Shock, horror! Not only have England made it out of the group stages but they finished top of Group D and will now face the Italians on Sunday evening for a place in the semi-finals. Fair play to Roy Hodgson who seems to be masterminding England's progress. The goals that have seen them through have all come from the obvious chess pieces he has moved for each game - Carroll, Walcott, Wellbeck and Rooney. Maybe just coincidence but a manager can ask for little more.
Di Natale and Company should present a different proposition altogether but England are already in credit and can have a go. France escorted England out of the group but took a humbling defeat to the Swedes in the process and now have to beat the best footballing side in the world if they are to progress.
Germany and Portugal made their way through on Monday evening although my mind wasn't really on either game. Every now and then we get a reminder that our lives are so relatively brief and that the clock ticks for all of us. The best we can hope for is that we have few regrets and that we have shone as brightly as we can.