The Lions jetting off to Qatar: Gareth Southgate names his World Cup England squad
England manager Gareth Southgate today named his squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Captain Harry Kane will lead the team in the Gulf this winter with less than two weeks until the team kicks off its first match.
And an army of WAGs will be accompanying them to Qatar, although they will reportedly be staying on a £1billion cruise liner off the coast with their husbands not allowed on board. The team, which includes wonderkids Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka, are set to form their own strict Covid bubble at the Souq Al Wakra hotel in Doha.
Harry Kane tweeted: ‘So proud to be captaining my country at a World Cup for the second time. I know this group of lads will give absolutely everything to go all the way. Let’s go!’
James Maddison and Callum Wilson are the surprises in England’s World Cup squad after Gareth Southgate handed the in-form pair their first international call-ups in three years. With 11 days to go until the Three Lions kick-off their Group B campaign against Iran, the former defender has confirmed the 26-man group that will be travelling to the Gulf next week.
Southgate has largely stuck with the tried and tested, with the most eye-catching selections being Leicester attacking midfielder Maddison and Newcastle striker Wilson. Maddison’s only England cap came as a substitute against Montenegro in November 2019 – the last squad four-cap Wilson was involved in.
Asked if his squad contained everything necessary to win a World Cup, Southgate told a press conference today: ‘We’ve wanted to make sure the balance of the squad is right. I think the squad is more important than ever. With five substitutes you can have almost half the team changed during the game so you want different options for different moments of matches and stages at the tournament as well.
‘We’ve had to cover a couple of players that aren’t yet fully fit, so having 26 available meant we were probably able to take a couple of risks that you might not have been able to with 23, but we think the balance is there and we’ve got cover in the positions we need.
‘We’re lighter on depth in some positions than others but we think we’ve got everything covered.’
England manager Gareth Southgate during England’s World Cup 2022 squad announcement at St George’s Park, Burton upon Trent
England’s striker Harry Kane will captain the team in Qatar. Kane was first named captain of England just before the 2018 World Cup, where he finished the competition as the top goal scorer. He’s largely considered one of the best strikers in the world
Leicester City midfielder James Maddison (left) has forced his way into the squad following a three-year absence. It comes a year after welcoming his first son with partner Kennedy Alexa. Meanwhile Arsenal star Bukayo Saka, who plays as a winger, left-back, or midfielder, will also be there. In September, Saka was named England player of the year for 2021/2022 – becoming the first Arsenal player to take out the top honours
Trent Alexander-Arnold (left), who plays as a right-back for Premier League club Liverpool, has had good news after England named their squad for the 2022 World Cup. He also featured in the 2018 World Cup, where he became just the fourth teenager to start a match in the tournament. More controversially, Harry Maguire, who plays as a centre-back for Manchester United, is also in the squad. Maguire is fourth choice for his club and has only started three Premier League matches this season
Man United winger Jadon Sancho (left) missed out after struggling to find form since arriving in England, last making an appearance for the Three Lions in September last year – but his Marcus Rashford (right) is part of the squad, after representing England at both the 2018 World Cup and UEFA Euro 2020
The luxury £1billion cruise liner that will reportedly host the England WAGs during the World Cup in Qatar has set sail for Doha
Southgate said he had decided two weeks ago that Maddison would be in the squad.
England squad in full
JORDAN PICKFORD (Club: Everton, Age: 28, Caps: 45, Goals: 0)
NICK POPE (Newcastle, 30, 10, 0)
AARON RAMSDALE (Arsenal, 24, 3, 0)
KYLE WALKER (Manchester City, 32, 70, 0)
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (Liverpool, 24, 17, 1)
KIERAN TRIPPIER (Newcastle, 32, 37, 1)
BEN WHITE (Arsenal, 25, 4, 0)
CONOR COADY (Everton – on loan from Wolves, 29, 10, 1)
HARRY MAGUIRE (Manchester United, 29, 48, 7)
JOHN STONES (Manchester City, 28, 59, 3)
ERIC DIER (Tottenham, 28, 47, 3)
LUKE SHAW (Manchester United, 27, 23, 3)
DECLAN RICE (West Ham, 23, 34, 2)
JUDE BELLINGHAM (Borussia Dortmund, 19, 17, 0)
CONOR GALLAGHER (Chelsea, 22, 4, 0)
KALVIN PHILLIPS (Manchester City, 26, 23, 0)
JORDAN HENDERSON (Liverpool, 32, 70, 2)
MASON MOUNT (Chelsea, 23, 32, 5)
JAMES MADDISON (Leicester, 25, 1, 0)
HARRY KANE (Tottenham, 29, 75, 51)
RAHEEM STERLING (Chelsea, 27, 79, 19)
JACK GREALISH (Manchester City, 27, 24, 1)
PHIL FODEN (Manchester City, 22, 18, 2)
BUKAYO SAKA (Arsenal, 21, 20, 4)
MARCUS RASHFORD (Manchester United, 25, 46, 12)
CALLUM WILSON (Newcastle, 30, 4, 1)
‘He’s playing really well, he’s a good player, he’s earned the right,’ the England manager said.
‘We think he can give us something slightly different to the other attacking players we’ve got.
‘I think at various stages there have been conversations, debates about James – there’s been moments where ahead of the Euros I don’t think he was in contention and (in) September was probably a fair debate, but I think he’s playing as well as any of the attacking players in this country.’
Southgate, who revealed Maddison had been ‘delighted’ to receive the news of his inclusion, was asked to compare this squad with his previous ones for major tournaments.
‘They’ve all been good squads,’ he added. ‘In 2018 we were at the start of something where we hadn’t won a knockout game for 10 years and there was a little bit less experience in the group for big matches.
‘I think this is similar in terms of its standing to the group that went to the Euros and we’re excited by the group.
‘We think there’s a lot of exciting talent in it but the whole group has got to come together. It’s a unique situation for everybody this tournament, the timing of it. We’ve got to adapt better than everyone else in this coming period.’
Asked if England would comply with FIFA’s plea to ‘let football take the stage’ and not speak about human rights concerns in Qatar, Southgate said: ‘I think that’s highly unlikely.
‘Contrary to one or two observations in the last few weeks we have spoken about the human rights challenges and been very clear on our standpoint.
‘We would also like to focus primarily on the football – this is a carnival of football, a thing you work for your whole life.
‘You don’t want that to be diminished by everything else that’s going on around it but we recognise we are going to be in that situation.’
‘It would be seen as arrogant in some quarters to take a player not fit for the group games.’
There is a recall for rejuvenated Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, whose last cap came in the Euro 2020 final loss to Italy.
There is no space in Southgate’s Qatar selection for Roma striker Tammy Abraham, Brentford frontman Ivan Toney or West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen.
Manchester City pair Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips were included despite a lack of match fitness, while Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has been named in the squad despite his limited game time.
Versatile Arsenal defender Ben White has been brought into a group that has Luke Shaw as the only out-and-out left-back. Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori and Tyrone Mings are among those missing out.
James Maddison and his girlfriend Kennedy Alexa. The couple began dating in 2020 and welcomed their son, Leo, in the summer of 2021. English-born Alexa is a model and Instagram influencer with 60,000 followers. She spent time in Los Angeles before settling down with Maddison in the UK
Marcus Rashford and fiancee Lucai Loi are pictured enjoying a jetski ride while on holiday in Barbados. The couple got engaged in May this year. Loi is a business graduate and studied at the University of Manchester. She was first spotted publicly with Rashford at the 2018 World Cup, but some reports suggest they’ve been dating for up to nine years
Luke Shaw and Anouska Santos at a black tie event. The couple gave birth to their first child, Storie, in May this year, after five years of dating
Eric Dier and Anna Modler. The couple recently became engaged, just two months after they were publicly reported to be dating. The South African model has been a regular fan at recent Spurs games, showing her support for Eric and his team, and previously told pals she is smitten and may have found ‘the one’
Megan Pickford and her husband, England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Megan is a regular fixture at matches and has been since her husband burst onto the scene. The couple are said to have met when they were just 14 years old, and she followed him to Liverpool following his transfer in 2017. Megan graduated from the University of Sunderland last year and has over 51,000 Instagram followers
Everton defender Conor Coady and his wife Amie. The couple have three children and Mrs Coady frequently shares happy snaps of them at their father’s matches
WAGs set to live aboard the vessel during the 2022 FIFA World Cup – which is taking place from 20 November to 18 December – include air hostess Georgina Irwin (left), 26, who is engaged to goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, 24, Phil Foden’s girlfriend Rebecca Cooke, 22, and Harry Maguire’s wife Fern (centre), 27, reported the publication. Pictured right, Model Anna Modler, 24, who is dating defender Eric Dier, 28, is rumoured to be among those planning to stay on the luxury cruise liner
Declan Rice and Mason Mount’s ‘bromance’ will help the team, says WAG
By Shekhar Bhatia and Vivek Chaudhary
The girlfriend of England star Declan Rice today gave her backing to the West Ham captain to carry on his ‘bromance’ with his best friend Mason Mount at the World Cup.
Lauren Fryer, 22, who has a baby son with Rice who has been picked along with Chelsea’s Mount to make their World Cup debuts, has jokingly moaned in the past at being marginalised by the best mates who met as schoolboys.
But today she was among the first 50,000 people within minutes to like a picture posted by Mount as a child watching England at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Mount, 23, posted a picture of himself as a seven-year-old with his face painted with the flag of St George and wearing an England shirt.
Within minutes of being named by Gareth Southgate, he said: ‘Looking back at 7 year old me, sat on the stairs on holiday with my oversized England kit and St George’s face paint… Watching the 2006 World Cup.
‘ I could only ever dream of one day having the honour to play even a small part in one.
‘Now that day has come and what an incredible feeling this is… I think back to the hours of sacrifice my family, friends and coaches all put in for me, and how I wouldn’t be here without them.
‘We want to make our country proud and bring it home. Come on England!!’
Mount is best friends with Rice who was immediately lauded by West Ham who posted his picture with the words ‘from Chadwell Heath to the World Cup’, a reference to the club’s training base in East London.
‘Declan joins the illustrious list of West Ham heroes to pull on the England jersey at the tournament, putting his name alongside the likes of Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst and, of course, Bobby Moore.’
Lauren is a strong backer of Rice’s career and has appeared at matches with England flags painted on her cheeks.
After England were beaten by Italy at the Euro Final at Wembley, she posted a message of support to him.
She said: ‘Dec you’ve accomplished so much, to say I’m proud of you is an understatement.
‘The best is yet to come … you’re just getting started and you will all come back from this 10 times stronger. Roll on the World Cup in 2022!’
Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher made the cut but Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse again just missed out on a major tournament squad.
England midfielder Mason Mount tweeted: ‘Looking back at 7 year old me, sat on the stairs on holiday with my oversized England kit and St George’s face paint… Watching the 2006 World Cup, I could only ever dream of one day having the honour to play even a small part in one. Now that day has come and what an incredible feeling this is… I think back to the hours of sacrifice my family, friends and coaches all put in for me, and how I wouldn’t be here without them. We want to make our country proud and bring it home. Come on @England!!’
The MSC World Europa – dubbed a ‘floating palace’ – is said to be hosting England’s WAGs during the World Cup in Qatar.
The luxury £1billion cruise liner – which usually costs £2,434.80 for nine nights – has set sail for Doha and was spotted making its way through the Suez Canal on Wednesday, according to The Sun, ahead of setting up base at the Doha Port.
WAGs set to live aboard the vessel during the 2022 FIFA World Cup – which is taking place from 20 November to 18 December – include air hostess Georgina Irwin, 26, who is engaged to goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, 24, Phil Foden’s girlfriend Rebecca Cooke, 22, and Harry Maguire‘s wife Fern, 27.
Guests will be living the high life, thanks to onboard beauty salons, boutiques, dodgems, 14 ocean-view Jacuzzis and the longest dry-slide at sea titled The Venom Drop to keep them entertained between matches.
But while the wives and girlfriends of the football stars will lap up the luxury of the swanky ship – complete with its very own shopping mall, roller disco rink and a range of clubs for children – it’s said that players won’t be allowed on board as they are set to form their own strict Covid bubble at the Souq Al Wakra hotel in Doha.
Elsewhere on the cruise liner, a Sportplex zone offers basketball, bumper cars and even a roller disco rink, meaning plenty of opportunities for fun, alongside more than 30 bars and cafes, as well as a micro-brewery and mixology classes in its Elixir gin bar.
With a tonnage of 215,863 GT and length of 333.3 m (1,094 ft), its beam is 47 m (154 ft), height is 68 m (223 ft) and speed, 22.7 knots and a capacity of 6,762 passengers.
Covering 21 decks, there are 2,138 crew members, two five blade propellers and seven thrusters being four Bow and two stern.
Packages begin at £6,000 for the footballers’ families to stay on the luxury liner, with model Anna Modler, 24, who is dating defender Eric Dier, 28, also rumoured to be among them.
An insider told the publication: ‘The boat is an amazing place to stay. It is like a floating palace, which is why many of the players’ wives and families quickly snapped up packages that the Football Association arranged.
‘Due to the fact the boat is off shore, guests can have a drink and enjoy themselves without having to worry about falling foul of Qatar’s strict rules.
‘And many hotels aren’t even allowed sunbathing areas. But by staying on the boat guests just relax and have a great time. If England do go all the way it’s likely to become like a carnival on board.’
In Qatar there are strict alcohol rules, but because the MSC World Europa is ‘off-shore’, those on board can sip on champagne without fear of legal repercussions.
Meanwhile, manager Gareth Southgate is said to be desperate to ensure that coronavirus won’t dash his squad’s hopes of lifting the world cup.
The publication said sources from the Football Association confirmed that Covid restrictions will be in place for the first three opening games of the competition, and will likely continue for the duration of England’s participation in the games.
It offers six swimming pools, 30 bars and cafes (pictured), a cinema and the tallest slide on any ship in the world – so it’s no wonder that the MSC World Europa – dubbed a ‘floating palace’ – is said to be hosting England’s WAGs during the World Cup in Qatar
The luxury £1billion cruise liner – which usually costs £2,434.80 for nine nights – has set sail for Doha and was spotted making its way through the Suez Canal on Wednesday, according to The Sun , ahead of setting up base at the Doha Port. Pictured, the cinema
Guests will be living the high life, thanks to onboard beauty salons, boutiques, dodgems, 14 ocean-view Jacuzzis and the longest dry-slide at sea titled The Venom Drop to keep them entertained between matches. Pictured, the swimming pools
But while the wives and girlfriends of the football stars will lap up the luxury of the swanky ship – complete with its very own shopping mall, roller disco rink and a range of clubs for children – it’s said that players won’t be allowed on board as they are set to form their own strict Covid bubble at the Souq Al Wakra hotel in Doha. Pictured, one of the bedrooms
Elsewhere on the cruise liner (pictured), a Sportplex zone offers basketball, bumper cars and even a roller disco rink, meaning plenty of opportunities for fun, alongside more than 30 bars and cafes, as well as a micro-brewery and mixology classes in its Elixir gin bar
With a tonnage of 215,863 GT and length of 333.3 m (1,094 ft), its beam is 47 m (154 ft), height is 68 m (223 ft) and speed, 22.7 knots and a capacity of 6,762 passengers. Pictured, some of the cafe and bars
Covering 21 decks, there are 2,138 crew members, two five blade propellers and seven thrusters being four Bow and two stern. Pictured, one of the clubs for children
Fun: Guests on the cruise liner – dubbed the ‘floating palace’ are in for a thrilling time on The Venom Drop (pictured)
Luxury: MSC World Europa boats a swanky Casino. Packages begin at £6,000 for the footballers’ families to stay on the luxury liner, with model Anna Modler, 24, who is dating defender Eric Dier, 28, also rumoured to be among them
Bottom’s up: In addition to 13 restaurants and bars, the cruise liner features a micro-brewery and mixology classes in its Elixir gin bar
An insider told The Sun: ‘The boat (pictured) is an amazing place to stay. It is like a floating palace, which is why many of the players’ wives and families quickly snapped up packages that the Football Association arranged’
Now that’s impressive! The cruise liner features a huge theatre to keep the WAGs entertained on board
What a treat: In Qatar there are strict alcohol rules, but because the MSC World Europa is ‘off-shore’, those on board can sip on champagne without fear of legal repercussions
Wow: A café on the cruise liner features a chocolate sculpture of Laeeb as the Official Mascot for this year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
It comes after England’s WAGs were allegedly told they’re ‘not above the law’ while ordered to follow a strict list of rules ahead of the World Cup in conservative Qatar.
Those expected to attend could face jail time if they don’t take the warning seriously, and it has been claimed they were issued the instructions at a secret presentation.
Revealed: MSC World Europa
Owner: MSC Cruises
Tonnage: 215,863 GT
Length: 333.3 m (1,094 ft)
Beam: 47 m (154 ft)
Height: 68 m (223 ft)
Propulsion: 2 five blade propellers and 7 thrusters being 4 Bow and 2 stern
Speed: 22.7 knots
Capacity: 6,762 passengers
Largest ship built for MSC Cruises
Powered by LNG-fuelled cruise ship and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)
Cost per nine-day stay: £2,434.80
Dressing modestly in public, abstaining from drinking alcohol or packing on the PDA, swearing, playing music, singing, shouting, or acting ‘inappropriately’ during the call to prayer are all thought to have been included on the agenda.
Jack Grealish’s girlfriend Sasha Attwood, Harry Kane‘s wife Katie Goodland, Jordan Pickford‘s wife Megan Davison, Jarrod Bowen’s girlfriend Dani Dyer and Harry’s wife Fern are some of the partners of the England football team.
A source told The Sun: ‘The FA left little room for doubt. They have been very clear about the rules and have a responsibility to the players and their families to make sure they are aware of the local laws and customs.
‘They cannot — and will not — tolerate any controversy or incident that could and should have been avoided with good planning. It is important the WAGs understand Qatar is not England and will treat everyone even handedly, irrespective of who they are.’
In Qatar, littering is illegal – with a £6,000 fine and a year in jail – and taking selfies outside government buildings could lead to police action, they were reportedly warned.
MailOnline has contacted the FA for comment.
This isn’t the first time that the England WAGs have been warned about the strict rules in Qatar that they should be aware of.
At a meeting before England’s 3-3 draw with Germany last month, FA chiefs said: ‘It is important to understand that you and your husband/partner are not above the law here. Every order is in place to protect both yourselves and your partner/husband in any case of indiscretion. Fines and prosecution are commonplace.’
Last month it was revealed that partners of the England players have booked in at Banana Island, a luxury spot 25 minutes by boat from the Doha seafront, according to the place’s sales director.
Those with children have their eyes on the biggest chalets which sleep five. Benefits include a helipad, should they prefer that to the motor launch, with white leather seats, complimentary dates and cold flannels.
Those £6,000 a night chalets, built on stilts which sit in the Arabian Sea, won’t offer total escape from hoi polloi.
Anyone can catch the boat and pay £100 to enjoy the resort’s pool and beach. But with a cinema, a surf pool with a wave machine and scuba diving courses, it all rather contributes to the sense that England’s partners are well ahead of the rest when it comes to the accommodation quest for Group B.