Raheem Sterling has thanked supporters after making his debut as England captain in the 3-1 defeat to Netherlands.
England took the lead in the Nations League semi-final when Marcus Rashford won a penalty from Matthjis de Ligt and converted.
But the highly-rated defender headed home in the second half to take the game to extra time, where a Kyle Walker own goal and Quincy Promes strike won the game for Ronald Koeman’s men.
And Sterling, 24, hailed fans on Twitter after having the opportunity to lead his nation in Portugal.
His tweet read: “Despite the result and disappointment, it has been an absolute honour to captain this England team for my 50th cap.
“Almost 7 years. Thank you all for the incredible support through this journey, with still many more to come hopefully.”
Despite the result and the disappointment, it has been an absolute honour to captain this @england team for my 50th cap. 🦁
Almost 7 years. Thank you all for the incredible support through this journey, with still many more to come hopefully. 5️⃣0️⃣ ❤️🦁 pic.twitter.com/q2eN0nATUy
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) June 7, 2019
The match was Sterling’s 50th for England and featured as captain in place of Harry Kane, who started as a substitute.
Tottenham talisman Kane subsequently came on for Rashford in the second half and reclaimed the armband.
But fans praised Sterling’s achievements after his debut as captain capped a remarkable season for forward.
Alongside his unintentional role of leading the fight against racism in sport, Sterling has managed 31 goals in 57 appearances for club and country.
And fans - including former footballer Gary Lineker - heaped praise on the Manchester City man.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 6, 2019
Good job. Well deserved Raheem.
— Sonny (@Sonny17065669) June 7, 2019
You're our Staaarling!!! Keep up the good work 🤩💙
— Ayam Frank (@JustVeryFrank) June 7, 2019
Raheem Sterling has a tattoo of himself as a kid looking up at Wembley, dreaming of playing for England.
Today he earns his 50th cap and wears the captain's armband. pic.twitter.com/ICEiMYlXoJ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 6, 2019
🏴 Raheem @Sterling7’s last 12 months.
🥇 @TheOfficialFWA POTY
🥇 @PFA YPOTY
🥇 @PFA TOTY
🥇 @SportIndustry Award
🌍 World Cup Semi-Finalist
🎩 First @England Hat-Trick
🎓 Named @England Captain
👏 The perfect role model. pic.twitter.com/EdaozThmyC
— SPORF (@Sporf) June 6, 2019
Featured from our writers:
Best bits of Yahoo Sport presents: The Football Show