out for another six years.

The team's official World Cup song was New Order's World in Motion - one of the few football songs to stand the test of time.

It's now most famous for one thing: England midfielder John Barnes wrote and performed his own rap in the song.

Gazza's tears summed up the whole country's emotions

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Media captionGazza's tears at Italia '90

Germany was two countries the last time England played in a semi-final (and this Wednesday's opponents Croatia didn't even exist as a country).

So it was West Germany who lined up against England on that night in Turin.

The wizardry of England's brightest talent - 23-year-old Paul Gascoigne - had helped spur the team to the semi-finals, sparking Gazzamania around the country.

But, with the match at 1-1 after 90 minutes, legs were tired and Gazza got booked for a late tackle in extra time - his second yellow of the tournament.

His bottom lip started to wobble. If England were to make it to the final, he would be suspended.

England didn't win the match (they lost on penalties, of course) and there were more tears from Gascoigne after the game too.

Although he didn't know it at the time, that would be the last time he would play in a World Cup.

Bobby Robson parted with England

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bobby Robson - who maybe didn't have the wisest words before a shootout

After England's win against Sweden on Saturday, Match of the Day played a montage of clips from the West Germany game.

Gary Lineker seemed to be "doing a Gazza" and had a tear in his eye after watching it.

Robson - later Sir Bobby - was the hugely respected manager at the helm of that team, which featured Gary.

Image caption "I think I've got something in my eye" - Gary Lineker after watching the montage from 1990

But the manager maybe didn't have the wisest words in the minutes leading up to the shootout.

"Bobby Robson walked over to us and said 'Don't let me down, there are 30 million people watching this back home', which is not really what you want to be reminded of," Gary Lineker told Newsbeat a few weeks ago.

"Peter Beardsley and myself burst out laughing, we thought it was hilarious.

"But it didn't work."

It was the closest the country had got since 1966.

Robson had been told before the tournament that his contract wouldn't be renewed, making England's play-off for third place his last game after eight years in charge.

England went out in the usual way

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Media captionEngland lose to Germany on penalties at Italia 90

Of course a penalty shootout was England's downfall.

Lineker and Beardsley both scored, along with David Platt - but Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed and England were knocked out.

Gareth Southgate's England have already broken the penalty curse this summer - could they do what England's 1990 team couldn't do and make it to the final?

Newsbeat is at the World Cup in Russia this summer.

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