England's World Cup heroes to get special event on return - Theresa May

Fans believe in England's World Cup foundation (2:14)

ESPN's Alison Bender speaks to England fans a day after their heartbreaking defeat, but all are extremely excited about the future of the team. (2:14)

British Prime Minister Theresa May would like to host an event for the England team after they reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 28 years, her spokeswoman said on Thursday.

England reached only their second semifinal since winning the 1966 World Cup, but lost to Croatia 2-1 on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, the prime minister is eager to host a Downing Street reception in the team's honour when they return from Russia and will discuss the matter with the Football Association.

"We would certainly like to host a reception for the England football team, who did so well in Russia, and that is something that we are going to talk to the FA about," her spokesperson said.

May's spokesperson also praised Gareth Southgate, adding that the prime minister "thinks that he led the team fantastically and that the whole country should be proud of how far England got."

But asked if Southgate could be in line for a knighthood, the spokesperson demurred.

"In terms of honours, and things like that, there is an independent robust process for how that system works, so I can't speculate about that," she said. "But, certainly she thinks he did a fantastic job and thinks the players and fans can look forward to a bright future."

Information from Reuters was used in this report.