England’s 4-0 loss to Ukraine in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals on Saturday night was the most-watched televised event of the year in the country so far according to statistics.
A brace from Harry Kane and more goals from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson made it easy for the Three Lions to clinch a place in the last four and keep their dream of winning a first major since 1966.
They will then face Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday as they look to stage a final against Spain or Italy on Sunday 11 July.
And according to BBC audience figures, football fever appears to have gripped the country, with a staggering peak TV audience of 20.9 million viewers to watch Saturday’s game – 81.8% of viewers available.
The game also received 5.2 million live streams on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online – but the record is likely to be broken in the game against the Danes.
Speaking to the BBC after the match, England manager Gareth Southgate said his dream now was to go even further and win the entire tournament.
“It’s fabulous,” he said of the game. “I guess it’s still sinking into the fact that it’s another semi-final – three in three years. We want to go further.
“It’s fabulous for our country – a semi-final at Wembley. Anyone can really expect that – it’s awesome.
“I know what’s going to happen at the house. It’s nice to see everyone on a Saturday night, beer in hand. They should enjoy it. It’s been a long year for everyone.
“I am delighted with both performances [against Germany and Ukraine] brought so much happiness to people. “
Continuing on the subject of his team, he added: The players have been fantastic. Playing as well as they did in a game with so much rest was awesome.
“We knew we had players that we had to take care of physically. We know that through seven games the team is so important, trying to give people a break at the right time.
“We learned a lot from Russia in this case. We were trying to balance the players with punches and yellow cards.”