Stones - who has started all five of England's games at Russian Federation 2018, scoring twice - is well aware that the opportunity to contest a World Cup final may never come around again and is relishing the chance to make it happen.
The victor in Wednesday's semifinal match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow will return there for a final on Sunday against France, which beat Belgium 1-0 in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
Ahead of their biggest game in a generation, Southgate has told his players the next few days can change their lives for ever.
There was a surprise inclusion among the 23 players as a rubber chicken was thrown around in the early part of training.
Croatia, having gone close in the 60th minute when Ivan Perisic hit a post, then had the lead in the 11th minute of extra-time as Domagoj Vida nodded in, before Fernandes brought things level late on once again with a header of his own. The Croats won in a 4-3 penalty shootout.
Russian Federation was ultra defensive in their Round of 16 win against Spain, getting all 10 players behind the ball for most the match which Spain was not able to find an answer for.
The Real Madrid player is possibly the best midfielder at the tournament but the strength in depth for such a small country is remarkable.
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SAMARA, Russia (AP) - England achieved something David Beckham's generation never managed: It reached the semifinals of the World Cup. We have everything needed to do that, a great team, great staff and I hope we will make the extra step, ' he said.
Russian Federation forward Artyom Dzyuba talked often of "the fairy tale", and the fans responded with a giant banner for the Spain game urging them to "make the fairy tale come true". They deserve to have reached the quarter-finals.
However, the team's unexpected run came to an end at the hands of Croatia but not before dragging the game to penalties on Saturday.
"We have to be united, go forward and apply pressure".
"We tried. I think the whole team gave 100 percent. Their generation are more than heroes for us", added Rakitic.
Ex-Real Madrid forward Davor Suker, the current president of the country's football federation, was the golden boot victor in 1998 with six goals for a team that also featured AC Milan midfielder Zvonimir Boban, as well as defenders Igor Stimac and Slaven Bilic - both of whom played in England.
According to world soccer's governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association he earned a total of 127 caps, scoring nine goals, and holding the record for most global appearances by any Russian player.