The England national football world cup team took part in an open training session in Qatar today as they prepare for their first group stage match against Iran in five days. The Three Lions got a huge boost as defense man Kyle Walker took part in the session despite undergoing groin surgery just over a month ago.
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The team began work at the Al Wakrah Sports Club in Doha and underwent a number of different training sessions in their first full session since arriving in Qatar. Walker’s return from injury will be a huge relief for Southgate, given the long list of England players unavailable for the tournament.
And the Manchester City defender insists he has to be “ready to play” against both the US and Wales, although he admits the first leg against Iran is too early. When asked about his availability on Monday, Walker said: It depends on the manager. I think the first game is too short, but after that I will be fine and ready to play. Fellow defenders Reece James and Ben Chilwell were left out of the 26-man team due to the fact that they failed to recover from their respective injuries in time.
The Three Lions team was seen stretching outside the Souq Al Wakra Qatar by Tivoli hotel early Wednesday morning in the Doha sun as part of a recovery session. The team completed a light training session on arrival last night before further training began at their Al Wakra training center today.
Southgate’s team left the national team’s training ground at St. George’s Park on Tuesday morning and headed to the team coach, where a huge group of fans were waiting to cheer them on. They made their way from their base in Staffordshire to Birmingham Airport, where they boarded a flight to Doha. England arrived in Doha on a gay pride aircraft – an Airbus “Rain Bow” Virgin Atlantic A350 – in defiance of the host country amid concerns about the treatment of LGBTQ+ people at the tournament.
FA leaders proposed the idea of a gay pride plane to highlight concerns about gay rights in Qatar, where same-sex relations remain a criminal offense and whose ambassador at the Football World Cup last week said that homosexuality is mind corruption. Earlier in the day, they heard Prince William’s pep talk and received support from a large group of young fans as they left St. George’s Park. Addressing the players, Prince William said: What you and Gareth have built here is something special and it shows clearly.
“Play for each other, support each other, have fun, and I’m sure you’ll go far. I am really here to point out that the rest of the country supports you, we are all rooting for you. Enjoy it.”
Speaking ahead of his departure, England captain Harry Kane said: I am thrilled. The Football World Cup is a special event. Apparently we’re leaving today. So I’m very excited. For most professional players, this is the biggest tournament you can take part in. I was lucky enough to take part in one of them and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. And I can’t wait to get out of this weather and get some sun! After boarding the two carriages, the players headed to the airport as eager fans waved flags and chanted England! England! England!
USA vs Wales – Weah isn’t concerned by youthful USMNT’s lack of experience
US men’s national team winger Tim Weah says the team’s relative youth is no reason to discount the Americans at the Qatar Football World Cup. Even though we are young, we are not young, he said after training on Tuesday. This is not an immature group at all.
When the US faces Wales on Monday, the 26-player squad will have an average age of 25 years and 175 days, making it the second youngest USMNT squad in the Football World Cup after the 1990 team (24 years, 24 days).
But Weah noted that there are players in the US who have experience in a stressful environment. Christian Pulisic is a Champions League winner with Chelsea. Weston McKenny is a permanent presence at Juventus. Tyler Adams got off to a strong Premier League start with Leeds United after gaining Champions League experience with RB Leipzig. Then there is Weah himself, who at the age of 22 was already part of league-winning teams with three different clubs, the last of which moved to Lille in the 2020-21 season.
“It seems to me that now, in football, age is just a number, he said. Some of the best players in the world are under 24 yet. we all bring our maturity to the team.”
Weah’s confidence comes from recovering from a foot injury and making two consecutive 90-minute spells for Lille at right-back. Even though he shortened that time to some extent in terms of recovery, he said, “there was never any fear” that he would not return to Qatar World Cup.
“I’m a person who just lives in the moment, he said. Fate is great for me. just happy to be here, happy to be healthy and live in the present.”
Now Weah is ready to grace the sport’s biggest international arena that eluded his father George, the 1995 Ballon d’Or winner who, representing Liberia, lost just one point before qualifying for the 2002 tournament. For more know about Football World Cup Tickets.
“My dad wanted to do this with his country, Weah said. He didn’t have the opportunity to do it, and now he kind of lives it through me. I think it’s a blessing. It’s just amazing to be able to represent your family. On this stage and represent the whole country.”
With the team accustomed to their conditions in Doha, Weah is ready for what lies ahead. This is a group of guys who know what we want, he said. We have a goal, and we are all ready to get to work, come and get to work.
The USMNT gives back
Pulisic’s penalty crashed into the post, but in this case, the miss caused more laughter and good-natured banter than alarm among those involved. The occasion was an event called Team 360, in which eight members of the US men’s national team took part in a training session with about 20 migrant workers who were working on projects related to the Football World Cup. Workers have previously participated in and won the Workers’ Cup organized by the Workers’ Social Welfare Department of the Supreme Committee.
“After work, we have time for football because I love football, said Makanaga Joseph, 26, who is originally from Kampala, Uganda and worked as a security guard at Al Bayt Stadium last year. Back in my country, I used to play football, but I had to work to support my family.”
The session included several practice sessions, small squad games, and the aforementioned penalty shootout with the US players scoring multiple times. To be clear, the event seemed like an opportunity for the Qatar authorities to polish their image amid harsh criticism of the country’s treatment of migrant workers.
The American players also seemed eager to give the workers a chance to interact with the Football World Cup players and to network and thank some of the workers for their work. It was attended by American manager Gregg Berhalter, as well as players Pulisic, McKenny, Rome, Adams, Kellin Acosta, Aaron Long, Jordan Morris and Yunus Musa.
“I thought it was amazing, Adams said. feedback, talking to them, knowing who they are, where they come from, it’s a unique opportunity, so I was happy to do it.”
The USMNT has participated in community events at past Football World Cups. In 2010, the team held a public meeting with children who have taken part in various aid programs run by the US Embassy, USAID, or the Peace Corps. In this case, the Supreme Committee presented the United States Football Federation (USSF) with a set of options, and it chose the event.
“I learned a lot here with Team USA, Joseph said. – First of all, by playing in a team, because by playing in a team, you achieve more. You can’t score when you’re alone.”
All present and accounted for
There were several important guests at Wednesday’s training session. The event was attended by employees of the US Embassy in Doha, as well as military personnel from the Al-Sailiya camp and the Al-Udeid airbase. Berhalter delighted the audience with a story about how the US team visited Ramstein Air Force Base in 2006, where they were impressed by the chubby guy who was so happy to meet the players. It was none other than McKenney, whose father John was in the US military, and the story drew applause from the crowd.
The sight of McKenny in full training was a good sign, given that he had suffered a quadriceps injury two weeks earlier. The same can be said for the full participation of Fulham teammates Tim Rome and Anthony Robinson, who trained on the sidelines on Tuesday. Sergino Dest trained separately from the group at the beginning of training on Wednesday. A USSF spokesperson said Dest is doing a one-to-one program related to load management, although he was expected to join his teammates for the second part of the session.
In the meantime, the team has also adjusted to the new surroundings, whether it be the training ground at the Al-Gharafa Sports Center or the team’s hotel at the Pearl. I think it makes us feel right at home, midfielder Brenden Aaronsohn said of the team’s setup. It makes us feel comfortable and I think that’s a big deal. The players even took the time to watch the FIFA documentary on Netflix in the game room at the team’s hotel. We were all just laying around with blankets and it’s great to just be with everyone and hang out, Weah said. It was fun.
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