‘A beautiful experience’: England arrive in Germany hopeful of Euro 2024 glory

The Euro 2020 runners-up are considered among the favourites to go one better and lift the trophy in Berlin on 14 July

Simon Peach
Monday 10 June 2024 20:20
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Iceland defeat can ‘focus mind’ of England stars ahead of Euro 2024, says Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate’s England squad have arrived at their remote base in Germany to ramp up their European Championship preparations.

The Euro 2020 runners-up are considered among the favourites to go one better and lift the trophy in Berlin on 14 July.

England begin their quest to become kings of the continent in Sunday’s Group C opener against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen, around 200 miles from their tournament base.

Jude Bellingham arrives in Germany ahead of England’s tournament opener
Jude Bellingham arrives in Germany ahead of England’s tournament opener (Getty)

Southgate’s side will be staying and training at Spa and Golf Resort Weimarer Land in the small town of Blankenhain, central Germany. The resort was used by the German national team in the build-up to Euro 2024.

England arrived at the base they hope to call home for the next five weeks at around 7pm on Monday, when locals joined the media in waving in the Euros-branded England coach.

The team left Birmingham for Germany on Monday afternoon, before making the 40-minute drive from the city of Erfurt to their base camp.

The day began with a special visitor at St George’s Park, the Prince of Wales meeting players and staff before their departure.

Prince William, the Football Association president, presented the players with their squad numbers for the tournament and wished the group well, including sharing some advice from Prince Louis.

Heir to the throne William said: “I was on the school run this morning with the children and I said, ‘What shall I say to the England team today?’.

Prince William, Prince of Wales, presents England captain Harry Kane with a legacy shirt
Prince William, Prince of Wales, presents England captain Harry Kane with a legacy shirt (The FA/Getty)
Gareth Southgate touches down in Germany
Gareth Southgate touches down in Germany (Getty)

“The best bit of advice I got to ask you was to eat twice the amount you normally would eat.

“So, I then had visions of all of you running around with massive great tummies and loads of stitches on the pitch, so I think maybe take my youngest’s advice with a pinch of salt.”

As well as a visit from Prince William, the team received a send-off from excited local children.

The players signed autographs for the flag-waving kids, who chanted “Football’s Coming Home” as the coach pulled away from St George’s Park.

Jude Bellingham, who linked up with the squad on Sunday after winning the Champions League with Real Madrid, said: “Very excited, looking forward to it.

“Obviously a great send-off here and hopefully we can make them proud.”

Eberechi Eze said ahead of leaving for his first major tournament: “It’s a beautiful experience.”

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