World Cup adventure begins: comedian joins England squad
World Cup whispers: Roy Hodgson's squad crosses the Atlantic, but there's no place for Nelson
England touch down in Miami...
England’s World Cup squad touched down in Miami this morning ahead of their final warm-up games against Ecuador and Honduras later this week. The players will have their first training session in Florida today as coaching staff look to make sure they're acclimatised to warm-weather conditions before departing for Rio on 8 June. Speaking outside the team hotel in Brickell Key, manager Roy Hodgson described how the nine-hour journey across the Atlantic had gone "very well".
... but Lee Nelson left behind
There was almost a last-minute addition to the 23-man squad as funny-man Lee Nelson attempted to board the plane disguised as a player. "Suited and booted" in official England attire, Nelson somehow evaded security and mingled with the players as they waited to depart from Luton Airport, reports Metro. The 27-year-old comedian, who pulled a similar trick when he warmed up with Man City players before a match at Everton last year, was quickly spotted by the players and escorted away by airport security. "The majority of England's players saw the funny side, but others looked-on dumbstruck as Nelson was ushered away for questioning," says the Daily Telegraph.
'World Cup hub' could be England's secret weapon
While England's players endure the heat in Brazil, number crunchers will also be working hard at England's 'World Cup hub' at St George's Park. Senior FA analysts will dissect every minute of all 64 games played in Brazil to ensure Roy Hodgson and his men have all the information they need on potential opponents. "Compiling match reports and noting popular set-piece routines", the new "operational nerve centre" will "blend traditional methods of analysis with the modern desire for video analysis", says the Daily Mail. Let's just hope it can predict penalties.
Plane sailing at Wembley
There was plenty to cheer for England at Wembley on Friday night as they beat Peru 3-0 in their final World Cup warm up on home soil. But despite goals from Daniel Sturridge, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka it was a strike of another kind that took the roof off Wembley. A paper aeroplane launched from the top tier of the stadium soared gracefully over the crowd, onto the pitch and hit Peru defender Hansell Riojas on the head, sparking pandemonium among the fans.