England jet off to Germany for Euro 2024 as Harry Kane and co look to bring football home | Football | Sport

England players and staff have jetted off to Germany as they prepare to bid for glory at Euro 2024. Next stop for Gareth Southgate’s men: A trip to their luxurious training base near Erfurt and just under a week of preparation before the Three Lions face Serbia in Gelsenkirchen.

Southgate and his squad posed for pictures alongside Prince William at St George’s Park on Monday before heading off to catch their flight, with the nation desperate for a first major tournament win since 1966.

England were painfully close to ending their barren streak the last time the Euros came around, losing on penalties to Italy in the final three years ago. This time, Southgate’s squad is arguably even stronger, with youngsters like Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden coming of age at club level and Harry Kane fresh from a prolific season at Bayern Munich.

Suites at Golfresort Weimarer Land – England’s basecamp around 30 minutes away from Erfurt – cost £300 a night. Even tournament hosts Germany are believed to have been interested in the venue before stationing themselves at the Adidas Football Centre instead.

Selecting suitable accommodation and maintaining a feel-good factor has been a pillar of Southgate’s approach at major tournaments, which has seen England reach at least the quarter-finals in each of their last three.

A top-spec gym, a luxury spa, two 18-hole golf courses and a pair of full-size football pitches will also be available for England’s stars as they turn their attention towards group games against Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia.

Southgate recently had the unenviable job of axing seven players from his 33-man provisional list to determine his 26-player tournament squad with Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Harry Maguire all sent home.

For those who made the cut, Southgate has opted to keep their families away from basecamp, aside from the occasional visit, as the England boss wants his stars to be able to ‚zone out‘ from the pressures of the outside world.

„It changes the dynamic of the hotel, especially if the kids come in, and those elements are important for the players,“ he said. „We want to be somewhere where we can be a bit on our own. We need that contrast of relaxation and areas where we can work.

„You want to minimise travel where you can but, within the FA, our staff are really good at picking venues that the players will enjoy and feel comfortable in. You want to be somewhere where everything that’s going on around you, you can zone out from, but somewhere with facilities that are good for working.“

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