They could have stayed in the competition a bit longer had Italy beaten Costa Rica in Group D but Balotelli’s boys slumped to defeat.

Now, as England look to move on, captain Steven Gerrard has asked for more time to consider his international future.

There has been speculation that he will retire from international duty.

“There is no truth I’ll be making any announcement on my England future in the next week. I need more time than that,” the 34-year-old who has 113 caps – two short of David Beckham’s outfield caps record of 115 – told the media.

“I’m still hurting and I’m still broken from the last couple of weeks.

“I don’t know what the plans are going forward.”

It was his error that allowed Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez to score Uruguay’s winner and the defeat means they will play for pride as when they face Costa Rica.

Manager Roy Hodgson admitted he will treat the game more like a friendly and will ring the changes.

“I’m going to be picking the side with a view to making certain all the players, if possible, that have been with us here get some minutes on the field of play,” he said.

“If you interpret that as planning for the future I would understand but basically it’s not planning the future and it’s certainly not sentiment.”

The plan now is to build a team for Euro 2016 and FA Chairman Greg Dyke has a target of reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and winning the World Cup by 2022.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp, who had been linked with the England job before Hodgson’s appointment, said that target was unrealistic.

He told the BBC: “Will we win the World Cup in Doha? Not a prayer.”

England has won the World Cup once, in 1966, and reached the semi-finals of the European Championships twice – 1968 and 1996.

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