Croatia beat England in the World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, crushing England fans' dreams of "bringing football home" to the U.K. Some fans, however were so sure that England would win that they got tattoos to commemorate the win — before the team ultimately lost.
One fan named Teddy Allen was so confident in his country's World Cup domination that he got an extreme tattoo to celebrate the win. Not only did his tattoo declare the team "World Cup winners 2018," it accompanied the face of Harry Kane, the team captain. Yes, Allen got the player's entire face tattooed on his thigh, with the words "Sir Harry" emblazoned above it.
The father of two got the tattoo after England's win over Sweden last Saturday, and spent four hours in the chair for it, the BBC reports."It was an impulsive decision but I will stand by it," Allen said.
"If England don't win, I suggested he have 'void' put over the 'winners' part, but Teddy said he'd have it over Kane's face," Bradley Fleming, Allen's friend and a tattoo artist, told the BBC before Wednesday's loss.
Though Allen's tattoo proved overly optimistic, the team did seem to have a good shot at victory. England won three of its past five games against Croatia, The Sun reports. And Allen was not the only enthusiastic England fan betting a tattoo that his team would win.
The Sun reports an 18-year-old man named Alex Allan Smith got a tattoo declaring "It's coming home," referring to the World Cup title coming home to England. Smith got the tattoo before the Croatia game, of course — and he got it on his rear end.
Photos posted on Twitter earlier this week showed one man giving a thumbs-up for a a tattoo of the World Cup trophy and the words "England 2018 World Cup Winners" inscribed over it. And another tweeted a picture of the first tattoo he ever got — prematurely declaring, "It's coming home!"
Another fan followed Allen's theme of getting a player's face tattooed on his body. "If Harry Maguire scores against Sweden, [his] face is getting tattooed on my chest!" Matt Benton wrote on Twitter. When Maguire headed the ball home, Benton booked his tattoo appointment, BBC News reports.
This tattoo didn't declare England the World Cup Winner, but is an extreme display of Benton's affection for the player. Maguire actually saw his face immortalized in ink and tweeted at Benton, telling him it was a "great effort" and that he'd sign an England shirt for him.
Though England lost their chance at winning the World Cup this year, they will meet Belgium this weekend to determine third place. And to these tattooed fans, England will always be a winner — because it says so, permanently etched in ink on their bodies.