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World Cup 2022: England arrive in Qatar ready for ‘pinnacle of world football’

Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

England arrived in Qatar on Tuesday night ahead of the Fifa World Cup, which begins on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad left Birmingham earlier in the day and will spend the next few days at their training camp near Doha before their opening game of the tournament.

England face Iran in Group B on Monday, 21 November (13:00 GMT) before games against the United States and Wales.

“Excitement is building among everyone,” said captain Harry Kane.

“We’re happy to be here and looking forward to being out on the training pitch.”

Southgate added: “For every player and every manager it’s the pinnacle of world football so we’re really looking forward to testing ourselves on that stage.”

England players arrive in Qatar
The England squad will be spearheaded by captain Harry Kane in Qatar
England supporters in Qatar
England supporters waited outside England’s team hotel in Qatar to greet the players on their arrival

England are looking to go at least one better than their performance at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where they reached the semi-finals and were beaten 2-1 by Croatia in extra time.

“We’re trying not to think that far ahead but of course that’s the dream and what we’re aiming to do,” Kane added.

“It’s going to be a tough tournament, we have to prepare for that but really excited to get going.”

A crowd of supporters had gathered to wave off Southgate’s squad as they left St George’s Park for their flight to Qatar.

The night before their departure, Prince William presented the players with their shirt numbers for the tournament and also provided some words of encouragement.

“I’m really here to point out that the rest of the country is behind you,” he said. “We are all rooting for you, enjoy it.”

Teams would normally base themselves at a training camp a few weeks before a major tournament but this time they have only a few days to prepare for their opening fixtures, with this World Cup taking place in the middle of the domestic season.

“We’re used to preparing for games with England in a short period, with major tournaments it’s a bit different,” added Kane.

“The mentality of the squad will adapt to it well and that’s what we’re going to.”

England players arrive in Qatar
England play Iran, the United States and Wales in their group games
Prince William presents the England players with their shirt numbers the night before their departure
Prince William presented the England players with their shirt numbers the night before their departure
England team photo
The England squad posed in smart attire for their group photo before leaving for Qatar

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