Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have all spoken recently of the cliques that became entrenched within the England camp during their era, when players from the Premier League's leading clubs kept one another at arm's length, and quarter-finals at World Cups and European Championships proved an insurmountable hurdle.
Then comes a potential semi-final against hosts Russian Federation or Croatia with Tuesday's win appearing to vindicate - just - coach Gareth Southgate's decision to field a second-string side in the final group game loss to Belgium to secure an easier route.
Los Cafeteros will face Gareth Southgate's side at the Spartak Stadium on Tuesday night, with Sweden or Switzerland awaiting the victor in the quarter-finals.
But first they have to get past Colombia, who topped Group H and are a risky side with aspirations of going further themselves.
Sam Wallace, The Daily Telegraph: "Can Gareth Southgate's team switch back on?"
England is advancing in Russian Federation after defending champion Germany was eliminated early and Argentina, Portugal and Spain went home in the round of 16. They were threatening but couldn't crack David Ospina.
Star playmaker James Rodriguez was left out of the squad entirely after suffering a calf injury in Colombia's final group-stage match against Senegal last week.
Rashford ready to step up for penalty shootout
But on Monday he was still in England , reducing his chances of returning in time for the game. We're all fighting, we're all raring to go and we're all looking forward to the next game".
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Colombia vs. England 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 finale, see the streaming instructions at the bottom of this article.
"Just as Argentina stole a game from Brazil on Sunday in Turin, so England stole one from Belgium here Tuesday night", reported Grahame Jones in the Los Angeles Times after that game in Bologna. Cuadrado restored Colombia's advantage before Marcus Rashford slotted home but Luis Muriel made no mistake to keep the South Americans in front.
"Harry Kane is an emblematic player who has demonstrated his quality at this World Cup but we are not only facing him, we're playing against the whole England team, who have a lot of key players", said Sanchez, who knows English football well, having spent two seasons with Aston Villa from 2014 to 2016. The midfielder has not exactly had a good showing so far at the World Cup, which might force Jose Pekerman's hand. The Colombia bench celebrated as if they had won the match outright, the water carrier bursting into tears. England edged the first half and Colombia should have been reduced to 10 men after Wilmar Barrios headbutted Henderson, yet he inexplicably only received a booking from referee Mark Geiger.
"It's an exciting time to be an England fan".
"But when we are in possession, it allows me to get further forward to get beyond the striker a bit more and get into goalscoring positions", he said.
England took the lead in a scrappy match when Harry Kane scored from the penalty spot in the 57th minute.