Gareth Southgate's team showed the world that they can pass the ball, and keep it, against opponents who would usually expect to dominate possession.
ITV said it was the highest peak audience for live sport since England played Portugal in the 2004 European Championships. It was also the last World Cup fixture at this stadium.
England set up a World Cup quarter-final tie with Sweden following a dramatic 4-3 penalty shootout win over Colombia in Moscow.
Sweden next on Sunday morning in the quarterfinals. Watch Colombia vs. England to find out.
"In my head, I'm going back to Barca", he said.
Back in England the nation will come together in front of television screens in the hope and expectation that the national team can shrug off the weight of recent history and win a tournament knockout match.
Having failed against the Germans in 1996, he knows the pain of missing and is perhaps the first England manager to dispel the notion that shootouts are a lottery, realising instead that practice and repetition can lead to improvement and success.
It was a second heartbreaking World Cup elimination in a row for Colombia's talisman after they were eliminated by Brazil four years earlier.
He may have to break up the three-man advanced midfield of Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard, as Sterling and Alli have both had a frustrating time in Russian Federation.
Pickford has taken a bit of stick sometimes for the occasional error - although what goalie doesn't make them? - and the fact that he's not the biggest guy in the whole world.
He has ordered his stars to do the same - and reckons looking too far ahead and getting over emotional is a big mistake.
Suggesting England captain Harry Kane has manufactured his clash with Carlos Sanchez in a bid to win a second half penalty, Maradona also hinted Federation Internationale de Football Association and referees chief Pierluigi Collina contributed to the result.
England: Jordan Pickford 8 (out of 10), Kyle Walker 7, John Stones 7, Harry Maguire 7, Kieran Trippier 8, Dele Alli 6, Jordan Henderson 6, Jesse Lingard 6, Ashley Young 6, Raheem Sterling 6, Harry Kane 8.
That mentality and the preparation was evident in the way England dealt with the challenge of the shootout.
Colombia's stand-out player from the tournament will be Mina, whose headers earned him the nickname "Mina de Oro" or gold mine, after they carried Colombia to victories against Senegal and Poland in the group stage.
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