Gareth Southgate promised free pizza for life after becoming an England hero at the World Cup

Gareth Southgate has been promised free pizza for life.

Gareth Southgate has been promised free pizza for life after guiding England to the World Cup semi-final in Russia.

The Three Lions fell just short in their quest to bring football home but will return to the country as heroes after making the last four for the first time since 1990.

Southgate has become something of a national treasure after breathing new life into the team following the disastrous performance at Euro 2016 in France.

However, he was ridiculed during his playing days after missing a crucial penalty at Euro 96 to see England lose on home soil to Germany.

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He appeared in a TV advert for Pizza Hut after the humiliation as he posed with a paper bag over his head alongside fellow penalty scapegoats Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle.

But the turnaround has been remarkable and Southgate’s leadership, along with his trademark waistcoat, have won the hearts of the nation and earned him a big reward.

Beverley D’Cruz, sales and marketing director at Pizza Hut Delivery UK said: “Along with the nation, we are incredibly proud of the England football team and how they have delivered for us so far.

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Pizza Hut have prepared a special card for Southgate
Southgate in his infamous Pizza Hut advert

“To celebrate, Pizza Hut Delivery is excited to gift our old acquaintance Gareth Southgate free pizza for life – something we hope he can share and enjoy with his team upon returning to the UK!”

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.

Southgate said of the crushing defeat to Croatia: “We knew the team we brought was the most inexperienced team in the competition and the only way we’re going to boost that is by playing in more tournament games.

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“I am immensely proud by the way the players have played and we can see by the reaction of the supporters, they felt the same. It was difficult to say anything that will make them feel better at his moment.

“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.”