England and Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier has revealed he is delighted at the opportunity to return to Portugal following the Three Lions' qualification for the semi finals of the Nations League.
Going into the final fixture of Group A4, the Three Lions needed a win against Croatia to top the group and earn a spot in the Nations League finals. The dream looked to be over when Andrej Kramaric put the visitors ahead, but two late goals secured England's place in the next round.
The knockout rounds of the competition will be held in Portugal, a place Dier knows particularly well. The Tottenham midfielder grew up in Portugal and started his professional career with Sporting CP.
At the prospect of returning to a country he calls home, Dier said as reported by the Telegraph: "It will be the first time I go back and play there since I left - it will be very special. It's my home so I am very happy to go back."
Having started his career abroad, Dier appreciates the value of experiencing football outside of England. It has become a hot topic since Jadon Sancho's successful move to Borussia Dortmund.
Speaking on the topic, Dier urged more players to follow Sancho's example, adding: "I hope players continue to do what Jadon [Sancho] is doing.
“That’s so important for their development. Not just as a footballer but as a man. He’s out of his comfort zone and he’s living by himself in a foreign country. Those experiences are important for you to grow as a person.”
England's 2-1 victory over Croatia means they will join Switzerland, Portugal and the Netherlands in the Nations League semi finals.
With nations such as France, Germany and Belgium missing out on a spot in the semi finals, England and Gareth Southgate will fancy their chances of bringing the trophy home from Portugal this summer.