England return from World Cup 2014: Just 25 days after leaving for Miami, England squad return to the UK without a single fan in sight to welcome them home
Roy Hodgson and his squad flew home from Brazil on Wednesday but there was no celebratory return for the first English side to finish bottom of their World Cup group
Wednesday 25 June 2014
England’s World Cup team arrived in Manchester on Wednesday with their tails tucked firmly between their legs following their early World Cup elimination.
While the fallout from Luis Suarez’s alleged bite on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini dominated the headlines, England made a low-key exit from Brazil. Their flight touched down at Manchester Airport on Wednesday afternoon, just 25 days are departing for the pre-World Cup training base in Miami.
Consecutive 2-1 defeats to Italy and Uruguay put paid to England’s hopes of an unlikely World Cup victory, and when they rounded out their dismal campaign with a whimper in the form of a goalless draw against Costa Rica on Tuesday, the players knew their time in Brazil was up.
Read more: England 0 Costa Rica 0 match report
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The squad, who flew out to South America with little expectation yet still managed to disappoint, have the unwanted tag of being the first England side to finish bottom of their group in World Cup history, although they did manage to avoid becoming the first side to fail to score a single point thanks to the 0-0 draw on Tuesday.
Dropping off the squad's northern-based contingent, the dreaded flight home continued on to Luton Airport to drop of the remaining squad members. Captain Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling all disembarked in Manchester, with the United and City players close enough that they could walk home if they wanted to - not that there'd be any celebration in the streets waiting for them.
Coach Gary Neville, who has been tipped as the eventual replacement for Roy Hodgson when he calls it a day with the national side, led the players off the plane at their first drop-off point, where the players were whisked away in chauffeur-driven cars waiting for them – avoiding all the hassle of customs and the prying eyes of a very disappointed public.
With photographers ready to snap away, one primary school class couldn’t believe their luck when a visit to see the planes was briefly interrupted by the national team’s return.
Down and out, Rooney slumps to the ground after England's 2-1 defeat to Uruguay However, their early elimination was felt most by the television broadcasters, who saw less than half of those who tuned in for the must-win tie against Uruguay (England lost) watch the final game of the campaign.
Instead, many will have been watching Gerrard’s team-mate Suarez land himself in hot water once again after he appeared to try and take a chunk out of Chiellini’s left shoulder. The England side won’t have seen Suarez’s latest controversial act, but they will have had plenty of time to watch it as well as dissect what went wrong in Brazil on the near-12 hour flight home.
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