Andrew Gourdie: Admit it, we'd love to see England win this Football World Cup

If you're a fan of football in New Zealand, then you'll have a team.

It's the rules, isn't it? You just have to have a team. 

And chances are your team will be English. Whether it's the team your grandad or your dad supported, or maybe you picked your own, after watching The Big Match to get your first division fix.

In recent times, you've followed your favourite Premier League team on Sky, Premier League Pass or whatever dodgy stream you can find, but the fact is football fans in this country have grown up with the England game. 

And in the regular absence of the All Whites from the World Cup, it's completely natural that England has become your default team to support at the FIFA World Cup.

It's natural, because Liverpool fans of the 70s wanted to be Kevin Keegan, young strikers wanted to score as many as Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer, and, well, just about everyone wished they were David Beckham at some stage.

And whether you supported Liverpool or United, Forrest or Villa, Arsenal or Spurs, Chelsea or City, the names and faces we became familiar with at club level became the faces we followed at the World Cup.

England became our team to follow.

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We followed their stories. Gazza's tears at Italia '90, Beckham's red card in 1998, Seaman chipped by Ronaldinho in 2002, another shootout debacle in 2006, gone before the group stage was done in 2014. They've been awful.

So you really can't help but get swept up in the wave of hope that's engulfed England, who, after a quite remarkable World Cup tournament, are now a couple of wins away from winning the whole damn thing.

I can't stand their rugby team one bit, but football? Get in! 

And I hope they do it, because unlike previous tournaments where big-name managers like Sven-Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello have been paid big salaries to put all the big names on the pitch and fail big time every time, this team's doing it differently.

They're not a team of egomaniacs, skipper Harry Kane is down to earth and probably going to pick up the Golden Boot, and Gareth Southgate - who we watched miss a penalty that cost England at Euro '96 - has helped his team crack the penalty curse that’s haunted them for years. 

They're doing it without a Beckham, a Rooney, a Gerrard, a Scholes or a Lampard. Maybe this is the 'Golden Generation' for England - a team greater than the sum of their parts.

And you have to wonder where this England might be if Sam Allardyce hadn't been caught mouthing off while drinking wine out of a pint glass.

Or even whether they'd have made it this far if they been hosting the tournament, as they had hoped to do when Russia won a controversial bid all those years ago. Maybe this was the win fate had in mind?

Let's face it - of the last four teams at this World Cup, we Kiwis have an affinity with England. There's a lot to like about this England side and their Russian adventure.

Into the semi-finals of a World Cup for the first time since 1990, I can't remember England making it this far on the greatest stage of all. 

I've been whistling 'Football’s Coming Home' for the last three weeks and I hope I'll be doing the same for a couple of weeks more.

To witness an England World Cup win in this life would be a sight to behold. 

We'd never hear the end of it, that's for sure. 

Andrew Gourdie is Newshub sports presenter and RadioLIVE Sunday Sport host.