Fabian Delph has flown back out to rejoin the rest of the England squad at the World Cup following the birth of his third child.
The Manchester City midfielder returned home from Russia to be with wife Natalie straight after playing 90 minutes in the 1-0 loss to Group G rivals Belgium, meaning he missed Tuesday’s dramatic last-16 tie with Colombia.
England will face Sweden in the quarter-finals following their 4-3 shoot-out success, with Eric Dier converting the winning penalty in Moscow.
Alongside an Instagram picture of him sat on a jet, Delph wrote: “I’ve just experienced the most amazing 24 hours.
“Watching my brothers come through a tough game both mentally and physically, I kicked every ball and felt every bit of emotion with the players, staff and fans.
“At 07:52, Me, my wife and two beautiful daughters welcomed there [sic] baby sister into the world. I can’t put into words the happiness and gratitude I’m feeling … Back to Russia now.”
DIER CALLS FOR ENGLAND TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT
Eric Dier says the unpredictable nature of World Cup football means England will continue to live for the present as they prepare for a quarter-final against Sweden.
The Tottenham midfielder, along with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, was the penalty hero on Tuesday, with Dier netting the decisive kick to send Gareth Southgate’s side through at the expense of Colombia following a 1-1 draw in Moscow.
England looked to have won the tie in normal time thanks to Harry Kane’s second-half penalty, but Yerry Mina’s 93rd-minute header ensured there was another twist in the tale.
After an additional 30 minutes saw no further goals, the Three Lions came from behind to triumph in the shoot-out, in the process helping rid the nation of its penalty hoodoo at major tournaments and setting up a last-eight meeting with Sweden in Samara on Saturday.
“It will be difficult, but it’s very important to take just one game at a time,” Dier said.
“We have to really focus now on the Sweden game, like we did for Colombia. That’s the key in football.
“I’ve said it loads of times that you never know what’s going to happen. I think today is the perfect example of that. You have to enjoy every moment and be in that moment.”
Dier was England’s surprise fifth penalty taker ahead of Jamie Vardy, whom it was subsequently revealed was suffering from an injury, and the Spurs man says the country’s previous spot-kick heartache was hard to ignore.
“I can’t remember when I last took one in a match,” he said. “The manager didn’t tell us the order before the game because obviously there would be substitutions, so the order can change.
“So he just told me after extra time … I knew where I was going to put it.
“I grew up in Portugal, so I’m very aware of it [England’s poor penalty record]. We’ve lost to Portugal a bunch of times, so yeah, I was aware and I’m just really pleased we’ve changed that.
“It was a really good mood [in the dressing room], kind of a surreal feeling to have won on penalties. It takes you over, but I missed most of it because I was doing interviews.”