Advertisement

England squad lands in Germany after royal send-off

Trent Alexander Arnold and Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham (right) has now joined up with the squad after Real Madrid's Champions League triumph [Getty Images]

Prince William met England's Euro 2024 squad before they travelled to Germany for the tournament.

The players and staff arrived at their training base in Blankenhain on Monday night.

After two friendlies last week, the players had been given the weekend off with their families before meeting up again on Monday for the journey.

Before they travelled, Prince William, who is the Football Association's president, met the players and manager Gareth Southgate at England's St George's Park national football centre in Burton-upon-Trent.

He presented shirts to the 26 players and delivered a speech, including some advice from his youngest child - six-year-old Prince Louis.

Prince William, an Aston Villa fan, told the players: "I was on the school run this morning with the children and I said, 'What shall I say to the England team today?'

"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."

Schoolchildren from the Midlands were invited to the event to mark England's send-off.

Southgate's squad will depart for Germany later on Monday before their first group game against Serbia on Sunday.

England, runners-up at Euro 2020, also face Denmark and Slovenia in Group C.

They lost 1-0 to Iceland in their final warm-up match on Friday.

The tournament starts on Friday, with hosts Germany against Scotland.

Where are England staying?

Weimarer Spa and Golf Resort
The Weimarer Spa and Golf Resort, where England are based [Getty Images]

The England squad are staying at the five-star Weimarer Land Spa and Golf resort in Blankenhain - a countryside town in east Germany with a population of less than 7,000, with Leipzig the closest city.

England will need to travel to their three group stage matches which are all in west Germany - against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen, Denmark in Frankfurt and Slovenia in Cologne.

Hotel owner Matthias Grafe told BBC Sport that the FA had “their own designers” to make changes, including turning the lounge into a massage area, and the restaurant into a lounge.

“It's very important that players feel at home. So the rooms are styled that they find the family photos and everything there. It's for them five weeks at ‘home’. So I think it's very important to have a good atmosphere and feel good.”

Darts competitions and inflatable unicorns in the pool have featured heavily in previous tournaments, and Grafe says this England squad will have access to 1,000 acres including forest to walk, cycle, play tennis, padel or basketball in their down time.

The resort usually has six restaurants, two of which have two Michelin stars, two swimming pools and a big wellness area.

Grafe calls it “luxury” but with “understatement”.

He also revealed that England have insisted the Uefa certified pitches at Weimarer were changed to be “the same grass that’s in Wembley”.

Harry Kane
England captain Harry Kane waves as supporters after landing in Germany [Getty Images]
England bus arrives at German training base
The England squad arrived at the training base in Germany on Monday night [PA Media]